Simon Gerrans gets GreenEdge's first win and takes Australian national road race title + video

31-year-old outsprints Team Sky's Richie Porte and Lampre-ISD's Matthew Lloyd to win title for first time

by Simon_MacMichael   January 8, 2012  

Simon Gerrans in Australian national champion's jersey (picture source - GreenEdge on Facebook

Simon Gerrans of GreenEdge, the only Australian to have won a stage in each of cyling’s three Grand Tours, is the country’s new national road race champion. It is the first time that the 31-year-old former Team Sky rider has won the title.

In what organisers described as a “brutal” race in which only 23 of the 140 starters went into the 16th and final lap of the 10-kilometre circuit in Buninyong, near Ballarat, Victoria, Gerrans outsprinted Lampre-ISD’s Matthew Lloyd, who finished second, and Team Sky’s Richie Porte, third, to take the green and gold jersey.

The trio crossed the line more than a minute ahead of their closest pursuers.

"This is such an honour, it is far and above one of my proudest moments in cycling and to now [I get to] be crowned Australian champion for the next 12 months, and to be able to wear the green and gold through all the big races in Europe," Gerrans said afterwards.

"I just capped off some great team work from GreenEdge today, I am so proud of all of the guys," continued the GreenEdge rider, who went on the attack on the final climb of Mount Buninyong, only Porte and Lloyd able to go with him.

"The way the race unfolded didn't really go to plan, but it went to plan that I won it," he reflected. "I was going to try and save as much as I could for the last few laps of the race, but as it turned out, the race was blown to pieces after about 50 kilometres. 

"Then with a couple of laps to go, Cameron Meyer [his GreenEdge team mate] who was out the front ran out of gas and it became an even playing field as we had the same amount of guys at the front as a lot of other teams, so it was pretty much every team for itself and we lost our advantage. 

"I have done a lot of hard work over the past couple of months to start the season in good shape, so that's why it is such a thrill that all that hard work has paid off with a win." Gerrans went on. 

Initially, Gerrans thought that the Team Sky rider who had set off in pursuit of him was CJ Sutton, which might have posed him more of a challenge in the sprint.

"It was only about five hundred metres before the line when I realised that it was Richie Porte, so I was a little less worried knowing it was him," he revealed. "Coming to the finish after a long tough race like that one with a time triallist and a climber, I knew I had a bit of a kick on me to finish off a race like that, so I was confident coming to the line."

Today’s victory is the first for GreenEdge’s men’s team, and comes 24 hours after Amanda Spratt of GreenEdge-AIS won the women’s title.

Gerrans thanked his team mates for their help during the race, in which they helped chase down a series of breaks, before GreenEdge's own Cameron Meyer went off the front and stayed there for 30 kilometres before he ran out of steam with two laps still to race.

"It is such a great way to start a season with a new team and some big races here in Australia to get the season under way, I was really motivated to start the season in good shape," Gerrans said.

"It was a race that had everything in it we just really tried to dominate the race with numbers at GreenEDGE and try to have guys in the breakaway all day long." He concluded.

The Australian National Championships conclude on Tuesday with the men’s and women’s elite and under-23 time trials.

 

7 user comments

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Gerrans thanked his team mates for their help during the race, in which they chased down breaks including 30km effort from ???

who exactly?

posted by Alan Tullett [1455 posts]
8th January 2012 - 12:24

1 Like

Ahem. Sorry that slipped in there. Blushing

Now clarified in article - GreenEdge's own Cam Meyer went on a solo attack after they'd reeled in the earlier ones.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8115 posts]
8th January 2012 - 12:39

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His GreenEdge team mates did a great job for him, have a look here

http://youtu.be/MIAu1lJHz64

http://road.cc/content/forum/49995-australian-road-national-championship

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8861 posts]
8th January 2012 - 15:28

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Good start to the year for him. Must be a thrill to race a whole season in stripes for your country or the world.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
8th January 2012 - 15:38

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Just occurred to me what a funny (ie endless) racing year the Aussie and indeed other Southern Hemisphere top pros enjoy. Just at the point where the majority of WorldTour riders can relax *a bit* in the run up to Christmas, they need to maintain their edge for what is obviously, in the case of this Australian championship, a very competitive event.

posted by nick_rearden [859 posts]
8th January 2012 - 15:53

1 Like

Ugh, good point. Presumably they must get an 'off-season' at some point though. Perhaps Road.cc need to collate the data and produce a graph showing us the performance trends to demonstrate?! Big Grin

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3198 posts]
9th January 2012 - 14:24

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So one race in a Greenedge shirt and he's already more-or-less matched what he achieved over 2 years for Team Sky, where he got the overall in Tour of Denmark last year.

Comes across as a decent guy though, so best of luck to him. There are a LOT of classy Australian riders in the peleton right now, so it was a good win - even though the Ballarat course more-or-less eliminates the hopes of any of the quick finishers.

Good to see Matt Lloyd on form too - some people wrote him off.

andyspaceman's picture

posted by andyspaceman [224 posts]
9th January 2012 - 15:38

1 Like