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Cantwell strikes for Pegasus

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Jonathan Cantwell in his Australian national criterium champion's jersey

Jonathan Cantwell in his Australian national criterium champion's jersey
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Ouch: Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) was looking good for a podium finish until he kissed the bitumen in Ballarat.

Ouch: Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) was looking good for a podium finish until he kissed the bitumen in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Down and out: Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) hit the road hard in the sprint to the line in the mens' elite race.

Down and out: Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) hit the road hard in the sprint to the line in the mens' elite race.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) hits the road while Stuart Shaw (right) of Drapac Porsche did well to avoid him and make it onto the podium.

Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) hits the road while Stuart Shaw (right) of Drapac Porsche did well to avoid him and make it onto the podium.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Jonathan Cantwell (far right) powers to the line as Joel Pearson continues his wrestle with the bitumen as riders charge to the finish.

Jonathan Cantwell (far right) powers to the line as Joel Pearson continues his wrestle with the bitumen as riders charge to the finish.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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(l-r): Jonathan Cantwell, Anthony Giacoppo and Stuart Shaw fight out the honours in the mens' elite criterium championship.

(l-r): Jonathan Cantwell, Anthony Giacoppo and Stuart Shaw fight out the honours in the mens' elite criterium championship.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Men's elite podium (l-r): Anthony Giacoppo (2nd), Jonathan Cantwell (1st), and Stuart Shaw (3rd) on the podium in Ballarat.

Men's elite podium (l-r): Anthony Giacoppo (2nd), Jonathan Cantwell (1st), and Stuart Shaw (3rd) on the podium in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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The field in the mens' elite race speed past one of the local hotels in Sturt Street Ballarat which was pumping with spectators on a hot night of racing.

The field in the mens' elite race speed past one of the local hotels in Sturt Street Ballarat which was pumping with spectators on a hot night of racing.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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A good crowd had gathered for the podium presentations to the mens' elite criterium.

A good crowd had gathered for the podium presentations to the mens' elite criterium.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) crashes just metres before the finish-line in Ballarat.

Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) crashes just metres before the finish-line in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) crashes out of the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.

Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) crashes out of the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Robbie McEwen (centre) riding in his new Radio Shack team outfit during the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.

Robbie McEwen (centre) riding in his new Radio Shack team outfit during the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Cameron Meyer (Garmin Transitions) from Western Australia corners at the top of the straight in Ballarat.

Cameron Meyer (Garmin Transitions) from Western Australia corners at the top of the straight in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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The peloton in the mens' elite field make their way up the home straight in Ballarat.

The peloton in the mens' elite field make their way up the home straight in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Chris Jongewaard from South Australia leans into the top-end bend in the mens' elite race.

Chris Jongewaard from South Australia leans into the top-end bend in the mens' elite race.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Robbie McEwen (Radio Shack) originally from Queensland in action during the mens' elite criterium.

Robbie McEwen (Radio Shack) originally from Queensland in action during the mens' elite criterium.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Eventual winner Jonathan Cantwell from Queensland in the peloton near the half-way mark of the race.

Eventual winner Jonathan Cantwell from Queensland in the peloton near the half-way mark of the race.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Dean Windsor (right) of the Rapha Condor team in the thick of it during the mens' elite criterium

Dean Windsor (right) of the Rapha Condor team in the thick of it during the mens' elite criterium
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Cameron Meyer (Garmin Transitions) leans into a bend during the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.

Cameron Meyer (Garmin Transitions) leans into a bend during the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Cameron Peterson (Fly V Australia) from New South Wales in action during the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.

Cameron Peterson (Fly V Australia) from New South Wales in action during the mens' elite criterium in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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The peloton head up the home straight in the final laps of the 44 kilometre mens' elite criterium championship.

The peloton head up the home straight in the final laps of the 44 kilometre mens' elite criterium championship.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Media interview mens' elite criterium winner Jonathan Cantwell well after the race's completion and packing up had begun in Ballarat.

Media interview mens' elite criterium winner Jonathan Cantwell well after the race's completion and packing up had begun in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)

Jonathan Cantwell has given the troubled Pegasus Sports team a boost by winning in the Australian national criterium championships. The twenty-eight year old was too fast for Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers) and Stuart Shaw (Drapac Porsche) in a sprint finish.

"To come away with the jersey is something I will cherish forever," a happy Cantwell said after the race. "I had a handful of guys looking after me today and they did such a fantastic job.”

"This is super important. It's been a rollercoaster month for myself and Pegasus. Fingers crossed we get some good news after we have the national criterium champion within Pegasus. I have been with Pegasus for three years and hopefully we’ll get a Continental licence to keep the boat afloat."

The speed was high and the pressure was on from the outset of the 33km criterium, with the peloton not letting anyone go clear early on. A quarter of the way into the race, Lachlan Norris (Drapac Porsche) and Nicholas Walker (Jayco VIS) made a break, with the duo enjoyed six laps out in front and opening a 30-second gap. Robbie McEwen was driving hard at the front of the peloton to bring the move back but Walker was persistent, attacking at any available opportunity.

More riders tried to break away in the last half of the race but each move was unsuccessful. David Pell (Drapac) attacked with six laps to go building a slight advantage. But with Pegasus driving the peloton with six riders, his move was always going to be short lived. Ben Day did a tremendous job for the team and with three laps to go, Pegasus were in control.

With two laps to go, Travis Meyer attacked, trying to break up the race. His move was unsuccessful but when he was brought back into the peloton near the end of the second lap, his brother Cameron had a try. Steele Von Hoff (Genesys Wealth Advisers) went with Cameron but Pegasus were determined to get the win and again brought the move back.

