Hot & windy conditions make for unpredictable under-23 road race at Aus ChampsSat 6 Jan 2018
After his third consecutive time trial title on Thursday, South Australian Callum Scotson has finished as Mitchelton-SCOTT’s top performer in ninth place at the Australian Road Race Championship today.
Scotson was sprinting for sixth position in a small group of eight riders, alongside teammate Sam Jenner, 39seconds behind Cyrus Monk who soloed to victory.
By the numbers, it may look like just four riders in a peloton of 150, but when you start with the talent of reigning champion Jenner, under-23 time trial champion Scotson and rising talents Harry Sweeny and Robert Stannard, there’s always going to be a target on your back.
It’s a compliment but also a learning curve as the expectation of the quartet saw them heavily marked and with few allies as they tried to force an early break, energy they would pay for later in the race.
Missing the crucial move
With two riders, Reece Tucknott and Mcgregor Carter, at the head of racing but within striking distance, eventual winner Monk saw his chance in the third last lap and began the effort to bridge across.
With Mitchelton-SCOTT riders caught too far back and no one else willing or able to follow him, Monk made the catch to the two tired leaders in the penultimate lap before going solo to the line.
Callum Scotson – 9th place and top finisher
“It was a pretty difficult race tactically. Around the back of the course a lot was happening in the bunch and riders were getting big gaps there as well as the hard climb.
“We tried to lay it down, we knew we had to commit early and it was hard to hold on in the last lap and we couldn’t quite close down the small gaps and the win rode away from us.
“It’s been a good couple of days, taking the third win in the time trial and then coming here today with a solid result with the team ahead of the season is a good start.”
Sam Jenner – Reigning Champion
“It was definitely a different race from last year. I was more of a mark, I knew in myself that it was going to be hard and I would have to give it something different and special to win it but unfortunately I just couldn’t.
“The shorter race made it hard for tactics as a lot of guys could be there at the finish. We had to hope a small group could get away and it did, but I just missed it.
“With three kilometres to go Cyrus picked his move perfectly. I was a bit back and no one showed any interest in chasing him. It was definitely the move that won him the race”
James Victor – Sports Director
“The boys rode to the plan to try to get rid of who we thought would be the threats over a shorter race, but as we said before the race, those who have the legs and play their cards right, can make the difference in the last laps.
“Sam was a marked rider as was Callum after his time trial win so everything had to fall into place for the victory today.
“It’s a credit to the boys, once the move went it was looked to us to close it down and they did everything right in trying to chase the result but there were just better bike riders on the day. Regardless, we can hold our heads high."