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Australian Road Cycling Championships - NE
Sunshine Coast, Australia, September 3-11, 2005
Day 1 - September 3: Road races: under 15 men; under 15 women; under 17 men; under 17 women
Australian cycling's next generation shimmers on the Sunshine Coast
By John-Michael Flynn in Yandina
Perhaps it was a recent six week stint of altitude training in Colorado which made the difference, or simply the fact he'd been riding more than his fair share of hills leading up to the National Championships!
Whatever the reason, 16 year old Port Macquarie cyclist Angus Morton will surely be a name to watch out for in the future, following a performance of pure class which saw him claim the Under 17 Road Race Title at the National Club Championships on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
Morton was the standout rider today in a race where the pace was almost always high, and on a course where the title of National Champion must be earned in volumes of sweat.
For it is fair to say that in the punishing hills of Yandina, there is no place to hide.
"This is the way that every person dreams of winning an Australian title, by themselves," an ecstatic Morton said after exchanging celebratory hugs with his father.
"To put their hands up in the air and they know everyone's looking at them and that's just the greatest feeling."
It was a feeling well deserved for the Port Macquarie rider, who went about earning respect from his fellow riders in the hardest possible fashion, by punishing them on the tough 15 degree pinch climb at the back end of the course known as 'Old Coach Road'.
How it unfolded
The 65 kilometre Under 17 men's road race, saw competitors embark on five laps of the Yandina Road Course.
The opening two laps detouring around the major climb of the race, with the final three laps including the 'pinch climb' ascent of the frighteningly steep Old Coach Road.
The first major move came from Orange's Tim Guy who established a twenty second gap on the field heading into the first major climb on lap three.
But the talented hill climber (Guy won the KOM at the Canberra tour) from the Bathurst Club was soon to have his pre-race ambitions thwarted as Morton took control of the race, charging up the steep gradient on lap three to keep the early move in check.
At the same time, Morton was following his own race plan, being to give the competition a working over on the steep sections, before finally launching an attack on the final lap.
"I did reconnaissance on the course and knew that was the spot if you could get away, if you could get a few guys to come with you then there's be some chance of escaping," Morton told Cyclingnews post-race.
"I didn't think there'd be any chance of going alone because I knew there was a big tailwind at the back there."
On that point, the young talent from Port Macquarie proved himself wrong.
His pace on the climbs, combined with the balmy sub-tropical conditions of the Queensland Coast appeared to sap the energy from many opponents, ensuring the solo breakaway effort would survive until race end.
With 500 metres to go, however there was drama a-plenty as the peloton, backed by the breeze and travelling at 50km/hour on a straight flat section into the finish, became a tangled mess.
Two cyclists jockeying for positions in the sprint touched wheels, causing a chain reaction in the chase group.
Several riders required ambulance treatment, mostly for cuts and road-rash, but it's understood, fortunately, none of the injuries were serious.
"I was right behind them and someone just squeezed one of the riders, he went down, everyone hit him, I just managed to swerve around the outside," Silver Medallist Joel Lewis recalled of the accident which almost claimed him too.
The Townsville cyclist, who rides with Brisbane's Kangaroo Point Club, continued the form which saw him win an under fifteen National Criterium Championship two years ago.
Second place, and a victory in the bunch sprint, a solid reward for the day's toil.
"Yeah, it was a tough race, the winner Angus was hammering up the hill every lap,so it was real tough I was just sitting on the back hoping to get to the sprint," Lewis later admitted.
"I'm pretty happy but, second place, happy to get a medal."
The bronze medal went to exhausted Victorian Leigh Howard (Geelong).
The cyclist who raised eyebrows by winning a record six gold medals at the National Track Championships, also making a name for himself on the road.
"What do I say it's just boiling out there, coming from Victoria it just hell out there," the talented track pursuiter said while cooling down post-race.
"I was cramping like all hell out there, you find it really tough."