In the final three hundred metres, Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) was being led out by his teammate Anthony Giocoppo but clipped his wheel and hit the deck. That disrupted the others at the back but Cantwell benefited from a terrific lead out, storming to the line to grab a brilliant win.

"It was a very aggressive race. I raced on New Years day and at the Bay Series and this is my sixth race in the row. I will now have a rest for a couple of days and step into the road race on Sunday," Cantwell said.

Cantwell praised his team-mates after they buried themselves for him.

"Our objective was to ride for me. I can't thank them enough. It means the world to me. I'm going to have it on my wall forever and every time I look at it I'm going to think of the guys that worked their heart out for me. I'm forever in their debt, Bernie Sulzberger and Aaron Kemps in particular. The guys have been riding for me and united as a team for three years now. To keep the jersey in the team for another year is great for us and the sponsors."

With the criterium jersey secured for another year, Pegasus will look towards the road race on Sunday with Bernie Sulzberger in terrific form.

"The team at the moment is fine. With the hiccups and the hurdles put in front of us it makes us hungrier to go out and get both jerseys,” Cantwell said. “Bernie Sulzberger in particular is going strong. He rode the Bay Series recently and he's in great form. I'm going to be forever in his debt and if I can do whatever I can to make him on win on Sunday then that's what I will do.”

Giacoppo and Shaw happy with medals

Twenty-four year old Anthony Giacoppo is a new Genesys recruit and to get second in his first outing in the team is a brilliant result.

"I'm stoked with this result. It's my first Nationals and to get silver was pretty good. I didn't think I was going to go well today. My role in the team was to lead Joel Pearson to the line but unfortunately he clipped my wheel and crashed and I managed to hold onto second. I guess the team will be pretty happy. Hopefully I get picked to do more races."

With Tom Palmer getting third place in the earlier race, Stuart Shaw's third place is a good sign that the Drapac Porsche team is on form and ready for the rest of the program.

"I'm pretty happy with how it worked out. Rhys did a fantastic job,” Shaw explained. “All our guys animated the race. I was happy to get up there and go well in the sprint. This is a good confidence booster for me.”

Drapac's major goal after the championships is the Tour of Langkawi and Shaw is confident the team is hitting form at the right time.

"We have some young talented guys, which is what our program is about. I will be trying to help guys like Tom Palmer and with the form I've got, I'm confident I'm going to help them. Langkawi is a high level race. I won the last stage there last year and I would like to go back there with form. It's a long tour, over 1300 kilometres. Mitch Docker led the race a few years ago and that helped him secure a contract with Skil Shimano so it's an important race for the team."

Nicholas Walker's attacking was rewarded with the sprinters jersey.

Full Results
1Jonathan Cantwell (QLD)
2Anthony Giacoppo (WA)
3Stuart Shaw (ACT)
4Rico Rogers (VIC)
5Bernard Sulzberger (TAS)
6Zakkari Dempster (VIC)
7Sam Rutherford (NSW)
8Cameron Meyer (WA)
9Fabio Calabria (VIC)
10Tommy Nankervis (VIC)
11Stuart Grimsey (VIC)
12Christopher Luxton (SA)
13Benjamin King (WA)
14Hayden Brooks (QLD)
15Chris Winn (VIC)
16Michael Cupitt (QLD)
17Alexander Malone (NSW)
18Samuel Witmitz (VIC)
19Chris Steffanoni (VIC)
20Nicholas Mitchell (VIC)
21Rhys Pollock (VIC)
22Alexander Smyth (VIC)
23Nick Walker (VIC)
24Lachlan Norris
25Luis Trueba (NSW)
26Steele Von Hoff (VIC)
27Michael Smith (TAS)
28Amir Rusli (MAS)
29Floris Goesinnen (NED)
30Jai Crawford (TAS)
31Johnnie Walker (VIC)
32Robbie McEwen (QLD)
33Dean Windsor (GBR)
34Brendan Brooks (QLD)
35Travis Meyer (WA)
36Chris Jongerwaard (SA)
37William Clarke (TAS)
38Aaron Kemps (QLD)
39Trent Lowe (VIC)
40Cameron Jennings (QLD)
41Lars Pria (ROM)
42Neil Van Der Ploeg (VIC)
DNFPatrick Shaw (VIC)
DNFDamien Turner (VIC)
DNFMatthew Bishop (VIC)
DNFMichael Bulters (ACT)
DNFBenjamin Cheney (NSW)
DNFGiuseppe Cirella (QLD)
DNFAndrew Crawley (NSW)
DNFAndrew Downie (VIC)
DNFCharles Howlett (TAS)
DNFCaleb Jones (NSW)
DNFBen Kersten (NSW)
DNFJake Magee (NSW)
DNFCameron Peterson (QLD)
DNFClarke Petrick (NT)
DNFJason Rigg (WA)
DNFTimothy Walker (TAS)
DNFAntony Dimitrovski (NSW)
DNFAndrew Herrmann (NSW)
DNFKyle Marwood (QLD)
DNFMichael McGee (SA)
DNFJonathan McLachlan (VIC)
DNFReece Treloar (VIC)
DNFAndrew Ward (VIC)
DNFMichael Ward (SA)
DNFRyan Obst (SA)
DNFJoel Pearson (NSW)
DNFDavid Pell (VIC)
DNFScott Townsend (VIC)
DNFDarren Lapthorne (VIC)
DNFBenjamin Day (QLD)
DNFKris Koke (NSW)
DNFMatthew Wood (QLD)
DNSAllan Davis (QLD)
DNSNathan Earle (TAS)
DNSMichael Fitzgerald (WA)
DNSKris Johnston (ACT)
DNSChris Jory (NSW)
DNSScott Law (NSW)

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