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Durbridge, Gillow repeat Australian time trial titles

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) and Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) repeated their Australian time trial national championships on Wednesday in Ballarat.

Durbridge, now a back-to-back champion, beat out Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) and new Orica teammate Michael Matthews.

Winning the national title was definitely my main objective for January,” said Durbridge. “I worked hard over December to achieve that goal, and I’m happy to come out with the win.

“It’s an honor to wear national colors… To have that honor last year and achieve it again this year is a huge thing for me. I take a lot of motivation from wearing the championship jersey. I’m glad to do it again this year. My 2013 season has started quite well.”

“Bling” Matthews, known more for his fast finish than his prowess on the time trial bike, has worked in the offseason to improve his abilities against the clock.

“Bling has been preparing for the time trial, and he set the goal to medal here,” said Orica director Matt Wilson. “I knew he’d do a good time trial. He’s done fantastic efforts in the past, so I expected him to be up there. Given the form of both Durbo (Durbridge) and Dennis, third place is a fantastic result.”

In the women’s contest, Gillow scored her third national TT title in a row when she topped Grace Sulzberger (Tasmania) and Felicty Wardlaw (Victoria).

“I’m pretty happy with my ride, and it’s obviously really good to win the national championships again,” said Gillow. “With the course changes this year, it’s hard to compare my effort to my previous titles, and I’m always striving to go better. It’s a special win today, that’s for sure.”

The Australian Road National Championships continue Thursday in Ballarat with the criterium nationals.

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