Mitchelton-Scott's Luke Durbridge took his third national time trial title at the Australian Road National Championships in Buninyong, Victoria, on Tuesday, relegating time trial world champion Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) to second place and preventing Dennis from taking a fourth straight national title.
Durbridge – the winner in 2012 and 2013 – looked strong from the start as the second-to-last rider away, and although it looked at one point as though Dennis – last man off as the defending champion – might have saved himself for the final few kilometres of the 40.9km course, Durbridge took the win by 21 seconds.
Durbridge's Mitchelton-Scott teammate Cameron Meyer, after what was for him a disappointing third place at Sunday's road race, sat top of the leaderboard as teammate Callum Scotson, new Australian road race champion Michael Freiberg (Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) and Katusha-Alpecin's Nathan Haas all finished behind him, unable to better his time.
However, Meyer – time trial national champion in 2010 and 2011 – would have already known from watching the intermediate time checks that Durbridge and Dennis were coming home quickly, and that his ride was only going to be good enough for another bronze medal at this year's championships.
Durbridge finished with a time of just over 51 minutes, knocking 43 seconds off Meyer's time to relegate him to second place – albeit briefly – before Dennis came home, 21 seconds in arrears of Durbridge's time to take the silver medal.
"What an incredible day. I'm super, super happy," a delighted Durbridge said at the finish. "It's been a long time coming. 2013 was my last victory, and to beat the world champion and the likes of Cameron Meyer on the podium, it still hasn't really sunk in yet.
"I stuck to my plan, and I haven't done that often," Durbridge admitted. "I probably get a bit emotional every time I go into a time trial and just go out way too hard, but I stuck to my plan and brought it home.
"My coach [former TT national champion] Ben Day and I have really been working hard on this, and I'm just glad that it's come together. I have to thank my family and my wife, Lara, for all their support," he said. "It's been a long time of questioning a lot of things, and now I have the medal to show for it. It's been an amazing week with my brother-in-law [Freiberg] winning the road race and me winning the time trial. Bring on the Tour Down Under."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||00:51:01|
|2||Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain Merida||0:00:21|
|3||Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||0:00:43|
|4||Nathan Haas (Aus) Team Katusha Alpecin||0:02:19|
|5||Ben O'Connor (Aus) Team Dimension Data||0:02:34|
|6||Callum Scotson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||0:03:22|
|7||Chris Harper (Aus) Team BridgeLane||0:03:46|
|8||Cyrus Monk (Aus) EvoPro Racing||0:04:19|
|9||Jordan Villani (Aus)||0:04:24|
|10||Nicholas Squillari (Aus)||0:04:28|
|11||Peter Milostic (Aus)||0:05:10|
|12||Liam White (Aus) Drapac Cannondale Holistic Development Team||0:05:18|
|13||Michael Freiberg (Aus) Pro Racing Sunshine Coast||0:05:32|
|14||Patrick Burt (Aus) Drapac Cannondale Holistic Development Team||0:05:45|
|15||Benjamin Van Dam (Aus) Team BridgeLane||0:06:26|
|16||Brad Norton (Aus)||0:08:13|
|DNF||Jason Lea (Aus) Team BridgeLane|
|DNS||James Whelan (Aus) EF Education First|
|DNS||Allister Caird (Aus)|
|DNS||David Ross (Aus)|
|DNS||Lachlan Glasspool (Aus)|