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Australian Open Road Championships - NE

Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, January 7-11, 2009

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Stage 4 - January 10: Men's Under 23 Road Race, 122.4 km

Bobridge repeats in race with two silver medals

Jack Bobridge (Team AIS) wins his second title
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

South Australia's Jack Bobridge collected his second gold medal of the week by adding a road race victory today to his time trial win at the Australian Open Road Championships in Buninyong. Bobridge (Team AIS) sprinted clear of his three breakaway companions to claim the win in a time of 3:12:48. Bobridge's teammate and time trial bronze medallist, Michael Matthews, and Victoria's Mark O'Brien (Drapac-Porsche) tied in a dead heat for second place while Tasmanian Nathan Earle (Praties) was fourth. Bobridge's win came in dramatic fashion after he recovered from a fall midway through the 122.4km U23 men's road race (12 laps).

"I have been waiting for this," said Bobridge. "To come out and get two on the road shows that I've still got the ability to ride the road as well as the track."

For Bobridge the win caps off a phenomenal six months that saw him debut at the Olympic Games in his first year out of the junior ranks. In Beijing he was a member of the pursuit team that finished fourth. In November he lined up for the Oceania Track Championships for a win in the individual pursuit. At the Track World Cup in Melbourne later the same month he claimed gold medals in both the individual and team pursuit event and has now added a road double to his already impressive resume.

Almost 100 riders begun the race in warm conditions and despite an early break away of six riders, the race favourites remained in the peloton for the majority of the race.

At the halfway mark, a solo chase by Matthews saw him catch the lead group. But they were absorbed by the main peloton shortly after. A clash of wheels at the feed station on the eighth lap left nineteen-year-old Bobridge on the ground but he kept his cool and rejoined the race.

Matthews puts in the effort.
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

"It was a bit of my fault and as well as maybe some others – it was a bit of a rush to get a bottle and I clipped a back wheel and had a bit of a spill," said Bobridge. "Luckily it wasn't too bad and I had to chase for a bit, but I managed to get on and recover and I think the adrenalin kicked in after that."

With three laps to go, Matthews attacked at the front and was joined by Bobridge, O'Brien and Earle and the quartet powered ahead to cement their lead on numerous groups of chasing riders.

Bradley Clark broke away early
Photo ©: CJ Farquharson
(Click for larger image)

Although just missing the win on the line, Matthews, 18, who was the 2008 Australian Junior Male Road Cyclist of the Year, was happy to claim his second medal in his debut season in the under 23 category.

"It was not was I was expecting, but I was hoping for that and I still can't believe it," said Matthews. "I didn't feel very good at the start, but after I attacked and rode across to the break I felt I got better from there.

"[Next year] I will hopefully do what Bobridge has done this year and get two gold medals." After finishing with bronze in the same event last year, O'Brien gained some consolation from his shared silver medal.

"I am really happy with this as I have trained probably the hardest I have [ever trained] for an event. [I am a bit] disappointed not to get the actual win," said the 21-year-old O'Brien. "But at the end of the day, I just couldn't get rid of them up the climb. I gave it my all but Jack had too much and it wasn't good enough, so I have to be happy with second."


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net


1 Jack Bobridge      3.12.48          (38.09 km/h)
2 Michael Matthews*          
2 Mark O'Brien*              
4 Nathan Earle              
5 Daniel Braunsteins    0.18
6 Lachlan Norris            
7 Benjamin King         1.19
8 John Anderson             
9 Nathan Haas           1.43
10 Zakkari Dempster     1.45
11 Johnnie Walker           
12 Ben Grenda               
13 Kane Walker              
14 Joseph Lewis             
15 Chris Jory               
16 Fabio Calabria           
17 Michael Fitzgerald       
18 Brett Anderson           
19 Luke Cridland            
20 William Ford             
21 Travis Meyer             
22 Ben Dyball               
23 Adam Semple              
24 Timothy Roe              
25 Tim Guy                  
26 Ben Grieve-Johnson       
27 Stuart Grimsey       2.29
28 Luke Hardy           3.24
29 Nicholas Walker          
30 Nick Aitken              
31 Reuben Donati        8.04
32 Geoff Straub             
33 Peter Smith              
34 Neil Van Der Ploeg       
35 Matthew Werrell          
36 Suki Stone          12.03
37 Clay Allison             
38 Rhys Gillett             
39 James Hepburn            
39 Steele Von Hoff          
41 Silas Fisher             
42 Matthew Williams         
43 Sean Boyle               
44 Brodie Talbot            
45 Benjamin Fleming         
46 Malcolm Rudolph          
47 Tarquin Wallace          
48 Andrew Roe          15.03
49 Bradley Clark       17.59

* Dead heat for second place

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