Durbridge shows condition with silver medal in world-class TT field at the Australian ChampionshipsFri 5 Jan 2018
Two-time former winner Luke Durbridge has put in a super ride at the Australian Time Trial Championships to win the silver medal in Buninyong today.
Durbridge, the only Mitchelton-SCOTT rider to roll down the start ramp, started strongly, passing the half-way mark just six seconds behind the fastest time before finishing one-minute eight-seconds behind eventual winner Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing).
Another stacked field showed the depth of talent in Australia and Durbridge’s main challengers came in the red and black colours of BMC Racing, with reigning champion and one of the world’s top time trialists Dennis, with Richie Porte and Miles Scotson also in a top class. A podium was an achievable target but it was always going to be a fight.
A strong start
It was obviously early that Durbridge was having a good day in the saddle. The 26-year-old looked strong as he surged down the first half of the course to be just six seconds behind defending champion and eventual winner Dennis, and having already taken over 30seconds on top competitors Richie Porte and Miles Scotson (BMC Racing).
Holding on into a head wind
As so often is the case, the backend of the Buninyong up-and-back course proved to be the toughest section as riders battled into a headwind home. Dennis was too strong in the conditions, cementing his victory as his passed Durbridge with three kilometres remaining but the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider kept his composure and used his new ‘bait’ ahead as a target to ensure he fought on for the silver medal.
Luke Durbridge – Silver medal
"I planned to control to the turn around, which I did, and give it a big run on the way home. I did that but after the final climb the heat really got to me and I blew up and had to grovel home. But everyone was in the same boat except Rohan - he was on an impressive ride."
"I'm happy with my condition and gave it my all out there so that's all you can do. My preparation has been for the Classics with endurance miles so I'm happy to produce a good time trial again at the nationals.
"I'm really looking forwrad to Sunday and beyond."
1. Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) 51:14.43
2. Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:07.91
3. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) +1:44.16