Long range solo effort from Bobridge secures second Australian road title

A 90km solo breakaway from Jack Bobridge on a hot summer’s afternoon saw the 26-year-old start his career with Trek-Segafredo in the best way possible, taking his second Australian national title 2:52 minutes ahead of Cam Meyer (Dimension Data). Bobridge was part of the 21-rider breakaway which formed on lap two of 18, attacking on lap seven with Bernie Sulzberger (Drapac) who he then rode away from on lap 10 with 90km to race.

"In the back of my mind, it thought Rohan and Richie would probably be a bit too strong to go with at the finish but when I saw that big group go at the start, 20 guys that had a lot of teams represented, I put myself there," Bobridge said his move. "I guess I got away with Bernie and he was umming and ahhing whether to stay there or not. At that point in time, if I was to go back I've spent too much energy already so I am not going to win the bike race anyway. I got myself into a good rhythm. I guess that time gap I got with nine minutes was enough to start the descent as they were starting the climb."

Bobridge started the final lap with a five minute lead over Cam Meyer with Rohan Dennis (BMC) and Pat Lane (Avanti) a further minute back. Dennis wouldn't finish the race leaving Meyer and Lane to race for the minor positions while Bobridge enjoyed the final kilometre as he collected his second title having also soloed to victory in 2011.

"I wanted redemption after Thursday," he said of the time trial in which he was tenth. "To be honest, I trained more than ever before for the time trial on Thursday but it just didn’t go my way. I had one of them days when the body just didn’t want to work. Everyone has them days but I was pretty annoyed with Thursday. At the end of the day winning the road race is probably better than winning the time trial because I get to wear the jersey more often.

"I honestly didn’t think going that far from home I’d be able to hold on on this course. This course is brutal, the time gaps stayed the same and even went out a little bit so probably four, five laps from home I could probably do this if I keep riding smart."

Once it became clear Bobridge was not going to blow up and return to the field as anticipated by an underestimating peloton, the reaction was led by Orica-GreenEdge from lap 11. With little change to the race situation, a Dennis initiated move with 30km saw him and Meyer go clear all but ending Orica-GreenEdge's chances for a medal who saw Caleb Ewan pull out of the race.

Meyer was the only rider who could possibly challenge Bobridge for the win on the final lap but admitted the gap was too large to make up considering the heat and hard racing of the day.

"I’d always gone well around here but it was the situation of being in a big team like Orica so I wanted to start the season strong, obviously moving teams is a little bit of motivation and you want to prove it was a good choice and I came out today and showed I had good legs. It’s a good start for me. "

With Dennis ending his race early, Lane held on for bronze to continue Avanti's good showing at the championships while Nathan Haas also started his Dimension Data career well with fourth, winning the bunch sprint for fourth. Simon Gerrans was Orica-GreenEdge's sole finisher in sixth on a day that saw just 15 riders complete the 183.2km race.


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The preamble

The peloton was content to roll around for the first lap all together but once the pleasantries had been exchanged, the first move of the day saw Bernie Sulzberger, Josh Taylor, Sam Crome, Fergus Sully, Dan Bonello, Peter Milostic, Jack Bobridge, Tim Roe, Mark Renshaw, Alistair Crameri, Mitch Docker, Ben Hill, Michael Hepburn, Wes Sulzberger, Rhys Gillett and Peter Casey and late joiners Jayden Copp and Nathan Elliot surge clear. They extracted two minutes from the peloton on lap 2 and continued building a lead

A chase group of David Evans, Chris Tassell, Shaun O'Callaghan and Leo Simmonds came though for the start of lap 3 just over one minute down on the breakaway with the peloton a further two minutes in arrears.

The peloton decided it was happy with the composition of the breakaway and let the gap gradually grow out to over seven minutes with 50km covered.

On lap seven as the breakaway started the Midland Highway climb, Bobridge and Bernie Sulzberger attacked off the front to gain a quick 20 second advantage. The move shelled several riders from the breakaway that had extended its lead over the peloton to over eight minutes. While a broken spoke halted Wes Sulzberger, brother Bernie and Bobridge continued to increase their lead that had stretched out to over nine minutes by lap eight.

