2019 JUNIOR ROAD NATIONALS RACE REPORT BY WESTCYCLE TALENT DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR JETHRO NAGLE
DAY ONE : TALLEBUDGERA TIME TRIAL
JM15 – 10km
JW15 – 10km
JW17 – 15km
JM17 – 15km
The 2019 Australian Junior Road Nationals kicked off on what was a beautiful sunny day on the Gold Coast. The TT course, which was held in Tullebudgera, about 20km out from Surfers Paradise, was a challenging out and back design. Course knowledge was crucial. Our riders recon’d the course on Wednesday and made themselves familiar with the blind corners, potholes and rolling hills so that come Friday they would be best prepared to achieve the best result they could. Head coach Brad Hall was brilliant during this phase and throughout the riders preparations as they warmed up, ensuring they were prepared and focused before heading to the start.
Our first riders off were Zara Williamson & Isabella Commons representing WA in the JW15 category. Both girls put on a serious performance with Izzy taking 10th place and Zara only a few seconds off her in 12th place.
Next up in the JM15 category was Nick Bolt & Finlay McRobbie. Both relatively inexperienced in time trialing on the road, which made their results even more impressive. Nick finished 11th best in only his second road TT (first being the State Champs) whilst Finlay placed 24th as a first year U15 and second time using his clip on aero bars, great personal results for both of the boys.
As we came to the 17’s category, heat started to become a factor as teams and riders looked to stay in the shade where possible during their warm ups. Lucky for Team WA, we had secured premium real estate early in the morning and had plenty of shade for our 17’s. Jessica Waldron, Hannah Waters & Emily Wiggins were the next WA riders to compete. Emily was the first JW17 off the mark to set the pace and ended finishing a respectable 15th place. Jess and Hannah both put strong rides together to finish 24th & 25th.
The last event for the day saw Calum Milne, Matthew Connan (WA ITT State Champion) & Josh Commons utilizing pre-cooling strategies during their warm ups to keep their core temperatures low as the outside temp rose. The boys road extremely well in an extremely talented JM17’s field. Calum Milne placed 23rd, Matthew Connan finished 7th and Josh Commons topped all three to finish a close 4th place in an outstanding ride, only 1.52 seconds off the podium.
Whilst the TT course certainly favoured the bigger riders today, Sunday’s road race course at the Hinzi Dam would not be so kind. I have to say the first section of the course taking the riders up the main climb was absolutely filthy. A climb that kicks three times and touches well over 15% for much of the climb. The riders will be challenged from the gun. The descent that follows includes some sharp turns on narrowing roads which will make positioning crucial.
All of our WA athletes were chomping at the bit to get out and dig into this awesome course against the Nations best junior cyclists.
WA Team Manager