Latest: Australian champs crowned, changes to ProTour races, young guns take on major stars at Revol

Ryan and Dempster top podium in Australian TT champs as Peoples is remembered, date changes in Polan

Ryan and Dempster top podium in Australian TT champs as Peoples is remembered, date changes in Polan

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Carla Ryan was crowned the first national champion of 2007 when she produced a champion ride on a champion's bike to claim the Australian women's time trial title in Bunninyong, near Ballarat, Victoria. Ryan posted a time of 43-12.63sec for the testing 28-kilometre circuit, which she rode on a bike belonging to Athens Olympic road champion Sara Carrigan, to win the gold medal by a 10-second margin over defending champion and 2006 Commonwealth Games time trial silver medallist Kathy Watt. Toireasa Gallagher, a dual gold medallist as a sighted pilot in the Blind and Visually Impaired Division at the 2006 AWD (Athletes With Disabilities) World Championships, was third, a further 26 seconds back.

Ryan came into cycling through the Talent Identification Program of the Queensland Academy of Sport in 2004 from long-distance running and was a long shot for victory, but she did come in with some credentials including a win in the time trial at the Australian Club Championships in Maroochydore last year. She was overwhelmed with her win, bursting into tears on the podium.

"Obviously she (Kathy Watt) was the one to beat and I had no expectation of beating her and I thought top seven or top 10 would be awesome and a bonus in itself, but to actually win - WOW! I really don't know, it hasn't sunk in," said Ryan, who sold her car to buy a road bike after deciding to focus fully on a cycling career.

"Once I got into the Talent ID program I decided to get set up in cycling because I really love my sport and I want to see how far I can take it so my only chance was to get rid of everything so I could give it my best," said Ryan. "Five years, two years - if it doesn't work, at least I've given it my best."

Ryan dedicated her win to 19-year-old Scott Peoples, who died after being struck by a four-wheel drive whilst training near Merton, Victoria, on December 15. "I looked up to him, although he was younger than me, but he was starting to do really well in the sport," said Ryan, who was born in Peoples' hometown of Shepparton. "It has really spurred me on for this."

Earlier in the day, 19-year-old Zakkari Dempster, (southaustralia.com-AIS) claimed the U23 time trial crown in his first year out of junior ranks, crossing the line in 37-40.97, eight seconds faster than second-placed Hayden Josefski, who rode on the same bike as women's champion Ryan. Dempster's southaustralia.com-AIS team-mate Miles Olman was third in 38-29.18.

"It's been a goal of mine for a long time and every time you cap off a goal it's a great feeling," said Dempster. "I'm really happy with my ride but I was sitting up on the street in pieces afterwards as they were calling out Hayden's name (as the winner) so it was even more satisfying after thinking I had lost."

Dempster also paid tribute to the memory of Peoples. "He's not only in my thoughts, it's something the whole field is doing (for him)," he said. "I was at the funeral and it's absolutely heartbreaking what happened to Scotty. He had a monumental future ahead of him and we were all good mates, so this weekend is for Scotty and he'll be in our hearts for the rest of our lives."

ProTour changes

The UCI ProTour Council has approved two requests to change the 2007 UCI ProTour calendar. The Tour of Poland, which was scheduled to take place from September 10-16 will now take place from September 9-15. As for the Deutschland Tour, it has been postponed by two days. It will now take place on August 10-18.

Established Stars v Young Guns at Revolution 16

A new generation of exciting British talent has dominated the racing at Revolution this season. Riders such as Peter Kennaugh, Adam Blythe and Steven Burke have all performed superbly, taking victories over seasoned pros such as Brad McGee, Brad Wiggins, Danny Stam, Franco Marvulli and Peter Schep to name a few.

These young guns will be back in action at Revolution 16 on January 20, but this time the rivalry will be closer to home. After missing most of the Revolution season training and racing in Australia, top British stars Rob Hayles, Paul Manning, Ed Clancy and Mark Cavendish are back and ready to give their younger counterparts their toughest challenge yet. "It was disappointing to miss the previous Revolution events," commented Hayles. "The younger riders have been racing well so it is time to take them down a peg or two!"

"The training went well in Australia," he continued. "The Worlds are approaching fast so Revolution will be an important part of our preparation and it will be good to be in front of the home crowd again."

With this line-up, one race that will be eagerly anticipated will be the 1km Madison Time Trial. Kennaugh and Blythe came close to breaking the record at the last Revolution, with Arnaud Tournant and Craig MacLean coming even closer at Revolution 11. "We messed up the first hand sling," commented Tournant. "With a bit of practice it won't happen again."

However, it will be Clancy and Cavendish who, as the record holders, will be the biggest threat. They set the 57.457 record at Revolution 6 in 2004 but can they go one better in 2007? "Yeah, we'll definitely go for it," said Cavendish. "It's great that we still hold the record but people have come very close so maybe it is time we made the record a little tougher to beat!"

With this kind of fighting talk Revolution 16 is set to end the current season in style. Tickets can be purchased from www.cyclingrevolution.com or by calling 07005 942 579 or 0161 223 2244.

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