Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) rode to her third consecutive Australian Individual Time Trial Championship in Ballarat on Wednesday. Her effort of completing the three-peat was impressive but the fact that this year's victory equalled that of Kathy Watt between 1992 and 1994.
Gillow finished with over a minute advantage back to Grace Sulzberger and Felicity Wardlaw on the 29.2km course which began with a loop around Lake Wendouree.
"I actually only found out recently that Kathy Watt had set the mark with three titles and that it hadn't been broken," admitted Gillow. "I've equalled that now. I didn't have any extra pressure to chase that record. I always put pressure on myself anyway."
This year's course was different to that which Gillow claimed her previous two titles, making it hard to compare. Road's were completely closed for the first time so while safety was an obvious improvement it also allowed competitors to use more of the road and in theory, ride faster times.
"I'm pretty happy with my ride, and it's obviously really good to win the national championships again," said Gillow. "With the course changes this year, it's hard to compare my effort to my previous titles, and I'm always striving to go better. It's a special win today, that's for sure."
Gillow was the last rider out of the start house and caught the two riders, Taryn Heather and former winner Bridie O'Donnell out on course. After that point, the 25-year-old said that she found it hard to gauge her performance.
"We did a bit more than five kilometers around the lake before we headed straight out of town and straight back," she said. "There was a bit of wind, which I like, so that worked in my favour. I didn't break the course down into different sections. My goal was just to go as fast I could the entire time.
"I caught the first two riders I was chasing, but they weren't medal contenders," she explained. "Once I had gone past them, it was a bit more difficult to gauge how I was going, and I definitely like to have that tangible mark during a race when possible."
Gillow will also compete in the women's road race on Saturday .
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