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Australian Road Championships: Kelland O'Brien wins U23 men's criterium

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O'Brien celebrates

O'Brien celebrates (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)
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O'Brien on the podium

O'Brien on the podium (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)
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O'Brien concentrating in the wet conditions

O'Brien concentrating in the wet conditions (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)
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O'Brien at the finish

O'Brien at the finish (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)
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The course was treacherous in the wet

The course was treacherous in the wet (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)
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O'Brien punches the air in celebration

O'Brien punches the air in celebration (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)
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The significance kicks in

The significance kicks in (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)
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An emotional win for O'Brien

An emotional win for O'Brien (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)
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The podium

The podium (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)

St Kilda Cycling Club's Kelland O'Brien went one better than in 2019 to win the 2020 under-23 men's criterium title at the Australian Road Championships in Ballarat on Friday afternoon, beating Conor Leahy (InForm TM Insight Make) and Matthew Rice (ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast).

Terrible weather greeted the riders in all criterium categories at the championships, and although a crash on the first lap of the 30-lap U23 race in the wet and windy conditions was seemingly shaken off by all those involved, the weather later began to take its toll as riders were shelled out of the back, and left to watch the rest of the action in some warm, dry clothes, with only 20 riders out of 53 starters finishing the event.

Leahy was particularly active in the closing stages of the race, finding his way into multiple breakaways and helping force what was the decisive move of three. Although the InForm TM Insight Make rider was able to get the better of 2018 junior criterium bronze medallist Rice in the final sprint, there was nothing he could do to outpace delighted new U23 criterium champion O'Brien.

"This means a lot to me, this event is super special. Coming second last year after taking a lap was hard to take on the chin. Then I took second again in the time trial on Wednesday, I was so hungry for this today," O'Brien said.

"The weather was interesting, the rain made it hard but I was so happy to take the win. Making my move was hard, but when Jensen Plowright went halfway into the race I had a carrot and I looked behind me and had a bit of a gap and thought it was the perfect time, luckily it paid off. I still don't really believe it. It is a national title. It is super special."

Full results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kelland O'Brien (Aus) St Kilda Cycling Club 48:43:00
2Conor Leahy (Aus) InForm TM Insight Make
3Matthew Rice (Aus) ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
4Cameron Scott (Aus) 0:00:09
5Taj Jones (Aus) ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:00:12
6Godfrey Slattery (Aus) InForm TM Insight Make
7Zack Gilmore (Aus) ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
8Graeme Frislie (Aus) Subaru-Giant
9Dylan Hopkins (Aus) Ljubljana Gusto Santic
10Jensen Plowright (Aus) Team BridgeLane 0:00:15
11Will Moloney-Morton (Aus) InForm TM Insight Make
12Callum Pearce (Aus) Oliver's Real Food Racing
13Michael Harris (Aus) Avantias Pro Cycling
14Jarrad Drizners (Aus) Hagens Berman Axeon
15Daniel Simpson (Aus) Team CCS Canberra Men
16Liam Walsh (Aus) Futuro Pro Racing
17Bill Simpson (Aus) Subaru-Giant
18Tom Benton (Aus) InForm TM Insight Make 0:00:19
19Kurt Eather (Aus) Rauland Development Team 0:00:30
20Benjamin Metcalfe (Aus) Team BridgeLane 0:01:34
DNFJoshua Duffy (Aus) InForm TM Insight Make
DNFDavid Williams (Aus) InForm TM Insight Make
DNFJarrod Williams (Aus) Avantias Pro Cycling
DNFLuke Ensor (Aus) Avantias Pro Cycling
DNFSteven Roberts (Aus) Avantias Pro Cycling
DNFTristan Saunders (Aus) Butterfields Appselec p/b Van Dam Racing
DNFBenjamin Spenceley (Aus) GPM-Stulz
DNFThomas Bolton (Aus) Oliver's Real Food Racing
DNFKai Chapman (Aus) Oliver's Real Food Racing
DNFFintan Conway (Aus) Oliver's Real Food Racing
DNFAmarni Drake (Aus) ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
DNFLuke Britten (Aus) Rauland Development Team
DNFTom McFarlane (Aus) Subaru-Giant
DNFMatthew Dinham (Aus) Team BridgeLane
DNFMackenzie Edwardson (Aus) Team CCS Canberra Men
DNFJordan Schmidt (Aus) X Speed United
DNFJames Thomas (Aus) Bundaberg Cycling Club
DNFCalan White (Aus) Balmoral Cycling Club
DNFRohan Haydon-Smith (Aus) St George Cycling Club
DNFDeclan Prosser (Aus) Canberra Cycling Club
DNFLuke Wight (Aus) Midland Cycle Club
DNFBryce Lanigan (Aus) South West Cycling Club
DNFFinley Moutter (Aus) Avantias Pro Cycling
DNFTom Sharp (Aus) Albury Wodonga Panthers Cycling Club
DNFKael Thomas (Aus) Norwood Cycling Club
DNFBrent Rees (Aus)Inverell Cycle Club)
DNFJames Moriarty (Aus) Balmoral Cycling Club
DNFConnor McNally (Aus) St Kilda Cycling Club
DNFAidan Hill (Aus) Griffith Cycling Club
DNFTravis O'Brien (Aus) Ballarat Sebastapol Cycling Club
DNFTom Lynch (Aus) St George Cycling Club
DNFSamual Eddy (Aus) Bendigo & District CC
DNFDaniel Gandy (Aus) St George Cycling Club
DNSBentley Niquet-Olden (Aus) Nero Continental
DNSMyles Stewart (Aus) Nero Continental
DNSSebastian Barrett (Aus) ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
DNSAlastair Christie-Johnston (Aus) Team BridgeLane
DNSTyler Lindorff (Aus) Team BridgeLane
DNSSamuel Munday (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk Pro Cycling
DNSChase Costello-Manning (Aus) Veris Racing
DNSCameron Wright (Aus) Balmoral Cycling Club
DNSJames Farley (Aus) Hunter Districts Cycling Club
DNSIsaac Buckell (Aus) Bendigo & District CC

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