Australian Road Championships: Kaden Groves wins elite men's criterium

Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) finished off an aggressive 40 laps of racing for his Australian WorldTour team by taking the win from a break of three to secure the elite men’s criterium title at the 2021 Federation University Road National Championships.

Nicholas White (Team BridgeLane) came second as Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) took a well-earned third spot after helping deliver his fast-finishing teammate to the line at the race around the 1.1 kilometre criterium circuit in the heart of the Victorian city of Ballarat.

“I had to work pretty hard there, but the boys did a really good job and once it started getting hard, I knew Durbo was at the front and I knew if I could get to him he would bury himself to keep us away,” said Groves.

It was the first national title of the Australian Road Championships for Team BikeExchange, with both the men and women’s teams missing out in the individual time trials on Wednesday and also the other criterium categories. 

It was Durbridge’s second time standing on the podium at this year's Nationals, although second spot in the time trial wasn’t the position he wanted considering he had held the title for the past two years. Groves, too, was frustrated with his second place at the final criterium stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling, leaving the two Team Bike Exchange riders determined to deliver the top step this time.

Durbridge rode aggressively throughout the race. When a break he was in got caught, he would just keep trying again until that final break, which White jumped on, stuck. The duo of White and Durbridge then became four with about 6 laps to go, when Groves and Patrick Lane (InForm TMX Make) clawed their way onto the back.

Durbridge ramped up the speed and worked to stretch out the gap for his teammate, dropping Lane and keeping the fast-finishing Kelland O’Brien (Inform TMX Make) at bay. It was then just a matter of holding off White on the run-in to the line to take first and third for the team.

“Everything went to plan. We wanted to make it a really aggressive, hard race and try and put our big rivals under pressure,” said Matt Wilson, sports director at Team BikeExchange.

"The guys did an awesome job, especially Durbo, he was super and we got the win. It’s the first win for Kaden in 12 months so it was great for him to get the win, get that monkey off his back and head to Europe with a win under his belt."

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kaden Groves (Aus) 1:00:15
2Nicholas White (Aus)
3Luke Durbridge (Aus) 0:00:05
4Kelland O'brien (Aus) 0:00:21
5Brenton Jones (Aus) 0:00:24
6Sam Welsford (Aus)
7Thomas Bolton (Aus)
8Patrick Drapac (Aus)
9Tom Chester (Aus)
10Cameron Ivory (Aus)
11Scott Bowden (Aus)
12Brent Rees (Aus)
13Samuel Volkers (Aus)
14Chris Luxton (Aus)
15Michael Harris (Aus)
16Liam White (Aus)
17Brendan Johnston (Aus)
18Jacob Langham (Aus)
19Ryan Cavanagh (Aus)
20Lucas Hoffman (Aus)
21Tasman Nankervis (Aus)
22Aidan Buttigieg (Aus)
23Michael Rice (Aus)
24Steele Von Hoff (Aus)
25Bentley Niquet-Olden (Aus)
26Ben Van Dam (Aus)
27Dylan Lindsey (Aus)
28Iven Bennett (Aus) 0:00:30
29Samuel Hill (Aus)
30Daniel Luke (Aus) 0:00:32
31Lucas Hamilton (Aus)
32Rylee Field (Aus)
33Reece Tucknott (Aus)
34Ayden Toovey (Aus)
35Alexander Edmondson (Aus)
36Mathew Ross (Aus) 0:00:38
37Cyrus Monk (Aus) 0:00:44
38Alastair Christie-Johnston (Aus)
39Patrick Saccani-Williams (Aus) 0:00:55
40Ryan Thomas (Aus) 0:01:23
41Damien Howson (Aus) 0:01:39
DNFSamuel Jenner (Aus)
DNFCallum Pearce (Aus)
DNFPatrick Lane (Aus)
DNFBrendon Green (Aus)
DNFCurtis Dowdell (Aus)
DNFAdam Nelson (Aus)
DNFMatthew Sherwin (Aus)
DNFDylan Benson (Aus)
DNFJoshua Sek (Aus)
DNFAshley Sek (Aus)
DNFJacob Wilson (Aus)
DNFAlex Durrant-Whyte (Aus)
DNFRilyn Mosbey (Aus)
DNFBraeden Dean (Aus)
DNFMatthew Byrne (Aus)
DNFNeil Van Der Ploeg (Aus)
DNFTom Ovens (Aus)
DNFOliver Penney (Aus)
DNFAlexander Porter (Aus)
DNFHamish Webber (Aus)
DNSDrew Morey (Aus)
DNSLucas Plapp (Aus)
DNSJosh Duffy (Aus)
DNSMark O'brien (Aus)
DNSJordan Louis (Aus)
DNSHayden James (Aus)
DNSJoshua Wilson (Aus)
DNSHarley Moore (Aus)
DNSRylan Dowdell (Aus)
DNSJason Thomason (Aus)
DNSCameron Bayly (Aus)
DNSTimothy Roe (Aus)
DNSTristan Dimmock (Aus)
DNSPeter Milostic (Aus)
DNSDean Madden (Aus)
DNSDarren Benson (Aus)
DNSMartin Lonie (Aus)
DNSHarrison Cleary (Aus)
DNSBen Hilleard (Aus)
DNSAngus Calder (Aus)
DNSStuart Darling (Aus)
DNSRobbie Hucker (Aus)
DNSOliver James (Aus)
DNSChristopher Panozzo (Aus)
DNSConnor Rate (Aus)

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