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Australian Junior and Teams Road Championships - NE
Sunshine Coast, Australia, September 2-September 10, 2006
Race 5 - September 8: Teams Road Championships Time Trial
Drapac Porsche cruises to victory
By John Flynn
The Melbourne-based Drapac Porsche cycling team won today's opening exchange in the inaugural Australian Teams Cycling Championship in Queensland.
Day one of the new-look National Championship was a low key affair, as the ten teams contesting the event were put through their paces in a short 22 kilometre teams time trial on the undulating roads of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, near the town of Yandina.
The teams time trial is a tempter for what's to come over the next two days, with a brutal 169 kilometre road race tomorrow, followed by a criterium on the ritzy Mooloolaba waterfront on Sunday.
This morning, Team Drapac was last out of the blocks and, impressively, made up significant time on the well credentialed FRF Couriers Excelpro lineup.
"We just had the four guys so that was a bit of a disadvantage to start with," Drapac's Stuart Shaw told Cyclingnews.
"All the guys rode pretty efficiently, we just looked after each other well out there."
It was a promising start to the championship from the Australian based UCI continental team, which came away from the recent Tour of Murray River with the leader's jersey (Robert McLachlan) and the teams prize.
Team leader Shaw, who raced on the Sunshine Coast earlier this year and has some idea of the strength of the local riders, was also enthused with the new format.
"I like the concept of the team's time trial, it's a good way to start it," Shaw said.
"It's different for a national series to have a teams time trial."
FRF Couriers looking good for road race
If previous form on the Sunshine Coast is any guide, the FRF Couriers Excelpro team has every reason to be confident heading into tomorrow's National Teams Championship Road Race at Yandina.
In an amazing coincidence, all but one of the riders who featured in last year's Club Road Nationals race, will line up for the FRF Excelpro team, including the three placegetters, Peter Herzig (winner), Peter McDonald (second) and Joe McDonnell (third).
Add to that list, Troy Glennan. Last year, Glennan went up the road with Queensland's Jaaron Poad for almost the entire race at the Club Road Nationals, but couldn't hold on as the brutal pinch climb of Old Coach Road took its toll during the final laps.
"It's been a year, but we I won't forget it really quick," Glennan admitted when reminded of last year's suffering by Cyclingnews. "There's a few guys (in the team) who've been going pretty well, Josh Marden who won a stage of the Tour of Ireland and Joe McDonnell.
"All six boys have got the potential to be up front."
Accomplished climber Peter McDonald is also looking to hit peak form this weekend, ahead of the famed Grafton to Inverell.
His attributes less suited to Yandina's undulating course with its short, brutal pinch climb.
"Looking to tomorrow to do well and be in form for Grafton the next week," McDonald said.
"I'm probably more suited to a climbers climb, something a bit longer, it's more laps of attrition I find from racing last year, hanging in there and lasting as long as you can."
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by John Flynn/Cyclingnews.com
1 Drapac Porsche 0.26.57.66 2 FRF Couriers - ExcelPro 0.27.60 3 Victorian Institute of Sport 0.44.25 4 Praties 1.04.08 5 Tripleplay-Glencorp 1.30.04 6 Pensar Uni 1.57.90 7 Scott Spin City 2.06.94 8 Merida 2.15.19 9 Victor Broncos 4.13.46 10 Balmoral Cycling Club 4.41.16