As the race dipped under 100km, the chase group behind the two leaders consisted of Gillet, Taylor, Hepburn, Milostic, Cromer, Docker, Lake and Roe with Luke Parker in-between. As the gap grew out to just under 10 minutes, Alex Edmondson and Jack Haig took up responsibility in the peloton. Up ahead, Bobridge and Bernie Sulzberger had 2:20 minutes over Parker and 3:13 minutes over Hepburn, and Lake with Milostic, Roe, Crome and Taylor at 3:25 minutes.

Onto the climb for lap 10 with 90km to race, Bobridge decided to go alone on his race-winning move. Orica-GreenEdge responded by sending Durbridge up the road to link up with Docker on lap 10 with the peloton down to less than 30 riders although both riders would drop back, along with Hepburn.

On the climb for lap 10, Porte decided to dish out some hurt and further thin the peloton having seen Bobridge extend his lead over the chasers nine minutes prior.

For lap 11, GreenEdge came through the start/finish line with seven riders leading the peloton as Ewan called it a day, followed by Edmondson. 10.2km later and Orica-GreenEdge again led with Bobridge holding a four-minute advantage over Sulzberger, Lake, Parker and Roe at 7:37 minutes and the peloton at 9:07 minutes.

GreenEdge continued to use its numbers to try and bring Bobridge within reach as Porte decided to call it a day. By lap 13, Bobridge had seven minutes over Sulzberger with the peloton, holding around the nine-minute mark, looking to be gambling that it would only be a matter of time before Bobridge cracked.

When the peloton came through to start lap 14, the gap was 8:30 minutes with Drapac moving forward to contribute to the chase. Bobridge’s 14th lap was 14:58 minutes, his fastest of the race, as the peloton managed to shave off just over 10 seconds with 20 riders left in contention. On lap 15 Dennis decided to up the tempo which saw Gerrans temporarily isolated and then 30km to race, it was Dennis chasing Bobridge with Lane making contact on the back half of the course. Durbridge brought the remaining riders across with Gerrans who then tried an attack of his own