Queensland double in Under 17 Women
Queenslanders Courtney Le Lay (Balmoral) and Grace McGrath (Coral Isle Cyclists) certainly weren't feeling the heat as they took control of the Under 17 Women's event.
The pair waited patiently until the third lap of their 39 kilometre race on the Yandina Course (the first two laps didn't include the climb) before launching a decisive attack.
"On the back hill no-one would really take a turn, so I just went," Le Lay recalled after out-sprinting her Queensland team-mate to the line.
"Grace came with me so, we worked. I don't really know how we went I was just trying to keep it going."
Keep it going the pair certainly did. The remainder of the 26 rider field was left awestruck as the two Queenslanders left them behind, with some riders zig-zagging up the steep incline of Old Coach Ride, fortunate for themselves they only had to ride it once.
McGrath, who is trained in Bundaberg by none other than Allan Davis's father Greg, was a touch disappointed not to get a victory in the sprint, but still nonetheless happy for her team-mate and her state.
"It's the best performance I've ever done but I still haven't won a major race," the Queenslander lamented.
With a performance like that though, championship success is surely not far away for the young Bundaberg club rider.
Now for a hard luck story
The hard luck story of the championships so far, and one which is sure to take some beating, belongs to Dubbo rider Megan Dunn.
The talented youngster from the regional New South Wales town was clearly on fire in the under fifteen women's event, even riding back two kilometers onto the bunch after receiving a flat tyre (with the help of her team-mates) to be in contention for the sprint.
As it turned out, not only was Dunn in contention, the Dubbo dasher outsprinted her rivals, to claim what she thought would be a National Title.
Not so, unfortunately.
As it turned out, the spare wheel Dunn took from the neutral spares utility after getting a flat wasn't hers.
When the would-be champion's bike was put through a rollout test following the race (a test used in junior cycling to check bikes have met gear restrictions), it failed by a few centimetres.
Dunn was subsequently disqualified.
Still, the Dubbo dasher is on track for another award at this year's championships, that being the good sport award.
"I had my name on it and they just grabbed someone else's," a cheery Megan said while recalling her misfortune.
"It's part of cycling, at this age when you're competing you have to just learn to deal with it."
Juniors have three more days of racing at the National Club Road Championships, with Time Trials tomorrow, followed by Criterium events on Monday and the two-up Time Trial on Tuesday.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by John Flynn
