Women's Road Race
Men's Road Race
Women's Road Race, Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, 100 kms:
1. Kathy Watt (Victoria) 2.47.04 2. Anna Wilson (Victoria) 3. Elisabeth Tadich (Victoria) 4. Symeko Jochinke (South Australia) 5. Alison Wright (ACT) 6. Margaret Hemsley (New South Wales) 7. Jane Despas (New South Wales) 8. Kim Shirley (Queensland) 9. Kelly McCombie (Western Australia) 10. Bronwyn Biggs (Queensland) s.t.
They just cannot leave Kathy Watt alone. Today (Saturday) she outsprinted fellow Victorian Anna Wilson to narrowly win the Australian Women's Road Championship and immediately she was under criticism from Wilson herself and others at the circuit.
The race was held on the ring road of the beautiful Botanical Gardens, which are adjacient to the Central Business District of Melbourne. The circuit was 4 kms long with one sharp climb each lap.
The top three riders were Victorians - Watt, Wilson and Liz Tadich. The controversy this time is that Watt allegedly chased down the other two Victorians earlier in the race to thwart a break they were developing.
The ethos of National Championships is that it is largely a state-based competition. Riders are selected to wear the State Jersey and work as a team. In addition, to the State riders, the rest of the field is made up of selected club riders. They wear their club/team jersey and are not supported by the State Federations.
Wilson claimed that Watt should have let her State teammates go. She told Roger Vaughan, AAP cycling journalist that: "Liz and I really tried a lot of times to attack and break the field up ... unfortunately it was Kathy that brought the field back and it shouldn't really happen, we're all Victorian."
Well yes ... and no!
Watt clearly rides with a licence affiliated with the Victorian Cycling Federation. But she was not chosen to be part of the Victorian Institute of Sport team and so had to ride alone, unsupported. Furthermore, VIS riders attacked Watts herself during the race.
The cries of disloyalty from those in and around the VIS after Watt's fantastic victory just sounded like those old sour grapes again. It was her 20th senior Australian Championship title in her brilliant career to date - spanning track, road and ITT. She went into the race with a shoulder injury which hampered her during the ITT on Thursday. It was the result of two heavy falls during the European road season.
Men's Road Race, Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, 188 kms:
1. David McKenzie (Victoria) 4.38.16 2. Tom Leaper (Victoria) 0.26 3. Eddie Salas (New South Wales) 1.44 4. Jason Phillips (Queensland) 1.44 5. Warren Jennings (Queensland) 1.46 6. Bart Hickson (New South Wales) 1.46 7. Hilton McMurdo (Western Australia) 3.22 8. Cameron Hughes (Queensland) 3.22 9. Matthew Gould (Victoria) 3.22 10. Tim Wilson (New South Wales) 3.22 Started: 85 Finished: 15
Women's Criterium Championship, Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, 20 kms:
1. Lyndell Higginson (Victoria) 2. Anna Wilson (Victoria) 3. Symeko Johinke (South Australia)
20-year old Lyndelle Higginson (Victoria), who represented Australia in the recently completed Commonwealth Games, was the surprise winner of the Australian Women's Criterium Championship today. She beat Anna Wilson (Victoria) and Symeko Jochinke (South Australia) after coming from behind in the sprint. There were early attempts at creating breaks but ultimately it came down to a mass sprint with Wilson leading out and Higginson sitting her wheel. Higginson surprised Wilson with a late burst of speed.
The race over 20 kms was held on a tight 850 metre circuit in Melbourne's Botanical Gardens. Higginson was a surprise because her form to date has been on the track in the sprint. She came 4th overall in the Commonwealth Games in that event.
She told Roger Vaughan, AAP cycling journalist that: "I had broken away with Anna with about five kilometres to go but I didn't think I'd be able to help her much to stay away so I dropped back to the main group to save my energy. When Anna came past me to launch the attack for the line I thought I'd be able to sit on her wheel and maybe she'd drag me across the line for second. But then I thought 'well this is it, I either go for it or not' and I decided to go for it."
The finale to the race was marred by a heavy fall coming into the last corner of the race. The fall impeded the flow of one of the fancied riders, Kathy Watt. She was badly checked and could not recover to assert her sprint in the end.
Watt and Wilson were the star performers of the Championships. Watt took one second (ITT) and won the premier event - the road race. Her critics are not feeling so well today. Wilson won the ITT, and was second in the Criterium and the road race. It must be said however that in the road race she was aided by her VIS squad whereas Kathy Watt rode as an unsupported rider.
Men's Criterium Championship, Botanical Gardens, Melbourne, 42.5 kms:
1. Haydn Bradbury (Victoria) 2. Ben Litchfield (New South Wales) 3. Denis Mungovern (Australian Capital Territory) peloton at more than 20 seconds.
Bradbury, Litchfield and Mungovern attacked early in the race and by the 10 kms mark they had a lead of around 20 seconds which they held for the rest of the race. Bradbury was too strong in the final sprint.
