Australian Road Championships: Time Trials open with a new generation of challengers

Sarah Gigante (Tibco-SVB) flies to victory in the 2020 elite women's Australian time trial championships
Sarah Gigante (Tibco-SVB) on her way to victory in 2020 (Image credit: Con Chronis / Zac Williams)

The AusCycling 2021 Federation University Road National Championships gets under way in and around Ballarat on Wednesday, with the racing for this delayed edition beginning with the time trials. The elite and U23 women face a renewal of the battle between defending champion Sarah Gigante (Tibco-SVB) and Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange). Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) is set to make it to the start line as the unquestioned favourite in the elite men’s race, but he'll be facing up to a couple of new challengers this year.

The elite women and men's events are the final battles in what will be a day of racing against the clock at the 2021 edition of the Australian Road Championships, which is running nearly a month later than normal this year given the disruptions to racing caused by the pandemic. The field has undoubtedly been altered by the circumstances, with a number of European-based Australian riders foregoing their usual summer trip home, and there were some concerns that even the riders already in Australia might miss out after a COVID-19 case led to a lockdown in and around Perth on Sunday.

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