Under 17 men, 65km 1 Angus Morton (Port Macquarie) 1.38.47 2 Joel Lewis (Kangaroo Point C C) 0.09 3 Leigh Howard (Geelong Cycle Club) 4 Malcolm Rudolph (Maryborough & District CC) 5 Mannon Houssaye (Wangaratta Cycling Club Inc) 6 Reuben Meneaud-Young (Port Adelaide C.C.) 7 Nicholas Spratt (Penrith Panthers CC) 8 Anthony Rix (Bendigo & District CC) 9 Tim Guy (Bathurst CC) 10 Tod Francis (Midland CC) 11 Aidan McInerney (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 12 Dale Scarfe (Central Coast CC) 13 James Langedyk (Geelong Cycle Club) 14 Rohan Dennis (Adelaide CC) 15 Geoff Straub (Armidale CC) 16 Richard Lang (Colnago-Caravello CC) 17 Alex Benson (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 18 Ricky Peoples (Shepparton Cycling Club Inc) 19 Nicholas Ferguson (Norwood C.C.) 20 Travis Meyer (Midland CC) 21 Blair Windsor (Bathurst CC) 22 Jack Bobridge (Norwood C.C.) 23 Alastair Loutit (Canberra Cycling Club) 0.20 24 Lindsay Wall (Canberra Cycling Club) 25 Matthew McDonagh (City of Burnie CC) 26 Glenn O'Shea (Bendigo & District CC) 27 Mitchell Brooks (Midland CC) 28 Sean Dunn (Dubbo CC) 29 Jarrad Burrell (Southern Districts CC) 1.25 30 Ben Grenda (Launceston City CC) 1.41 31 Cameron Bayly (Norwood C.C.) 32 Ben Dyball (Colnago-Caravello CC) 1.43 33 Aaron Brewer (Colnago-Caravello CC) 34 Jonathon Cridland (Southern Cross CC) 6.10 35 Laurence Van Schie (Central Coast CC) 8.35 DNF Sean Caskey (Ffast Cycle Club) DNF Daniel Jamieson (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) DNF Kane Anderson (C.A.T.S.) DNF Matt Couanis (Peel Districts Cycle Club) DNF Michael Dowell (Peel Districts Cycle Club) DNF Alexander Holden (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) DNF David Trott (Darwin Cycling Club) DNF Shane Russell (Northern Rivers Cycling Club) DNF Thomas Robinson (Launceston City CC) DNF Lachlan Ritchie (Bendigo & District CC) DNF Thomas Palmer (Canberra Cycling Club) DNF Morgan Tremayne (South West CC) DNF Strachan Kerswill (Sunshine Coast CC) DNF Peter Johnstone (Chelsea & Peninsula C C) DNF Michael Freiberg (Midland CC) DNF Jake King (Carnegie Caulfield CC) DNF Joel Fahy (Bendigo) DNF Mark Flood (Bendigo & District CC) DNF Trevor Griffiths (Shepparton Cycling Club Inc) DNF Joshua Dornin (Central Districts C.C.) DNF Byron Davis (Kangaroo Point C C) DNF Damien Baxter (Grafton CC) DNF Joshua Edwards (Rockhampton Cycle Club) DNF Darren Robbie (Canberra Cycling Club) DNF Ben Sanders (Carnegie Caulfield CC) DNF Brodie Talbot (Colnago-Caravello CC) DNF Christos Winter (Norwood C.C.) DNF Marshal Newman (Carnegie Caulfield CC) DNF Tom Gallagher (Carnegie Caulfield CC) DNF Michael Downing (Carnegie Caulfield CC) Under 17 women, 39km 1 Courtney Le Lay (Balmoral Cycle Club) 1.06.29 2 Grace McGrath (Coral Isle Cyclists Inc.) 3 Josephine Tomic (Midland CC) 0.17 4 Lisa Friend (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 5 Chloe Hosking (Canberra Cycling Club) 6 Rebecca Macpherson (Midland CC) 7 Heidi Kirk (Midland CC) 0.20 8 Camille Jones-Pallett (Midland CC) 1.11 9 Ashlee Ankudinoff (St George CC) 10 Jacinta Aitken (Kooragang Open CC) 11 Zoe Appel (Balmoral Cycle Club) 12 Carlee Taylor (Norwood C.C.) 13 Anthea Clarke (Byron Bay Freeriders) 1.54 14 Brittany Foster (Geelong Cycle Club) 2.18 15 Sarah Edwards (Rockhampton Cycle Club) 16 Ellen Marks (Wagga Wagga CC) 2.23 17 Samsiah Rice (South West CC) 2.43 18 Caitlin Westropp-Evans (Canberra Cycling Club) 19 Kadee Webber (C.A.T.S.) 3.01 20 Sarah Kent (Midland CC) 3.02 21 Danielle Longworth (Peel Districts Cycle Club) 5.03 22 Bethany Coleman (Launceston City CC) 5.25 23 Alana Haansbergen (Noarlunga South Coast C.C.) 5.56 24 Lauren Hooper (Bendigo & District CC) 5.57 25 Bianca