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Grenda grabs U23 championship

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A Mars a day: Ben Grenda (Genesys Wealth Advisers) with his spoils on the podium

A Mars a day: Ben Grenda (Genesys Wealth Advisers) with his spoils on the podium
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Ben Grenda (left) of Tasmania charges to victory in the mens' under 23 national criterium championship in Ballarat.

Ben Grenda (left) of Tasmania charges to victory in the mens' under 23 national criterium championship in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Phil Liggett was enjoying the racing and scenery from high on the balcony of one of the local hotels situated around the course.

Phil Liggett was enjoying the racing and scenery from high on the balcony of one of the local hotels situated around the course.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Luke Durbridge (Jayco/AIS) from Western Australia attacked the field and rode solo for several laps in an attempt to steal the win.

Luke Durbridge (Jayco/AIS) from Western Australia attacked the field and rode solo for several laps in an attempt to steal the win.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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A section of the great crowd that turned out to witness the criterium championships on the streets of Ballarat in Victoria.

A section of the great crowd that turned out to witness the criterium championships on the streets of Ballarat in Victoria.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Nathan Haas (Genesys Wealth Advisers) from the Australian Capital Territory leads the peloton out of the home straight.

Nathan Haas (Genesys Wealth Advisers) from the Australian Capital Territory leads the peloton out of the home straight.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Angus Tobin from New South Wales in action during the mens' under 23 criterium.

Angus Tobin from New South Wales in action during the mens' under 23 criterium.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Brenton Jones from Victoria is a mountain biker making a sound transition to the road and will be looking for a spot on the national road series in 2011.

Brenton Jones from Victoria is a mountain biker making a sound transition to the road and will be looking for a spot on the national road series in 2011.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Lachlan Morton from New South Wales corners at the top of Sturt Street in Ballarat.

Lachlan Morton from New South Wales corners at the top of Sturt Street in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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The field set off in the Men's Under 23 National Criterium Championship in Ballarat.

The field set off in the Men's Under 23 National Criterium Championship in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Mens' Under 23 podium (l-r): Richard Lang (2nd,Jayco/AIS), Ben Grenda (1st,Genesys Wealth Advisers), and Thomas Palmer (3rd,Drapac Porsche).

Mens' Under 23 podium (l-r): Richard Lang (2nd,Jayco/AIS), Ben Grenda (1st,Genesys Wealth Advisers), and Thomas Palmer (3rd,Drapac Porsche).
(Image credit: Shane Goss)
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Luke Durbridge (Jayco/AIS) was awarded the Mars Sprint Champion of the race.

Luke Durbridge (Jayco/AIS) was awarded the Mars Sprint Champion of the race.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)

Tasmanian Ben Grenda stormed to victory in the U23 national criterium championship in Ballarat this evening. The 20-year-old Genesys Wealth Advisers rider proved too fast for Richard Lang (Jayco AIS) and Tom Palmer (Drapac Porsche).

"I'm really happy," Grenda said after the race. "This is the biggest win in my career. I have always wanted to win a national jersey and it feels good."

The pace was brutal early and halfway during the race Luke Durbridge (Jayco AIS) launched a solo attack and held that advantage for 14 laps. Riders tried to bridge across, but the silver medalist at the U23 time trial world championships last year was too strong, holding an advantage of approximately 14 seconds over the peloton.

With three laps to go, the peloton started to reel in the West Australian and Tom Palmer burst out of the peloton to get across to Luke in the final two laps. The duo were caught on the last lap and despite a late attack by Lachlan Norton, it was Grenda who reigned supreme in the bunch sprint.

Grenda legacy continues

Ben Grenda hails from a successful cycling family. His great-great uncle Alf was a world champion, his grandfather Ron was an Australian champion and his father Michael was an Olympic gold medalist in 1984.

"I have big shoes to fill when you look at their results," Grenda said. "My grandfather and sister actually came up a few days ago to watch me race. It was cool having them here."

Grenda will be heading off to join Belgium amateur team Rock Werchter-Mechelen in two weeks and is thrilled to head over with the national jersey.

