Australian Open Road Championships 2007
Buninyong, near Ballarat, Victoria
Time Trial - Thursday, January 11, 13:30hrs 28km
Road Race - Saturday, January 13, 13:30hrs, 102km
The National Championships return to Buninyong in Victoria after 2 years in the Adelaide South Australia region. With the time trial taking place on Thursday and the road race on Saturday, there is enough recovery time that several riders are doubling up and riding both events.
The only starter from the 2006 time trial podium is defending Champion, Kathy Watt, who is also on the road race start list. Her nearest competition in the time trial comes from Amanda Spratt (NSWIS), Candice Sullivan (QLD) and Toireasa Gallagher, who achieved top ten placings in 2006. Sara Carrigan and Natalie Bates, who were second and third respectively last year are opting to only ride the road race this year.
The time trial takes place over a 28km circuit.
The circuit for the road race is considered so tough that the men's event has been cut from 18 laps 183.6km to 16 laps 163.2km after consultation by the organisers with Cycling Australia, National Head Coach, Shane Bannon and ex-Champion, Robbie McEwen. You will still get the same result, McEwen said. This Buninyong course is so hard you wont miss a couple of laps.
The road race is missing last year's Champion, Kate Bates and also bronze medallist and previous Champion, Oenone Wood. The pair are away from Australia on team duties at their T-Mobile team's training camp in Majorca. Silver medallist from 2006, Sara Carrigan, the reigning Olympic road race Champion and Amanda Spratt, who was in the winning break until a few kilometres before the finish will start on Saturday. So too will Katie Mactier 4th in 2006, as long as her injuries sustained in Race 1 at the Jayco Bay Series have calmed down in time (click here for Bay Series coverage.) Other riders possibly in contention are Emma Rickards, Natalie Bates and Olivia Gollan, whilst Jenny Macpherson has been sprinting well recently, but may struggle on the climb. Kate Nichols will open her 2007 campaign in Buninyong, so too will Lorian Graham.
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