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Australian Open Road Championships - NE
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, January 7-11, 2009
Stage 6 - January 11: Elite Men's Road Race, 163.2 km
McDonald sprints to glory
Sydney cyclist Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche) stole the march on his more fancied rivals in a three-up sprint to claim the gold medal in the elite men's road race on the final day of the Scody Australian Open Road Championships at Buniyong, near Ballarat, Victoria.
McDonald outfoxed three-time time trial World Champion and newly crowned Australian time trial champion, Michael Rogers, and his Team Columbia teammate, Adam Hansen in a spurt of speed down the final straight into the finish.
The 30-year-old bike mechanic crossed the line in 4:10:34 to claim the biggest win of his career so far.
"It hasn't sunk in yet, this is huge," said McDonald who last month claimed the silver medal in the Australian Criterium Championship and was thrilled to claim the victory. "It doesn't beat anything and is the biggest win so far by a mile.
"They had two riders against me, which makes it really hard," said McDonald. "I was happy when it was just Dodger [Rogers] and myself, but when Adam came across I thought no way – two Team Columbia riders, I had no chance.
"So to beat two guys that race full time for one of the world's biggest teams, I really didn't know what to think, I couldn't believe that I won a finish like that against two Pro Tour riders,"
Whilst neither Rogers, who claimed silver, nor Hansen in third place are renowned for their sprinting they admitted they got it wrong in the final kilometres, allowing McDonald to use his sprinting speed to full advantage and claim the win.
"Today I tried everything I could and unfortunately it didn't come off at the end," said Rogers. "That's just the way cycling is and unfortunately that's the way it happens, just a communication error between us, so if it happens once in a hundreds races, that's not too bad.
"Two sets of legs are better than one and Adam rode really well to get across to us, but unfortunately for Team Columbia it didn't go the way we wanted it but there are plenty of other races in the year."
But Rogers, who on Wednesday signalled a return to form with victory in the time trial, is still pleased with his racing this week. "I am super happy with the few days I have had here, and I think it's a sign of the start of a good season and when you have that, you usually have a good season."
Hansen, the silver medallist in last year's road race, admits it was an opportunity missed. "I was feeling great, much better than last year and I just used everyone in front of me until I had used all their energy and moved across to the next guy," said Hansen. "When I moved up to Mick I thought 'yes, we have got this', but in the end we didn't have the ideal finish."
However, Hansen was happy to improve on a disappointing showing in Thursday's time trial, where, as defending champion, he finished 11th. "The result is disappointing for me but, with two laps to go I was way back and made really good moves, so with that sense I am happy with my ride, and it's a good turnaround from my time trial," said Hansen. "Silver and gold last year and bronze this year, it's not too bad."
Early in the 16-lap event a group of six riders including reigning Australian Criterium Champion, Bernie Sulzberger, and fancied climber Trent Lowe established a lead of around five minutes, but the main contenders were just biding their time and after 11 laps the face of the race changed completely with an attack group including Rogers and McDonald forging ahead. Hansen chased to join the leaders and just before the finish of the penultimate lap Rogers made his move. Rogers was solo across the line on the bell lap with a ten-second lead but soon after McDonald bridged the gap and then Hansen rode up to join them and set up the three-man battle.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
