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Columbia guns for Australian titles

Michael Rogers (Columbia)

Michael Rogers (Columbia) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Australian time trial experts Michael Rogers and Adam Hansen are gunning for the honour of taking their Columbia team's first victory of the season this week at the Australian National Championships in Buninyong. Rogers is a former three-time time trial World Champion and Hansen won the national title in 2008. The two will square off with the 39km race against the clock on Thursday. Heat and strong winds are expected to factor along with a hilly course.

As defending time trial champion, Hansen will be last rider off, and will thus have the advantage of knowing his rivals' time references. He also knows the route from last year's nationals, which were held over the same roads.

Rogers on the other hand could be favoured by the sheer amount of climbing included on the course. So far his only senior national title is on the track, but he will be looking to put that straight this week.

As for the heat, Hansen can be encouraged by the fact he had no problems with that last year. Despite temperatures hitting around 40 degrees Celsius then, the Queenslander still managed to take a convincing victory in the searing heat, winning by 56 seconds over Rory Sutherland.

In addition to a time trial win, Hansen has his sights set on the road title. "My aim is to win both races," he said. "I know that nobody has won the double before, but there's always a first time for everything and I am a lot better prepared this year."

Rogers and Hansen will be joined by new Columbia team-mate Mark Renshaw for the 163.2 kilometre road race event on Sunday.

Columbia's Judith Arndt of Germany will be taking part in the Australian Women's Road Race Championships. The women's event is an "open" race, meaning riders from any nationality can start.

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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.