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Australia's O'Brien advises Evans and Gerrans

Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)

Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) (Image credit: Sirotti)

Mark O'Brien closed the Under-23 World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland on Saturday as the best placed Australian. The 22-year-old was ready to offer advice to the nation's Elite men, who include Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans.

"Use little gears and conserve energy," he told Cyclingnews of the best way to approach the 13.3-kilometre circuit. "Save as much as you can, because once you punch it you feel it on next lap."

The Elite men will today race 82.8 kilometres further than the Under-23 riders, a total of 262.2 kilometres that includes 4655 metres of climbing.

O'Brien, finished the 179.4-kilometre Under-23 race in 25th place yesterday, 1:40 behind winner Romain Sicard (France). Despite being the only Australian finisher, he and Leigh Howard capped off a strong team showing by Australia.

"This sort of course suits me pretty well," continued O'Brien. "I had a cramp halfway in the first lap, and I thought 'This is going to be a short race', but it went away. I felt quite good, but wasted too much energy here and there."

O'Brien ends his season with the Sun Tour and then will prepare for the Australian nationals in 2010. Howard will join ProTour team Columbia-HTC next season, but O'Brien is still searching for a team.

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