Women's Individual Time Trial, Kew, 33 kms:
1. Anna Wilson (Victoria) 44.36 2. Kathy Watt (Victoria) 47.29 3. Jodie Brewer (Australian Capital Territory) 48.50 4. Margaret Hemsley (New South Wales) 49.05 5. Symeko Jochinke (South Australia) 50.15 6. Joanne Robinson (South Australia) 50.24 7. Sally Smalley (Victoria) 51.15 8. Jane Despas (New South Wales) 51.26 9. Geraldine Denham (Victoria) 51.28 10. Emma James (New South Wales) 51.37 11. Nadia Frischknecht (New South Wales) 51.38 12. Jodie Kaesler (Northern Territory) 51.57 13. Susan Peter (South Australia) 52.05.12 14. Kerin Kelly (South Australia) 52.05.31 15. Sandra Smith (Western Australia) 52.44 16. Lisa D'Amico (Queensland) 53.10 17. Katie Knight (Victoria) 53.14 18. Sophie Freshwater (Victoria) 53.43 19. Penny Smithers (Victoria) 53.53 20. Debbie Chambers (Victoria) 54.03 21. Anna Bayliss (Victoria) 55.06 22. Jennifer Miller (Victoria) 55.48 23. Gillian Govan (Victoria) 57.01
The Women's time trial championship was billed as a showdown between the Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anna Wilson and he main rival, former Olympic Road Race champion Kathy Watt. Kathy Watt was the highest placed Australian woman in the time trial at the recently completed World Championships.
The two have been the top Australian time triallists by a wide margin over the last year. Anna Wilson won the Commonwealth Games ITT but Kathy was late for her starting time by 28 seconds and was always under pressure during that event. She showed her truer class in the World's at Valkenburg when she came 6th with Anna only getting 14th.
Kathy has also indicated she is carrying a shoulder injury which was the result of two heavy falls in Europe this season. She told the press in Melbourne before the event that she was unsure of her form coming into the Championships. She indicated that she had managed her build-up to peak for the Worlds (October 5-11) and she was probably a bit off the boil now.
In the event, Wilson was dominant and won by 2.53. Watt was second.
Watt also said after the event that she needed to receive financial help from the Australian Cycling Federation (CA) because the current year had cost her around $A80,000 as a result of her decision to train and race separately from the program set down by the Australian Institute of Sport. The officials are running the line that they will not permit individuality in Australian cycling. Who would be surprised by that. They say she must work within the AIS squad to receive funding. Never mind about performances! Kathy finished in 9th place on the Women's road rankings and was the top Australian rider in the ITT at the World Championships in Valkenburg (6th). Anna Wilson, the top AIS squad rider at this stages was only 14th in the World's ITT.
Watt told Roger Vaughan, the AAP cycling journalist: " "I don't receive any funding ... it's very difficult to have financial worries all the time. Every time I've raced in Europe this year, I've tried to get the best results I can and I've had a brilliant season."
Michael Flynn a ACF bureaucrat told Roger Vaughan: "We need to have a performance inside that (national) program to put a national team in the AIS. That's the first priority at this stage and I don't anticipate the review will change that as the first priority."
Men's Individual Time Trial, Kew, 40 kms:
1. Nathan O'Neill (Queensland) 53.22 2. Eric Wohlberg (Canada) 54.30 3. Tom Leaper (Victoria) 56.06.04 4. Tristan Priem (Victoria) 56.06.79 5. Hadyn Bradbury (Victoria) 57.01 6. Nick Gates (New South Wales) 57.20 7. Stuart Terrell (New South Wales) 57.43 8. Josh Collingwood (New South Wales) 57.43 9. Paul Atkinson (Tasmania) 57.44 10. Cameron McDonald (Queensland) 57.49 11. Jerone Walters (Victoria) 57.51 12. Ben Day (Queensland) 58.08 13. Cameron Hughes(Queensland) 58.27 14. David Pell (Victoria) 59.13 15. Glen Stojanow (New South Wales) 59.29 16. Matthew Rice (Tasmania) 59.53 17. Nic Brown (New South Wales) 1.00.14 18. Darren Goudie (Victoria) 1.00.46 19. Russell Van Hout (South Australia) 1.00.56 20. Craig McCarney (New South Wales) 1.01.22 21. Jeffrey Wheeler (South Australia) 1.01.58 22. Matthew Donnon (South Australia) 1.01.59 23. Graeme Brown (New South Wales) 1.03.30 24. Chris Pratley (New South Wales) 1.03.35 * First Under 23 Rider
Nathan O'Neill who won the Australian Time Trial Championship in 1996, repeated that success by beaeting the Commonwealth Games Time Trial Champion Eric Wohlberg from Canada by 58 seconds. Victorian Tom Leaper was third with Tristan Priem fourth a few hundredths of a second back from Leaper.