Images by Brenton Logan/www.durostrada.com
1 Peter McDonald (NSW) 4.10.34 (39.08km/h) 2 Michael Rogers (ACT) 3 Adam Hansen (QLD) 4 Cameron Meyer (WA) 0.09 5 Matt Wilson (VIC) 0.20 6 Matthew Lloyd (VIC) 7 Karl Menzies (TAS) 0.28 8 Simon Clarke (VIC) 9 Mathew Hayman (ACT) 10 Christopher Sutton (NSW) 3.30 11 Wesley Sulzberger (TAS) 12 David Pell (VIC) 13 William Walker (VIC) 14 Bernard Sulzberger (TAS) 15 Darren Lapthorne (VIC) 16 Rory Sutherland (ACT) 17 Hilton Clarke (VIC) 18 Chris Jongewaard (SA) 4.55 19 Cameron Jennings (QLD) 20 Murray Spink (VIC) 21 Marc Williams (ACT) 22 Rhys Pollock (VIC) 23 Darren Rolfe (QLD) 24 Richie Porte (TAS) 25 Cameron Wurf (TAS) 26 Baden Cooke (VIC) 27 Jonathon Clarke (VIC) 28 Evan Olephant (GBR) 6.02 29 Gene Bates (SA) 6.46 30 Dylan Newell (VIC) 7.24 31 Michael England (QLD) 8.08 32 Jacob Sutherland (VIC) 33 Hayden Brooks (QLD) 34 Stephen Robb (VIC) 35 Allan Davis (QLD) 36 Peter Ladd (VIC) 37 Troy Glennan (NSW) 38 Phillip Chapman (NSW) 39 Cameron Peterson (NSW) 9.15 40 Reece Stephens (VIC) 12.07 41 Scott Kilmartin (QLD) 12.08 42 Shaun Lewis (NSW) 43 Ben Cureton (WA) 16.03 44 Damien Turner (VIC) 16.48 45 Chris Martin (SA) 18.12 DNF Richard England (VIC) DNF David Fairburn (VIC) DNF Sean Finning (VIC) DNF Kris Johnston (ACT) DNF Mark Renshaw (NSW) DNF Ben Day (QLD) DNF Scott Davis (QLD) DNF Adrian Hedderman (IRE) DNF Walter Tate (USA) DNF Jason Chalker (ACT) DNF Brent Miller (ACT) DNF Jeremy Ross (ACT) DNF Joel Ryan (ACT) DNF Stuart Shaw (ACT) DNF Robert Cater (NSW) DNF Mark Fenner (NSW) DNF Robert Hodgson (NSW) DNF Ashley Humbert (NSW) DNF Brendan Jones (NSW) DNF Kris Koke (NSW) DNF Joel Pearson (NSW) DNF Cody Stevenson (NSW) DNF Luis Trueba (NSW) DNF Robert Williams (NSW) DNF Trent Wilson (NSW) DNF Dean Windsor (NSW) DNF Adam Broit (QLD) DNF Jonathan Cantwell (QLD) DNF Giuseppe Cirella (QLD) DNF Jonathan Coulter (QLD) DNF Steven George (QLD) DNF Gilbert Gutowski (QLD) DNF Kristian Hollins (QLD) DNF Michael Hosking (QLD) DNf Mike Jackson (QLD) DNF Liam Mccarthy (QLD) DNF Nathan Miller (QLD) DNF Matthew Murray (QLD) DNF Michael Owen (QLD) DNF Jon Houston (SA) DNF Chris Stack (SA) DNF William Clarke (TAS) DNF Peter Aquilina (VIC) DNF Ashley Baines (VIC) DNF Aaron Batchelor (VIC) DNF Donatas Bludzis (VIC) DNF Jay Bourke (VIC) DNF John Cornish (VIC) DNF Jason Costin (VIC) DNF Christopher D'amelio (VIC) DNF Rob Doyle (VIC) DNF Stephen Draper (VIC) DNF Hugh Forrest (VIC) DNF Charles Howlett (VIC) DNF Mark Isaacs (VIC) DNF Matthew Jensen (VIC) DNF David Kemp (VIC) DNF Tom Leaper (VIC) DNF Trent Lowe (VIC) DNF Craig Mccartney (VIC) DNF Nicholas Mitchell (VIC) DNf Casey Munro (VIC) DNF Tommy Nankervis (VIC) DNF Phillip Orr (VIC) DNF Stuart Payne (VIC) DNF Bradley Pietsch (VIC) DNF Nicholas Sanderson (VIC) DNF Patrick Shaw (VIC) DNF James Steinhauser (VIC) DNF Mark Wearmouth (VIC) DNF Chris Winn (VIC) DNF Stuart Gribble (WA) DNF Nathan Jones (WA) DNF Neil Manning (WA) DNF Erik Meliegers (WA) DNF Jason Rigg (WA) DNF Kristian House (GBR) DNF Tom Southam (GBR) DNF Brendan Washington (VIC) DNF Wade Wallace (VIC) DNF Jai Crawford (TAS) DNF Michael Stallard (SA) DNF Andrew Ward (VIC) DNF Daniel Mcconnell (VIC) DNF Christopher Tymms (VIC) DNF Mark Dippelsman (QLD) DNF Samual Rix (VIC) DNS Mark Ledgerwood (QLD) DNS Marco Duys (VIC) DNS Hugh Singleton (VIC) DNS Reece-Emerson Van Beek (VIC)