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Teamwork made the dream work for Team BikeExchange at the Australian national road race championships Sunday.
Sarah Roy and Cameron Meyer took the titles in Buninyong to take a clean sweep for the Aussie team and reward a day of dominance from the WorldTour outfit.
Roy took her first national title with a solo move having been in the day’s early escape. The 34-year-old outlasted all her breakaway companions except for Lauretta Hanson (Trek-Segafredo) before attacking her rival inside the final 30km and time trialing to victory.
Behind, Team BikeExchange had been bossing the bunch to maximize Roy’s chances of going to the line solo. With their sprinter looking guaranteed the jersey, Grace Brown attacked from the peloton and bridged to the remains of the breakaway before taking second place from a two-up sprint.
“I can’t believe it, I did not expect this coming into today,” Roy said. “I’ve never won the green and gold before, so I’m super stoked. Thanks to my awesome teammates, Grace got second too.”
Meyer, 33, defended his title thanks to teammate Luke Durbridge‘s MVP domestique duties.
Young sensation Luke Plapp went on a solo attack midway through the race only for “Turbo Durbo” Durbridge to help pull him back. With the catch made, attacks began flying through the hilly final 20km, with Durbridge and Meyer twice distanced. Durbridge, 29, was instrumental in pulling his teammate back to the bunch both times ahead of the final in Buninyong.
The race came down to a sprint and fast-finishing Meyer timed his move to kick past the early charge from Kelland O’Brien (Inform TMX Make) to successfully defend his 2020 national title.
“Luke Durbridge is unbelievable, somehow we just pulled off a miracle! We thought we were all gone, buried,” Meyer said. “They committed to me, I didn’t feel that good with four to go, but we just dug deep and somehow, we pulled off a miracle.
“We just didn’t know we had it won, we never gave up,” Durbridge said. “That’s the biggest thing we stand for in this team, we just never give up, we just keep coming back, keep coming back, keep fighting, that’s what we did today.”
Women’s Australian Road Race Championships 2021 – Results:
1. Sarah Roy (Team BikeExchange) 3:01:52
2. Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) +01:16
3. Lauretta Hanson (Trek-Segafredo) +01:18
Australian Road Race Championships 2021 – Results:
1. Cameron Meyer (Team BikeExchange) 4:39:12
2. Kelland O’Brien (Inform TMX Make) +0:00
3. Scott Bowden (Tasmanian Institute of Sport) +0:00