With the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic now behind us, Australian riders are now looking toward their next big objective, the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships held in Ballarat.
GreenEdge were able to take out overall wins in both women and men's events at the 2012 Bay crits through strength of numbers, but with the team placing a heavier focus on the road race, the team will field only two riders in the elite men's event set to be held this evening, opening the race up to a surprise winner.
Cyclingnews spoke to Genesys, Drapac and GPM-Wilson racing about the possibility of an upset.
Andrew Christie-Johnson, Genesys DS
"At the end of the day the road race is a massive focus for [GreenEdge]. I didn't expect them to field any riders for the criterium, but they do have two guys in McEwen, and Cooke.
"At Bay Crits they had nine guys, and they made it really tough for us - but they still didn't win a stage. Here they'll be only two guys plus Renshaw, and that'll make it a lot easier to isolate them. We want to avoid a sprint with someone like Renshaw if we can.
"We're aware that this our biggest chance for a national title and I think with the form that some of the guys are carrying we can't be overlooked."
"Of course with riders like Steele [Von Hoff] and Will [Clarke] who the team has been involved with previously we won't be chasing them down if they're up the road. But more than anything we'd prefer to have a Genesys rider up there. That's the ideal situation."
Genesys Wealth Advisers team for elite criterium: Anthony Giacoppo, Pat Shaw, Joel Pearson, Nic Sanderson, Jono Lovelock, Unofficial: Steele Von Hoff (formerly Genesys), Will Clarke (formerly Praties). Kane Walker out through injury.
Jonathan Breekveldt, Drapac DS
"The domestic field is incredibly strong and GreenEdge won't have 16 riders like they will in the elite men's race. I think it'll definetely play into the hands of the teams that are better represented."
"Stuart Shaw was third last year, so we expect he'll be up there and Peter Thompson gives us another option if it's a sprint."
"And who's to say there won't be a break. With the hilly nature of the course someone like Semple or Norris could get away."
"It'll be a team race, we'll just hope we're the team that come out on top."
Drapac team for elite criterium: Stuart Shaw, David Pell, Rhys Pollock, Lachlan Norris, Peter Thompson, Adam Semple, Darren Lapthorne, Malcolm Rudolph
Trent Wilson, GPM-Wilson Racing DS
"I've just been chatting to the guys, and honestly I think there's more chance of a bunch sprint than not. There's numerous professionals who are pretty damn quick, and I think there'll be plenty of teams banking on a bunch dash.
"In that scenario we've got the lead-out train and the numbers. We'll try and use that to our advantage."
"If not, Dale Scarfe has been training really well over the past few weeks and we'll try and get him in a move.
"But honestly I'd say it'll come down to a bunch sprint, and it'll be down to getting our guys down to that final corner first, hopefully three deep, and set up one of our sprinters for the win."
GPM-Wilson Racing for elite criterium: Dale Scarfe, Sam Rutherford, Phil Grenfell (also CompetitiveCyclist.com), Chris Jory, Andrew Crawley, Ed White, Caleb Jones, Nash Kent, Jake Magee
Alex Hinds, Production Editor
Alex Hinds is a graduate of Economics and Political Science from Sydney University. Growing up in the metropolitan area of the city he quickly became a bike junkie, dabbling in mountain and road riding. Alex raced on the road in his late teens, but with the time demands of work and university proving too much, decided not to further pursue full-time riding.
If he was going to be involved in cycling in another way the media seemed the next best bet and jumped at the opportunity to work in the Sydney office of Cyclingnews when an offer arose in early 2011.
Though the WorldTour is of course a huge point of focus throughout the year, Alex also takes a keen interest in the domestic racing scene with a view to helping foster the careers of the next generation of cycling.
When not writing for Cyclingnews Alex is a strong proponent of the awareness of cyclists on the road in Sydney having had a few close run-ins with city traffic in the past.
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