The Cycling Australia Under 19 Road National Championships concluded on Sunday with fast and exciting criterium titles going to Michael Storer (WA) and Josie Talbot (NSW).
Oceania time trial champion Storer out-sprinted his breakaway companion Joel Yates (NZL) for the win, with Queensland’s Daniel Fitter leading the field home for bronze.
“I am really happy to win the criterium,” said Storer. “I was a little bit disappointed with my road race and I felt that my position in the time trial wasn’t what I would expect to get so I’m really happy to find my legs again and get the win.”
Storer took advantage of a lull in the pace of the reduced peloton, attacking with Yates and Cyrus Monk (VIC) with four laps remaining in the 30 minute race.
On a windy day at Stromlo Forest Park, the field of 49 split into small groups early with two crashes in the field causing even more havoc and allowing the final breakaway much needed time.
In the women’s event, it was Sydney’s Talbot who out sprinted road race national champion Macey Stewart (TAS) and Lauren Perry (TAS) to claim victory.
“I am so happy,” said Talbot. “I didn’t really come in to the championships expecting anything too great so I’m really happy with the win.”
The under 19 omnium national champion, Talbot showed her strength in bunch racing, tackling the tough open criterium circuit with ease before out sprinting the lead group for gold.
“Criterium’s are always a bit of a lottery because there are so many strong girls. I was getting a bit worried because I started to get pushed out, but I came on the outside and was just strong enough to get over the girls.”
Talbot will now head into the junior track camp before heading to Korea to compete at the UCI Junior Track World Championships.The silver medal for Stewart is the Tasmanian’s third medal for the championships following claiming silver in Friday’s time trial and gold in Saturday’s road race.