Following a game of cat and mouse that further disrupted the chase of Bobridge, Meyer jumped out of the group with 28km to race with Dennis then joining him as the duo went through for the third last lap 6:55 minutes down on Bobridge with the Gerrans group at 7:36 minutes. At the top of the climb, Bobridge had 6:37 minutes over the chasers.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jack Bobridge (Sa)4:40:30
2Cameron Meyer (Aus)0:02:52
3Patrick Lane (Vic)0:03:53
4Nathan Haas (Act)0:04:56
5Jay McCarthy (Qld)
6Simon Gerrans (Aus)
7Samuel Spokes (Nsw)
8Robbie Hucker (Vic)
9Patrick Shaw (Vic)
10Matthew Clark (Vic)
11Brendan Canty (Vic)
12Mark O'Brien (Vic)0:05:02
13Ben Dyball (Nsw)0:09:18
14Timothy Roe (Sa)
15Jonathan Clarke (Aus)
DNFRichie Porte (Tas)
DNFRohan Dennis (Sa)
DNFCaleb Ewan (Nsw)
DNFSimon Clarke (Aus)
DNFAdam Hansen (Qld)
DNFNeil Van Der Ploeg (Vic)
DNFLuke Durbridge (Aus)
DNFTravis Meyer (Wa)
DNFLachlan Norris (Vic)
DNFDamien Howson (Aus)
DNFMitchell Docker (Aus)
DNFNathan Earle (Tas)
DNFJack Haig (Vic)
DNFAlexander Edmondson (Sa)
DNFMathew Hayman (Aus)
DNFLeigh Howard (Aus)
DNFMark Renshaw (Nsw)
DNFJordan Kerby (Qld)
DNFBrenton Jones (Vic)
DNFAdam Phelan (Act)
DNFWilliam Clarke (Tas)
DNFBernard Sulzberger (Tas)
DNFGraeme Brown (Wa)
DNFSteele Von Hoff (Vic)
DNFGlenn O'Shea (Sa)
DNFSam Crome (Vic)
DNFMitchell Lovelock-Fay (Act)
DNFSean Lake (Vic)
DNFAnthony Giacoppo (Wa)
DNFLuke Parker (Vic)
DNFAlex Wohler (Qld)
DNFJoshua Taylor (Nsw)
DNFTom Robinson (Tas)
DNFJayden Copp (Qld)
DNFAlexander Smyth (Vic)
DNFSamuel Volkers (Qld)
DNFCraig Evers (Nsw)
DNFSaxon Irvine (Nsw)
DNFTim Guy (Nsw)
DNFBenjamin Hill (Act)
DNFCameron Bayly (Sa)
DNFJay Dutton (Nsw)
DNFNicholas Woods (Qld)
DNFBrodie Talbot (Nsw)
DNFStuart Wilkins (Qld)
DNFDavid Evans (Nsw)
DNFPaul Andrews (Qld)
DNFZeth Romanis (Vic)
DNFJeremy Gillman-Wells (Act)
DNFPeter Casey (Vic)
DNFAllan Iacuone (Vic)
DNFPeter Milostic (Nsw)
DNFStuart Shaw (Act)
DNFNathan White (Qld)
DNFLeo Simmonds (Sa)
DNFJoel Strachan (Vic)
DNFTim Canny (Vic)
DNFRowan Dever (Vic)
DNFJai Crawford (Aus)
DNFNick Bensley (Vic)
DNFChris Winn (Vic)
DNFFrederick Bonail (Sa)
DNFChristopher Tassell (Vic)
DNFWesley Sulzberger (Tas)
DNFJay Callaghan (Qld)
DNFTroy Herfoss (Nsw)
DNFChris Barlin (Nsw)
DNFSteven Cusworth (Vic)
DNFJesse Featonby (Vic)
DNFCallum O'sullivan (Qld)
DNFScott Sunderland (Wa)
DNFSam Tregoweth (Sa)
DNFChristopher Boogert (Nsw)
DNFTravis Frisby (Sa)
DNFSam Evans (Vic)
DNFDale Scarfe (Vic)
DNFEmmanuel Blanco (Vic)
DNFKane Walker (Vic)
DNFAllan Satchell (Vic)
DNFRhys Gillett (Vic)
DNFKieran Paton (Vic)
DNFDanny Pulbrook (Tas)
DNFNathan Elliott (Vic)
DNFAaron Watts (Nsw)
DNFMitchell Mulhern (Qld)
DNFStuart Smith (Vic)
DNFTimothy Cameron (Nsw)
DNFJoshua Prete (Qld)
DNFCraig Hutton (Nsw)
DNFCameron Ivory (Nsw)
DNFJeremy Mcinnes (Vic)
DNFThomas Coates (Qld)
DNFAshleigh Key (Vic)
DNFFergus Sully (Vic)
DNFTyler Spurrell (Vic)
DNFIvan Michelin-Beard (Act)
DNFTodd Satchell (Vic)
DNFJeremy Cameron (Vic)
DNFLeslie Masters (Qld)
DNFBen Marshall (Act)
DNFTrevor Spencer (Vic)
DNFAlistair Crameri (Vic)
DNFShaun O'Callaghan (Vic)
DNFSebastian Jayne (Vic)
DNFDarcy Woolley (Vic)
DNFJames Cummings (Vic)
DNFLiam Hill (Vic)
DNFMitch Neumann (Qld)
DNFMarcus Culey (Nsw)
DNFMichael Hepburn (Qld)
DNFDaniel Bonello (Nsw)
DNFTom Leaper (Vic)
DNSJustin Tomlinson (Nsw)
DNSJack Lindsay (Act)
DNSKyle Ward (Nsw)
DNSNed Volk (Vic)
DNSDave Manton (Nsw)

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