Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge) added a new title to his bulging palmares today in Learmonth, besting defending national champion and teammate Cameron Meyer by seven seconds to take his first elite championship in the individual time trial. Three-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers (Sky) won the bronze medal.
World under 23 champion in the discipline, Durbridge motored his way around the tough 38.2 kilometre course in a time of 46:20.44, at an average speed of 49.47 km/h.
"I train all the time with Cam and we were sort of trash talking each other leading into it, we're really good mates," Durbridge said post-race. "There's been a few time trials back home where he's got back on me by about 7 seconds.
"I'm stoked to beat Cam. There's always a bit of rivalry from WA. Mick on the other hand is one of my idols from when I was younger so for me to come up to beat Mick, I don't know what to say, I'm stoked."
One of the pre-race favourites, Jack Bobridge (GreenEdge), crashed within the first kilometre of the race heading along the Sunraysia Highway after he fell heavily after being passed by a truck on the partially open course. Bobridge was taken to hospital with a haematoma on his left arm however no fractures were suspected.
At the 15 kilometre mark, with all the heavy-hitters out on course, Rogers, Durbridge, Meyer and Richie Porte (Sky) were all within seconds of each other, and setting the tone for what was to come. Soon after, Rogers had moved ahead of Luke Roberts (Saxo Bank) on the road having left the start house one minute behind.
Travis Meyer (GreenEdge) making his return at the championships from surgery on his left external iliac artery in July, 2011 provided the first marker under the 50 minutes of the day, crossing the finish line in a time of 48:42.27 and was closely followed by Champion System's Will Clarke in a continuance of his top form, in a time of 48:43.21.
Despite his fourth placing at the road race on Sunday, one of the pre-race favourites Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) was only able to manage 49:40.55 and it was clear the Queenslander would not be in the medals.
Then, the times tumbled as Cameron Wurf came close to overtaking Hansen on the finishing straight, setting a time of 47:39.92. World under 23 bronze medallist Michael Hepburn was next (47:30.55) and the hot seat was well alight.
Only the four men were left on course – Rogers, Durbridge, Porte and two-time defending champion Meyer.
Rogers' time of 46:36:30 was enough to give him the new mark, however Durbridge powered across the finish line 16 seconds better off. Porte was next, possibly struggling in the windy conditions with his comparatively smaller frame (47:39.38) before Meyer moved into the silver medal position with his ride, pushing Rogers back to the bronze.
Rogers, who earlier in the week told Cyclingnews that he had re-discovered his passion for the all-consuming discipline said that he was pleased to be standing on the podium, despite the challenges he faced en-route to the finish.
"It was a tough course out there, the wind was just... I was struggling to stay on the road really," the 32-year-old told Cyclingnews.
"Unfortunately I was held up with some traffic; unfortunately the roads weren't closed so I don't know how much I lost there – maybe 10, 15 seconds so that's the way it is. But you know at the end of the day I'm really happy with the result and it's good to edge my way back onto the podium again."
Meyer admitted that he felt frustrated by his own performance.
"Obviously, seven seconds, you're disappointed in some ways and you think 'where did that seven seconds come from, why didn't you push a little bit harder in different areas," he said.
"[But] Luke was definitely the man today, he showed he has very good form and he showed that in the road race.
"It's definitely a healthy sign for Australian time triallng," Meyer added.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Luke Durbridge (WA)||0:46:20.44|
|2||Cameron Meyer (WA)||0:00:06.96|
|3||Michael Rogers (ACT)||0:00:15.86|
|4||Michael Hepburn (QLD)||0:01:10.11|
|5||Richie Porte (Tas)||0:01:18.94|
|6||Cameron Wurf (Tas)||0:01:19.53|
|7||Travis Meyer (WA)||0:02:21.83|
|8||William Clarke (Tas)||0:02:22.77|
|9||Luke Roberts (SA)||0:02:29.13|
|10||Jack Anderson (QLD)||0:03:11.95|
|11||Adam Hansen (QLD)||0:03:20.11|
|12||Marc Williams (Act)||0:04:04.57|
|13||Jacob Kauffmann (NSW)||0:04:04.90|
|14||Nick Bensley (Vic)||0:04:33.67|
|15||Ben Dyball (NSW)||0:04:44.10|
|16||David Kelly (Vic)||0:05:06.41|
|17||Michael Gallagher (Vic)||0:05:11.36|
|18||Andrew Roe (SA)||0:05:15.52|
|19||Jason Spencer (Vic)||0:05:26.21|
|20||Matthew Warner-Smith (NSW)||0:05:32.33|
|21||Correy Edmed (QLD)||0:05:40.75|
|22||Samuel Rix (Vic)||0:05:47.62|
|23||Michael Cupitt (QLD)||0:05:49.47|
|24||Benjamin Johnson (Vic)||0:05:52.20|
|25||Jonathan Lovelock (Vic)||0:06:17.45|
|26||Nicholas Wood (SA)||0:06:34.90|
|27||Michael Verheyen (WA)||0:06:45.59|
|28||Mark Fenner (NSW)||0:06:51.73|
|29||Tom Donald (Vic)||0:07:54.44|
|30||Chris Pryor (QLD)||0:08:47.19|
|31||Brodie Talbot (NSW)||0:09:10.59|
|32||David Fairburn (Vic)||0:11:17.29|
|33||Adam Thompson (SA)||0:12:35.04|
|34||Wayne Gebert (Vic)||0:13:07.32|
|35||Reece-Emerson Van Beek (Vic)||0:13:35.60|
|36||Mark Facey (Vic)||0:14:15.89|
|37||Adnane Benhammouche (SA)||0:15:15.12|
|38||Trevor Smith (NSW)||0:16:13.29|
|39||Brett Cottee (NSW)||0:24:24.32|
|DNF||Jack Bobridge (SA)|
|DNS||Kane Walker (Vic)|
|DNS||James Ibrahim (Vic)|
|DNS||Ben Mather (Tas)|
|DNS||David Pell (Vic)|
|DNS||Blair Windsor (NSW)|
|DNS||Damien Turner (Vic)|
|DNS||Brock Roberts (NSW)|
|DNS||Anthony Giacoppo (WA)|
|DNS||Peter Herzig (QLD)|