Bailey (Murwillumbah CC) 10.00 26 Amba Bennett (Coffs Harbour CC) DNF Lucy Moseley (Balmoral Cycle Club) DNF Samantha Hosie (Byron Bay Freeriders) Under 15 women, 26km 1 Bianca Thomson (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 44.35 2 Courtney Dutton (Broncos) 3 Hayley Grant (Townsville Cycle Club) 4 Tamara Josefski (Broncos) 5 Caitlin Brookes (Wagga Wagga CC) 6 Brodie Stewart (Balmoral Cycle Club) 7 Emma Smith (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 8 Annette Edmondson (Adelaide CC) 9 Amy Cure (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 10 Ryla Jakelski (Midland CC) 11 Michaela Anderson (Midland CC) 12 Sinead Cosgrove (Goulburn CC) 0.06 13 Tara Bryan (Wagga Wagga CC) 14 Melinda Potente (St George CC) 1.25 15 Lindsey Edmunds (Norwood C.C.) 16 Kellie Berglund (Peel Districts Cycle Club) 17 Sarah Cure (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 3.30 18 Heather Macpherson (Midland CC) 5.37 19 Rebecca Hooper (Bendigo & District CC) 5.47 20 Ainslee Bennett (Wangaratta Cycling Club Inc) 7.35 21 Jessica McKay (Broncos) 22 Shelly Flood (Bendigo & District CC) 14.32 DNF Annika Brown (Goulburn CC) DQS Megan Dunn (Dubbo CC) Under 15 men, 39km 1 Patrick Drapac (Brunswick Cycling Club Inc) 1.04.04 2 Scott Law (Illawarra CC) 3 Grayson Follett (Gold Coast Goldstars C C) 4 Jack Hickey (Gunnedah CTC) 5 Andrew Smith (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 6 Michael Phelan (Canberra Cycling Club) 7 Lachlan Morton (Port Macquarie) 8 Christopher Murphy (Gold Coast Goldstars C C) 9 David Lyons (Launceston City CC) 0.04 10 Jordan Van Der Togt (Midland CC) 0.08 11 Jordan Fawkes (Hunter District CC) 12 Patrick Lane (Carnegie Caulfield CC) 13 Timothy Gooley (Shepparton Cycling Club Inc) 14 Edward Robinson (Launceston City CC) 15 Shamus Liptrot (Central Districts C.C.) 16 Dale Parker (Central Districts C.C.) 17 Jordan Kerby (Maryborough & District CC) 18 Shawn Baxter (Grafton CC) 19 Brodie Pearse (Wagga Wagga CC) 20 Riley Pattison (Northern Districts) 21 Stuart Smith (Leongatha Cycling Club Inc) 22 Ethan Kimmince (Inverell Wheelers) 23 Brendan Cole (Northern Rivers Cycling Club) 24 Benjamin Moore (Rockhampton Cycle Club) 25 Thomas Richards (Ipswich Amateur C C) 26 Warren Moore (Brunswick Cycling Club Inc) 27 Liam Melville (Peloton Sports Inc.) 28 Sam Davis (Northern Districts) 1.05 29 Adam Phelan (Canberra Cycling Club) 1.14 30 Ethan O'Dell (Broncos) 1.22 31 Kevin Hawes (Port Macquarie) 1.24 32 Nicholas Rix (Bendigo & District CC) 33 Christopher Hendey (Broncos) 34 Raymond Loly (Peel Districts Cycle Club) 35 Angus Tobin (Bathurst CC) 36 Alex Carver (Lidcombe Auburn CC) 2.29 37 Matt Campbell (Gold Coast Goldstars C C) 38 Luke Ockerby (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 2.54 39 Callum Docker (Lidcombe Auburn CC) 2.57 40 Jonathan Dunlop (Midland CC) 3.37 41 Adrian Byrnes (Gunnedah CTC) 6.28 42 Matthew Clark (Albury-Wodonga CC) 6.35 43 Troy Berman (Gold Coast Goldstars C C) 6.41 44 Ryan Ockerby (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 14.25 45 Callan Walker (Mersey Valley Devonport CC) 46 Olson Hamilton-Smith (Darwin Cycling Club) 17.43 DNF Gordon Foster (Darwin Cycling Club) DNF Jake Syme (Darwin Cycling Club) DNF Lachlan Hines (St George CC)