NRS Shorts: A round up of Australian domestic racing

In this week's NRS shorts, we look the Australians continuing to do well overseas in the mid-season Subaru National Road Series (NRS) break, find out what prizes are on offer for winning in Canada, get to know a rider and find out how to keep in shape during the break and round it all off with the latest financial news on a former NRS team.

Australians continuing winning ways overseas
Drapac's Will Clarke notched another win in 2014 as he won stage 2 of the UCI 2.1 Tour of Iran ahead of Taiji Nishitani. Clarke now occupies the leader's jersey with four stages to come. The win follows on from prologue victories at the UCI 2.1 Tour of Japan and UCI 2.2 Tour de Kumano as well as stage one of the NRS opener, the Tour de Perth.

Over in Belgium, Jayden Copp (Bianchi DCM Arbitrage) soloed to victory at the Sint Katelijne Waver having placed second at the Interclub Averbode a week earlier and fourth at the Walhain St Paul in late-May. Copp and his teammates have been enjoying a successful stint of racing in Belgium during the NRS mid-season break.

Fresh off a win last week, CharterMason Giant's (CMGR) Jacob Restall continued his successful stint guest riding with the Canadian NCCH p/b DEC Express team. He led out his teammate Ben Perry for the win at the Preston Street Criterium with the duo receiving three kegs of beer for the prize. Cyclingnews asked Restall if he planned on consuming the prize.

"As a climber it's best to weigh less, but when racing for your weight in beer it's a conundrum for sure," Restall explained. "So we may or may not have had some, but beer has water in it, what's the big deal!"

Johnson joins CharterMason Giant teammate in Canada
Restall's teammate and fellow Australian, Shannon Johnson has also made the trip over to North America and for the next four weeks, will look to hone his skills with Rick Lee's NCCH team on the UCI 2.2 scene in the build up toward the Tour of the Murray when the NRS resumes in late July.

"Jacob's form is apparently terrific and the team spirit seems to be right in Canada," Johnson told Cyclingnews. "For me personally, I've had a mixed past few months. I did not go as well as I had hoped in my last NRS event [Battle on the Border].

"After that event, I made it my mission to be in career best form for the Tour of the Murray, an event where I had two wins in 2013 and an event that the team really wants to do well at in 2014."

Johnson, who arrived in Toronto on Wednesday, will race his first criterium on Friday, followed by a road race on Saturday.

While the opportunity in Canada arose both quickly and unexpectedly for Johnson, he says the timing was perfect.

"[It] makes perfect sense," he said. "I'm really fired up to take this opportunity by the horns and come back to Australia stomping."

Cyclingnews caught up with CMGR team owner Leigh Parsons, who is currently in France, to talk about his expectations for Johnson and Restall with NCCH and ultimately CMGR.

"Jacob and Shannon will have a rigorous race program that they just can't get here in June/July," said Parsons. "Jacob's string of good results [a win and a second] shows that he has form to compete. We think that Shannon's explosive sprint and the style of racing that is coming up will suit him and therefore we hope to see him on the podium as well.

"Shannon, he will be our go to sprinter for the Tour of the Murray and this opportunity is the best way to see him primed and ready."

Corset 'tries' to stay in race shape during NRS mid-season break
Former women's NRS champion and current individual leader Ruth Corset (Holden Women's Cycling Team) has been mixing things up a bit during the current NRS mid-season break over the Australian winter.

Fresh off a first place finish at the 70-kilometre RRR (Rural, Rainforest and Reef) Mountain Bike Challenge at the Cairns Airport Adventure Festival in early June, the triathlete-turned-champion cyclist now has her sights set on the upcoming Saunders Beach Triathlon in her native Townsville. Serving as the Sue Bell Memorial and the second round in the TQ North Queensland Tri Series, the race consists of a 1km swim, 30km bike and 8km run.

"I've only been swimming and running for 3 weeks so I'm not expecting too much," Corset told Cyclingnews. "But since my results [will probably] make next week's NRS Shorts on Cyclingnews the pressure is on!"

Corset, who recently turned 37, began her triathlon career at age 19, and even cracked the top 10 at Noosa in 1998 before turning her attention toward professional cycling and an eventual NRS championship and Commonwealth Games appearance in 2010.

With 39 points, Corset holds a narrow two-point lead in the overall NRS standings over Lizzie Williams (Specialized-Securitor) and four points over Tessa Fabry (Jayco/Apollo/VIS) with the series scheduled to resume with the Tour of Murray in August.

Get to know Brenden Canty
The – Search2Retain cycling team have several impressive riders on its roster who regularly feature at the pointy end of NRS events. At the Tour of Toowoomba, it was Brendan Canty's turn to shine with third place on the queen stage behind the stage and overall winner Jack Haig and NRS leader Joe Cooper (Avanti Racing Team). Canty finished the race in fourth overall.

A somewhat late entrant to the world of racing having focused on getting his Bachelor of Commerce, Canty's climbing has been getting a fair bit attention since his elevation to the NRS in 2014 so his answer when questioned what animal he'd like to be, is no surprise.

"I'd like to be a mountain goat," Canty answered on his teams Facebook page. "I'm envious of their capabilities to get up the steepest of inclines, and I'd like to know why they do it. It's really impressive."

And what is his favourite piece of technology? "I really do love my power-meter. There's nothing quite like competing in a really hard race and then going home to upload the data," Canty said.

"Most of the time it gives me quantifiable measures that justify why I'm in so much pain during the race. Other times it just makes me sad…"

NRS rumours: unpaid riders?
In 2013, the South-Australian Euride Racing team were a regular winner on the NRS circuit with the likes of Alex Edmondson, Robert-Jon McCarthy, Harry Carpenter and Miles Scotson all on the team's books. In 2013, the team had a connection to the South Australian Institute of Sport with Euride providing the financial backing; but this year, there is no connection to the Adelaide bicycle store who ended its association with the team. 

You can read a team feature on the 2014 SASI team to find out what's different in 2014.

This week, there are suggestions that the former title sponsor owes its former riders $30,000 in unpaid prize money while staff are also yet to be paid in full for their services.

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for more details on the financial state of the NRS but until then, catch up on the financial challenges associated with domestic calendar.

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