"It will be special taking the national jersey over. I've been with Genesys for the last few years and they have treated me well and I'm looking forward to the next step in my career," he said.

Jayco AIS controlled the race and Lang was happy with his second place.

"We had Luke Durbridge off the front forcing other teams to chase. The whole Jayco AIS team were trying to control the race and made it as aggressive as possible. When it came to the end I placed myself a little too far back and Grenda was the fastest man on the day," Lang said.

Tom Palmer was pleased with his third place and will now focus his attention to the road race on Saturday.

"Today was the first day in the last few days that I have really been able to open the legs up properly. That's a big positive and I'll take that going into Saturday. It was a classy field and I'm happy with third. Full credit to Grenda, he really took it up to the AIS boys."

Durbridge's solo move rewarded him with the sprint jersey, but the 19-year-old was glad to test the legs ahead of his major goal - the time trial on Tuesday.

"It was good to test my legs after having six weeks off after the Commonwealth Games where I had varicose veins removed. Hopefully I can have a good race on Saturday and then another on Tuesday."

Full Results
1Ben Grenda (TAS)
2Richard Lang (NSW)
3Thomas Palmer (ACT)
4Phillip Grenfell (NSW)
5Benjamin Hill (ACT)
6Ryan MacAnally (QLD)
7Luke Durbridge (WA)
8Aaron Donnelly (NSW)
9Mitchell Codner (NSW)
10Scott McPhee (SA)
11Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ACT)
12Lachlan Morton (NSW)
13Matthew Benson (SA)
14Alex Carver (NSW)
15Clay Murfet (TAS)
16Adiq Othman (MAS)
17Danny Pulbrook (TAS)
18Joshua Taylor (NSW)
19James Herd (VIC)
20Geoff Straub (NSW)
21Angus Tobin (NSW)
22Craig Hutton (NSW)
23Sam Davis (WA)
24Alex Wohler (QLD)
25Mitchell Mullhern (QLD)
26Malcolm Rudolph (QLD)
27Peter Braunsteins (VIC)
28Brenton Jones (VIC)
29Blair Windsor (NSW)
30Jordan Kerby (QLD)
31Damien Howson (SA)
32Oliver Kent-Spark (VIC)
33Dylan Wallis (SA)
34Jay McCarthy (QLD)
35Stephen Hall (WA)
36Scott Law (NSW)
DNFScott Cronly-Dillon (NSW)
DNFNathan Haas (ACT)
DNFSamuel Spokes (NSW)
DNFBrendan J Cole (NSW)
DNFShannon O'Brien (VIC)
DNFBenjamin Duncan (QLD)
DNFJames Boal (VIC)
DNFDaniel O'Keefe (NSW)
DNFDavid Abraham (TAS)
DNFStephen Bomball (ACT)
DNFMitch Brogden (VIC)
DNFJames Crafter (VIC)
DNFCallum Fagg (TAS)
DNFJames Hepburn (QLD)
DNFChristopher Jehu (VIC)
DNFThomas Koep (GER)
DNFJamie Lacey (QLD)
DNFAlastair Loutit (ACT)
DNFJames Mowatt (VIC)
DNFMichael Phelan (ACT)
DNFDale Scarfe (NSW)
DNFJoel Stearnes (TAS)
DNFMatthew Williams (QLD)
DNFPatrick Drapac (VIC)
DNFMichael Hepburn (QLD)
DNFMichael Freiberg (WA)
DNFKane Walker (VIC)
DNFCampbell Flakemore (TAS)
DNFJoel Finucane (ACT)
DNFBrian Mcleod (QLD)
DNSRohan Dennis (SA)
DNSAdam Phelan (ACT)
DNSMichael Baker (ACT)
DNSFergus MacLachlan (VIC)
DNSCameron Ivory (NSW)
DNSChristopher Pescott (VIC)
DNSHarry Rassie (VIC)
DNSPatrick Lane (VIC)
DNSPeter Loft (TAS)

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