Monday, January 12, 2009 12.00am
McDonald sprints for unexpected win
McDonald's pace was too much for the Team Columbia pair CJ Farquharson
Sydney cyclist Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche) stole the march on his more fancied rivals in a three-up sprint to claim the gold medal in the Elite men's road race on the final day of the Scody Australian Open Road Championships at Buniyong, Victoria.
McDonald outfoxed three-time time trial World Champion and newly crowned Australian time trial champion, Michael Rogers, and his Team Columbia teammate, Adam Hansen in a spurt of speed down the final straight into the finish.
The 30-year-old bike mechanic crossed the line in 4:10:34 to claim the biggest win of his career so far.
"It hasn't sunk in yet, this is huge," said McDonald who last month claimed the silver medal in the Australian Criterium Championship and was thrilled to claim the victory. "It doesn't beat anything and is the biggest win so far by a mile.
"They had two riders against me, which makes it really hard," said McDonald. "I was happy when it was just Dodger [Rogers] and myself, but when Adam came across I thought no way – two Team Columbia riders, I had no chance.
"So to beat two guys that race full-time for one of the world's biggest teams, I really didn't know what to think, I couldn't believe that I won a finish like that against two Pro Tour riders,"
Whilst neither Rogers, who claimed silver, nor Hansen in third place are renowned for their sprinting they admitted they got it wrong in the final kilometres, allowing McDonald to use his sprinting speed to full advantage and claim the win.
"Today I tried everything I could and unfortunately it didn't come off at the end," said Rogers. "That's just the way cycling is and unfortunately that's the way it happens, just a communication error between us, so if it happens once in a hundreds races, that's not too bad.
"Two sets of legs are better than one and Adam rode really well to get across to us, but unfortunately for Team Columbia it didn't go the way we wanted it but there are plenty of other races in the year."
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.