Mountain biker Cameron Ivory (St George Continental Cycling Team) triumphed in the battle for the elite men's criterium at Australia's Federation University Road National Championships, holding off the field with a late solo charge.
After a late break was caught, Ivory took the opportunity to take off alone just before the final lap. Flying through the corners at speed, the unexpected victor held off the pursuit, leaving enough time to sit up and look back as Alastair Christie-Johnston (Team BridgeLane) closed in to take second while Cameron Scott (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) came across the line in third.
"That was definitely unexpected," Ivory said in an interview on SBS immediately after the race.
"I came in here not really knowing how the form would be, I know that I've done heaps of training into this, in good form, just maybe lacking a bit of leg speed. I felt a little bit sluggish out there but at the end I had an opportunity to go.
"I've actually sort of played that last lap in my mind in the past and I thought if this happens maybe I'll just have a dig and next thing you know I'm finding myself in that situation. That last lap was just a blur for me, I couldn't believe it was happening."
It is not the first time Ivory has won a national title, it’s just that his previous ones have come in the discipline of mountain biking. Still he has come in close to the front at the criterium before, finishing just off the podium in 2019.
The elite men rode 40 laps of a 1.1km hot dog course, racing 44 kilometres in the heart of the Victorian city of Ballarat. It was the second of three elite men’s titles up for grabs, with Rohan Dennis (Jumbo-Visma) securing the time trial title on Wednesday and the men’s road race closing out the event on Sunday.
While Ivory may have been an unexpected winner in the criterium, the unpredictability of the racing wasn’t a surprise. Particularly with the normally dominant BikeExchange-Jayco ending up fielding just one rider, it always looked set to be an extremely open race.
In the initial stages there were plenty of attacks as individual riders and small groups tried to get away. As the race progressed Ben Carman (Nero Continental) and Jean-Pierre van der Merwe (Team BridgeLane) eventually pulled out a gap but the peloton turned up the pace and stretched the field, bringing the riders within reach with seven laps to go.
Then it was another mountain biker lighting up the race, with Brendan Johnston on the attack and dragging a break of seven out the front which held as the laps trickled down until there were just two to go.
When it too was swept up, the fatigue and splintered field presented an opportunity for Ivory, who had been leaping through the breaks and up to the front. He bravely decided it was time to go all in for the win as the count shifted down to one lap to go.
He managed to stay away and win alone, the chasers only managing to close the gap as he celebrated to appear in the winner's shot.
“Thankfully it paid off,” said Ivory.
“I kept glancing over my shoulder on that last lap down the descent thinking the bunch is about to come but I thankfully had a big enough gap.”
|Pos.||Rider Name (Team)||Result|
|1||Cameron Ivory (St George Continental Cycling Team)||1:01:03|
|2||Alastair Christie-Johnston (Team BridgeLane)||0:00:02|
|3||Cameron Scott (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast)|
|4||Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast)|
|5||Brenton Jones (Inform TMX Make)|
|6||Jacob Langham (VA Pro Racing)|
|7||Nick White (Team BridgeLane)|
|8||Nick Pedler (NCMG Criterion Racing)|
|10||Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental)|
|11||Liam White (Oliver's Real Food Racing)|
|12||Bentley Niquet-Olden (Oliver's Real Food Racing)|
|13||Brendon Green (Cycling Development Foundation)|
|14||Sam Jenner (Team BridgeLane)|
|15||Nick Spratt (Penrith Cycling Club)|
|17||Scott Reynolds (NCMG Criterion Racing)|
|18||Brodie Sims (Cycle House)|
|19||Aidan Buttigieg (Nero Continental)|
|20||Jason Thomason (Butterfields - Insurance Advisernet p/b van d'am Racing)|
|21||Jean-Pierre van der Merwe (Team BridgeLane)|
|22||Myles Stewart (Nero Continental)|
|23||James Whelan (Team BridgeLane)|
|24||Cyrus Monk (Cycle House)|
|25||Dylan Lindsey (NCMG Criterion Racing)|
|26||Ryan Cavanagh (Victoire Hiroshima)|
|27||Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast)|
|28||Jordan Villani (Victorian Institute of Sport)|
|29||Adam Blazevic (Giant Racing)|
|30||Tom Chapman (Team BridgeLane)|
|31||Tasman Nankervis (st George Continental Cycling Team)|
|33||Lucas Hoffman (Whyalla Cycling Club)|
|34||Tom Ovens (Geelong Cycling Club)|
|35||Ben Carman (Nero Continental)|
|36||Luke Burns (Inform TMX Make)|
|37||Callum Scotson (BikeExchange-Jayco)|
|38||Tom Chester (Team Rauland)|
|DNF||Thomas Clarke (Cycle House)|
|DNF||Jaxon King (Cycling Development Foundation)|
|DNF||Conor Leahy (Inform TMX Make)|
|DNF||Patrick Lane (Inform TMX Make)|
|DNF||Brandon Conway (NCMG Criterion Racing)|
|DNF||Hugo Thompson (NCMG Criterion Racing)|
|DNF||Karl Michelin-Beard (Oliver's Real Food Racing)|
|DNF||Kai Chapman (Oliver's Real Food Racing)|
|DNF||Callum Pearce (Onyva Racing)|
|DNF||Ben Spenceley (Team Rauland)|
|DNF||Sam Greenwood (Team Rauland)|
|DNF||Michael Harris (Armidale CC)|
|DNS||Cameron Meyer (BikeExchange-Jayco)|
|DNS||Drew Morey (Team BridgeLane)|
|DNS||Rylee Field (Team BridgeLane)|
|DNS||Brent Rees (Ncmg Criterion Racing)|
|DNS||Ben Hill (Canberra Cycling Club)|
|DNS||Dylan Sunderland (Global 6 Cycling)|
|DNS||Aston Freeth (SASI)|
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Latest on Cyclingnews
Giro, Tour, Vuelta: Who is riding which Grand Tour in 2022Tour de France still central to the season but the Giro offers a fascinating mountain battle while the Vuelta is a revenge match and chance for a double
Robbie McEwen dropped from SBS television commentary teamAustralian broadcaster tells Cyclingnews it is ‘exploring a different approach in 2022’
James Whelan fights for WorldTour return at Australian Road Nationals‘There is a reason why that wasn’t very painful. I was crazy motivated’ says Whelan after coming second with scorching solo
Nibali gets his wish to make Paris-Roubaix debutItalian has all five Monuments on his provisional 2022 calendar
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.