Beijing Olympian Jack Bobridge, 19, (SA - Team AIS) continued his campaign of victories this time on the road with the gold medal in the Mars Australia U23 men's time trial championship.
It was a trifecta for Team AIS with West Australian Travis Meyer finishing just over six seconds slower for the silver medal (36:10.30), with Canberra’s Michael Matthews close behind in third place (36.10.95).
“I'm quite stoked to get my first U23 individual Australian championship and I think this could be the start of bigger and better things on the road,” said Bobridge.
Despite only having seen the course for the first time yesterday, Bobridge averaged 46.60km/hour across the tough Mt Buninyong course, finishing with an impressive time of 36min 03.1sec.
“I knew the hill was pretty important to attack early on the climb, and I felt quite good up the hill, so I hit it pretty hard," he said. "After that, I just tried to get a good tempo in the tail wind to hold onto it to the end and I just kept getting riders in sight on tough parts of the course and kept chipping away at it.”
A member of the men’s team pursuit that finished fourth at the Beijing Olympics, Bobridge was determined to make his mark on the road today following weeks of time trial preparation. “I put pretty high expectations on myself today and I knew I had a good chance, but I knew every other rider here and knew I couldn’t rule anyone else out."
Meyer went one better than last year’s third place and praised his younger teammate. “To get beaten by a guy like Jack is not a bad effort,” the 20-year-old said. “If you’re going to win the national titles in the Under 23 you have to have an exceptional ride and I did that, but Jack was the stronger rider on the day.”
Matthews, 18, was ecstatic after claiming his first U23 podium finish. “To be that close to both of those guys is amazing because in under 19s when I raced them, they beat me by about a minute and a half,” he said.
Team AIS will now switch focus to Saturday’s event, with hill climber Adam Semple joining the trio for the road race.
“We have all come here with great form and it is always good to see your team mates up along side of you. I think that we will all be looking forward to Saturday’s road race,” said Bobridge.
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.