Last March, Sean Lake did the double at the Oceania Championships and is again aiming for dual success in 2017. The IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness rider had a disappointing ride at the national time trial titles in January but comes into the event confident in the changes he's since made.
"Things have continued to move forward in the last training block and I am feeling really good about what performance I can put in for this time trial," Lake told Cyclingnews from Canberra ahead of the 41km test against the clock. "I have gone back to the same position at last year's Oceania's after not quite getting it right at nationals and it feels a lot better. I hadn't quite got my power up to the level I wanted and thought I was at nationals after losing a lot of weight. I think it is now and some results might start to come."
Lake, 25, has had a slower start to 2017 than last season to ensure he is feeling fresh and full of confidence after claiming the first general classification victory of his young career. The former rower won the opening time trial at the Victorian Road Series Tour of East Gippsland stage race last month.
The Oceanias are being held in Canberra for 2017 and with the change to a lumpier parcours than last year's course in Bendigo, Lake anticipates a tough challenge to defend his blue and white jersey.
"Joe is always a definite challenge in any TT and he can definitely go well," he said of teammate and NZ road champion Joe Coper. "On a hilly course, Ben Dyball I believe will hard to beat. Especially after the good time trial he did at nationals. The other one which will be interesting to see will be Hamish Bond, the Kiwi rower. We know he has a huge engine and if he can go fast then he'll be one to watch."
Having started to carve out a niche as a time trialist, Lake has also shown his capabilities on the road with back-to-back Grafton to Inverall wins and his Oceania win last year. However, Lake is looking to ticking the time trial goal before turning his attention to Saturday's 154km road race which IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness will start with several cards to play.
"Both are super important to me but I suppose you can prepare a lot more specifically for a time trial than you can for a road race," he said of his two titles. "And a lot more things can happen in a road race. For the time trial, you have to put in the work and make sure everything is where it needs to be and that is what I have done in the past and it has given me good road race form. I have done a similar prep to last year and focused my training around the TT but I think that still holds me in good stead for the road race."
Jason Lea, Neil Van der Ploeg, Sam Chrome, Pat Lane, Jeremy Cameron and Cooper will line out with Lake for the road race with the team also aiming to secure a fourth year in successive it has topped the Oceania Tour rankings.