Nine new national champions for High Road

Marco Pinotti takes his third TT title at the Italian Nationals

Marco Pinotti takes his third TT title at the Italian Nationals (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

High Road took the win in nine different national championships over the weekend, adding to the existing National Champions of Australia and USA with Oenone Wood, Adam Hansen and Mara Abbott.

Victories started thanks to Marco Pinotti's successful defence in the Italian Time Trial championships last weekend. The team, which will soon be known as Team Columbia, took another nine titles – three in the road races and six in the time trial. Luise Keller (Germany), Emilia Fahlin (Sweden) and Linda Villumsen (Denmark) won on the road, while Frantisek Rabon (Czech Republic), Bert Grabsch (Germany), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) and Villumsen added to Pinotti's gold in the time trials.

"It shows the quality of our international team," said High Road Director Rolf Aldag in a press release. "Also, when given the opportunity to race for themselves, they are still able to do it."

Aldag lamented over the absence of the World Cup Team Time Trial. "It would be a great photo to see the team line up with six national champion skinsuits and only two normal skinsuits."

Pinotti's win was his third national time trial gold medal. Grabsch, Boasson Hagen and Keller managed to defend their current titles winning their events two years running. Villumsen won both the Danish National Time Trial and Road Race two years ago. Not competing in the events last year due to an injury, she was back this year to double up again.

For all others the victories were a career first. Kim Kirchen has won two national road championships in the past, but this is his first time trial title. He will lead the team's general classification front in the Tour de France, starting this weekend.

Rabon won three titles as a U23 rider, but this was his first in the elite ranks and for young 19 year-old Fahlin, who won a Junior National Title in 2005, this was the biggest victory of her career, beating out former World Champion Susanne Ljunsgkog on a challenging course.

The team now has 12 National Champions and eight former National Champions on the road. Out of 17 of the nations represented in the team, eleven have national champions in High Road.

Current High Road national champions:

Edvald Boasson Hagen - Norwegian Time Trial Champion
Bert Grabsch - German Time Trial Champion
Adam Hansen - Australian Time Trial Champion
Kim Kirchen - Luxembourg Time Trial Champion
Marco Pinotti - Italian Time Trial Champion
Frantisek Rabon - Czech Time Trial Champion

Mara Abbott - US National Champion
Emilia Fahlin - Swedish National Champion
Luise Keller - German National Champion
Linda Villumsen - Danish Road and Time Trial Champion
Oenone Wood - Australian National Champion

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