The first national road championships of 2018 are underway this week in Ballarat, west of Melbourne in Australia, with the Cycling Australia Road National Championships in full swing.
The criterium championships opened the week, and Friday saw the men’s, women’s and U23 time trials get underway ahead of the road races this weekend.
Former national champion Richie Porte competed the event in just his second race day since the horrific crash descending Mont du Chat during stage 9 of the Tour de France last year. The Tasmanian finished in a bronze medal position behind Mitchelton-Scott’s Luke Durbridge, his second silver medal in as many years.
Both Dennis and Porte rode their team issue BMC Timemachine SLR01, alongside last year’s road race champion and BMC Racing teammate Miles Scotson.
The BMC teammates had similar setups, using PRO Textreme wheels, 3T cockpits, Fizik saddles and Vittoria tyres. However, while both riders were equipped with the latest Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 series cranksets with integrated Shimano power meter, Porte’s bike was equipped with slightly older Dura-Ace 9000 series derailleurs, whereas Dennis had the more up to date R9150 versions.
All three BMC Racing riders were also equipped with Garmin computers and look set to race with the latest Edge 1030 models for the 2018 season.
Ben O’Connor (Team Dimension Data) opted for massive 54t ROTOR Q-Rings, with Luke Durbridge also choosing custom oversized outer chainrings from Shimano.
As with many elite level time trials, HED, PRO and Lightweight are the wheels of choice with many riders opting for the offerings ahead of their own team sponsors.
The men’s elite podium each ran PRO Textreme 3-Spoke front wheels, while Durbridge and Garfoot opted for the German carbon specialists’ Lightweight Autobahn disc rear wheels.
HED Stinger, Jet and Tri-spoke wheels were all also on display.
Nathan Haas completed his first race in Katusha-Alpecin colours, and for the first time aboard a Canyon. The versatile rider earned a respectable fifth-place finish on the day, finishing 24 seconds behind Scotson.
With temperatures in the high-30 degrees Celsius on the day, the majority of riders raced the courses equipped with bottle and bottle cages despite the aerodynamic costs.
Click or swipe through the gallery above to take a look on the wind-cheating machines on display in Southern Australia.