The incredible start to the Cycling Australia Road National Championships continued for InForm TM Insight MAKE today with Pat Eddy and Sam Eddy going 1-2 in the under 19 Men’s Road Race.
The riders set off in relatively icy temperatures in Buninyong with 104.4km on the agenda. The race started slowly with soft flurries of attacks slipping off the front of the peloton. It wasn’t until the fourth-time up Mount Buninyong that we started to see the race really heat up. Riders were getting ejected in their droves and the race favourites began to dictate the outcome.
Riders continued to get offloaded after each lap, and with four laps to go, the peloton was dwindled down to just 25 riders. Here is where the race started proper. Three riders managed to create the first genuinely threatening move and they quickly stretched their advantage out to 40 seconds.
What was left of the peloton managed to keep the gap under control for an opportunity for those eager, or willing enough to bounce across to the leaders in the final few laps. The three in the front became two and with three laps to go, it was time for the Eddy bros to open up the taps.
“Just before the turnoff to Mount Buninyong, I hit it, then me and few guys just chopped off to the top. Four of us managed to catch the two leaders and we became the front group of six,” P. Eddy said.
The six riders including Sam Eddy, worked together well on the second last gap to ensure that they would be the ones fighting for the victory.
On the last time up the climb, it was P. Eddy who attacked first at the base of the climb.
“Just before the feed zone I put it in the big ring and just sent it up the climb,” P. Eddy said.
He crested the top of the final climb and set a b line for the finish. S.Eddy had the luxury of sitting in the wheels of Alastair MacKellar and Dylan Hopkins in the final kilometres. As P.Eddy came into sight of the finish line, he was alone, allowed to enjoy the last kilometre of what was an incredibly calculated effort. He crossed the line 1 minute, 35 seconds ahead of S.Eddy who torched the sprint for second.
“It couldn’t have gone any better, when Pat let it rip on the last lap it was just so fast. I was already on the rivet but after the climb, I could just sit back and wait for the sprint,” S.Eddy said.
Under 23 Road Race
The 2019 Cycling Australia Road National Championships Under 23 Men’s Road Race provided one of the most exciting races in recent years.
An early move of five riders put pressure on InForm TM Insight MAKE to take reigns of the peloton to keep the gap from getting out of control. Tom McFarlane was sent up the road shortly after to take the pressure off the team and he was joined by five others.
The race now had three distinct groups, two escape groups, and the peloton. McFarlane’s group dangled at 1 minute, 30 seconds behind the lead group for several laps and could never quite make the junction. At five laps to go, the gap between the lead group and the peloton had ballooned out to almost four minutes.
As alarm bells started to ring in the main group, the big names started to wind it up in a bid to pin back the leaders. Team BridgeLane and Pro Racing Sunshine Coast were the teams who did the lion share of the chasing, and in a singular lap, had reduced the gap by two minutes. The sudden increase in speed quickly absorbed the McFarlane group and the race was back to two groups.
The gap to the breakaway continued to fall under the pressure of Team BridgeLane and Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, with the race seeming destined for a last lap showdown between the favourites.
At the base of Buninyong for the final climb, the race was all together and it was time for the final fireworks. Nick White, Sam Jenner and Michael Potter jumped clear over the top of Mount Buninyong and the trio amalgamated their forces to push out to a 20 second lead over the peloton. With yesterday’s criterium winner Jarrad Drizners scrambling over the last climb, Carter Turnbull headed to the front of the remanence of the peloton to keep the three leaders in check.
In the last two kilometres, the three leaders began to lose cooperation and the gap began to plummet. As the riders came into sight in the last kilometre, the gap was down to ten seconds and it was anyone’s guess to the outcome. Drizners hit out from the peloton with 600 meters in a last-ditch effort to make the junction but fell just short and finished fifth.
White took a very impressive win ahead Potter and Jenner.
“It was another unreal day for the team. The Eddy brother’s road the perfect race in the under 19s and really showed their class today. It was also pretty cool having their father in the car for the last few laps,” DS Pat Lane said.
“The under 23s had a really hard day. We had the most numbers in the race so there was always going to be pressure on us to influence the proceeding. The boys rode so well as a team again today and it’s just great to see them all gelling so well so early in the new year.”