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Green & gold jerseys the target for Mitchelton-SCOTT’s debut

Mon 1 Jan 2018

Mitchelton-SCOTT will make its debut at the Cycling Australia National Championships in Ballarat from Wednesday, chasing coveted green and gold jerseys to take back to the European circuit.

With the ‘Bay Crits’ off the program, the championships will be the first hit out of the 2018 season for the now black and yellow outfit.

Racing commences with the national criterium championships on Wednesday, 3 January before moving to Buninyong for the time trials on Friday and road races on Sunday. 

We preview the men's events with riders and directors below:

Wednesday, 3 January – Criteriums

Men:

  • Luke Durbridge
  • Alex Edmondson
  • Caleb Ewan
  • Lucas Hamilton
  • Cameron Meyer

The criterium championships return to the centre of Ballarat with Mitchelton-SCOTT’s gun sprinter Caleb Ewan on the hunt for his third successive title – a feat never achieved before.

Should the 40-lap race not result in a sprint, Australia’s only WorldTour team also has previous winner Cameron Meyer (2013), who is making his return debut for the outfit, and others as options.

 Caleb Ewan:

“I’m definitely going into the criterium to try to defend my title. We should have a really good team there so I think we have a pretty good chance.” 

Matt Wilson – Sport Director:

“We have five guys and a really good team to support Caleb. Anything less than a win would be a disappointment and by all reports everyone is going well so we are hoping for a good race.”

 

Friday, 5 January – Time Trials

Men:

  • Luke Durbridge

Mitchelton-SCOTT will line up with just one representative in the time trial, but as a previous winner Luke Durbridge knows what it takes. 

The up-and-back 40.9km undulating course often subjected to tough winds, with Durbridge also up against some world-class competition. 

Luke Durbridge:

“The national time trial has always been a special race for me, winning it on two previous occasions. The course has been similar for a few years now so you understand what it entails – it’s a hard course on a rolling terrain, you have to save some energy for the way back as it’s more difficult.

“It’s rare to do a one-day time trial. The only other time is at the world championships. I would like my time trial to become more of a strength again so it’s important to do as many as you can. I’m looking forward to the challenge of racing some of the best time trial riders in the world with Rohan (Dennis) and Richie (Porte) setting the bar at the moment.”

Matt Wilson: Sport Director

“The time trial isn’t a specific target for Luke, but like always he is training himself into good condition for this time of year so anything can happen on the day of a time trial. Defending champion Rohan Dennis and teammate Richie Porte will be tough to beat.”

 

Sunday, 7 January – Road Races

Men:

  • Luke Durbridge
  • Alex Edmondson
  • Caleb Ewan
  • Lucas Hamilton
  • Mathew Hayman
  • Michael Hepburn
  • Damien Howson
  • Cameron Meyer
  • Robert Power

But up to nine representatives from six in 2017, Mitchelton-SCOTT have cards to play in Sunday’s road race, including previous winner Luke Durbridge, but they won’t be the only ones.

The race returns to the traditional Buninyong area but with a slightly altered circuit that removes one lap and adds a technical section through Federation University. Weather conditions and strategy play key roles.

Mat Hayman:

“I’m really looking forward to returning to nationals this year. Anything can happen at that race, the best guy never wins there, but an unfamiliar 900m might see me finally on the top step this year.” 

Matt Wilson – Sport Director:

“This year will offer a different dynamic for the road race given BMC Racing’s numbers and quality. I still think the race will play around what we do, but they have massive cards to play.

“As always if an early break went with the right composition it could win, but with two strong teams to control it adds a different element.  It’s one of those races that is always a bit of a gamble, but one we’d always love to win.”

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