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Australian Open Road Championships - CN
Ballarat, Australia, January 9-January 12, 2008
Stage 1 - January 9: U23 men's time trial, 28 km
Day of Kings
By Paul Verkuylen in Ballarat, Victoria
Youngster Matt King took his first national title today after narrowly beating namesake Ben, of no relation, by less than a second to take the Under 23 Time Trial title. The 19 year-old's time of 37.33 for the 28 kilometre circuit was just 0.8 of a second faster than Ben's time over the undulating course.
"That was too close for comfort," said Matt after the finish. "I have had a lot of good success in the Time Trials. Last year I won the Under 23 Time Trial in the Thüringen [Rundfahrt] race in Germany, so this is just another step for me.
"It's quite a shock that I won this," added King, who claimed the Under 19 Oceania road title in 2006.
Matt had nothing but praise for the tough course that brought the strongest riders to the head of the field. "200 meters out and you're into a three kilometre hill, that's a tough course," he explained.
How it Unfolded
Matt went out hard from the gun, gaining 20 seconds on his rivals by the time they reached the top of the first climb. From there his team-mates and rivals began pegging back the time, but were unable to close the gap in the dying metres, where Matt proved too strong.
"I had my father out there shouting at me, so I knew it must have been close," he explained. "I won the Thüringen Time Trial by 0.6 of a seconds; it's not good for the nerves."
Matt is looking forward to the Under 23 road race on Saturday, where he says that he will ride in support of SouthAustralia.com-AIS team-mate Wes Sulzberger, who claimed second placed at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany last year.
Runner-up Ben was philosophical after the finish, comparing his close second place to his second in the recent Melbourne-to-Warnambool finish. "I lost that by half a wheel there, probably the same as what it would have come to here," he said.
"Hopefully I will win on Saturday, that's the goal," continued Ben.
SouthAustralia.com-AIS completed a clean sweep of the podium when young sensation Travis Meyer claimed third place, just a further 24 seconds behind.
Young up-and-coming FRF-NSWIS rider Joe Lewis, just nine days into his first season in the Under 23 ranks, claimed forth place on the line, relegating last year's champion Zak Dempster, who suffered an unfortunate puncture on course, to fifth place.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Shane Goss/www.licoricegallery.com
Images by John Veage
1 Matt King (Darwin Cycling Club) 0.37.34 (44.720 km/h) 2 Benjamin King (Melville Fremantle CC) 0.01 3 Travis Meyer (Midland CC) 0.25 4 Joseph Lewis (Kooragang Open CC) 0.57 5 Hayden Josefski (Maryborough Fraser Coast Cycling Inc.) 1.01 6 Zakkari Dempster (Bendigo & District CC) 1.12 7 Miles Olman (Rockhampton Cycle Club) 1.18 8 Jack Anderson (Uni Cycle Club) 1.32 9 Daniel Braunsteins (Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club) 1.45 10 Jonathan Lovelock (Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club) 2.33 11 Lachlan Stewart (Ararat&District Cycling Club) 2.37 12 Pip Grinter (Bendigo & District CC) 2.46 13 Hayden Brooks (Toowoomba Cycling Club Inc.) 2.59 14 Lachlan Norris (MTBA) 3.20 15 Tim Guy (Bathurst CC) 3.43 16 Tarquin Wallace (Balmoral Cycle Club) 3.44 17 Timothy White (Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club) 3.46 18 Ricky Peoples (Shepparton Cycling Club Inc) 3.46 19 Jarrod Harman (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 4.24 20 Michael Fitzgerald (Northern Districts WA) 4.36 21 Lee Fry (Balmoral Cycle Club) 4.39 22 Griffith Moore (Ffast Cycle Club) 5.20 23 Mitchell Brooks (Midland CC) 5.31 24 Kevin Harnett (Sturt Holdfast Marion C.C.) 6.04 25 Suki Stone (Ffast Cycle Club) 6.13 26 Aaron Moffatt (Albury-Wodonga CC) 6.27 27 Craig Gibbs (SUNSHINE COAST CC) 6.47 28 Sebastian Guiney (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 10.26