By BikeRadar

Monday, January 12, 2009 4.52pm

Ryan digs deep to do the double

Carla Ryan won her second Australian Championship title in the road race, after already taking the gold in the time trial.

Unlike her close one-second win in the race against the clock, Ryan sailed across the line in the road race solo, 40 seconds ahead of Ruth Corset and Nikki Butterfield. Ryan launched her decisive attack on the final climb up Mt Buninyong on the tenth and final lap of the 102-kilometre race in which 69 riders started and 30 finished.

"To be honest, I’d been a bit nervous today and didn't know what to expect," said Ryan. "Today I felt really strong and the other girls were tiring and I had to make my move and back myself, really."

She was joined by Corset, Butterfield, Canberra's Vicki Whitelaw and Great Britain's Beijing Olympian Sharon Laws. Ryan tried to escape from the small group, but did not get the liberty from the others.

The leading five had a narrow margin on the bunch at the bell lap but were caught soon after. Then the race hit the climb up Mt Buninyong for the final time and the third time was a charm for Ryan, who found no-one with her as she headed for home.

"When I [first] attacked, they came back, [but] I felt confident and strong that I could have another go on the next lap," said Ryan. "I knew from the time trial that I was riding strongly."

After finishing fourth in Wednesday's time trial, three time rowing World Champion Amber Halliday continued to impress at her debut Championships, putting in a solid block of work on the front during the race before fading to 19th place at the finish.

Within the elite women's race an U23 women's division was decided with Victoria's Peta Mullens narrowly edging out West Australia's Sarah Kent and South Australia's Tiffany Cromwell across the line.

For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.

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