Queensland’s Shara Gillow was simply superb blitzing the quality women’s field to win by over one minute to succesfully defend her time trial crown.
The last of 27 starters to head out on the course, GreenEDGE-AIS’s Gillow, 24, averaged 43km/hour as she powered her way through the 27.1kilometre distance, recording a scintillating time of 37:04.35, over a minute better than the time she posted to win the title one year earlier.
Despite blustery conditions which made it difficult for all riders, it was a clear win for Gillow who finished one minute and 13 seconds ahead of silver medalist Taryn Heather of South Australia who clocked 38:17.54, with Victoria’s Bridie O’Donnell one second back in third in 38:18.78.
“It was pretty windy out there today and being the start of the season, I just wanted to have a good race,” said Gillow, the best placed Australian at the past two UCI Road World Championships after finishing eighth in 2010 and twelfth last year.
“I probably started out a bit too fast, but I went out there today doing a bit of an experiment,” Gillow explained. “I’m learning so much as I go and I just tried a few different things today.
“There’s always some things you can change, but I’m pretty happy with how it went,” said said.
The win gave the GreenEDGE AIS team a clean sweep of the three women’s events following Alexis Rhodes’ win in Thursday’s criterium and Amanda Spratt’s spectacular solo victory in the road race on Saturday.
“We have been really racing well the GreenEDGE girls, and what could be better than taking out all three jerseys,” Gillow said.
“I just feel like I’m getting better and better as a rider, doing more time trials and road races, learning more from the bunches and reading races. Hopefully I can continue that when we go back to Europe this year.
“Today’s result is great, I’m really happy to be able to back up after last year, but for me the bigger picture is the Olympics.
“I’m aiming for gold in London, (but) I don’t just want to make the team, I’m aiming higher and hoping to do really well,” she added.
Heather, 29, claimed her second consecutive silver medal in the event, after bursting on the scene last year just six months after taking to the sport after attending an AIS National Talent Identification session in Adelaide late in 2010.
“Shara overtook me and I didn’t realise I was still in second place, so I am pretty happy I still came away with the silver,” said the South Australian Institute of Sport cyclist.
“I trained pretty hard for both the road race and the time trial, but maybe with some more racing and steady training, hopefully I can get up on the top of the podium next year,” added Heather.
South Australia’s Sinead Noonan claimed her second gold medal of the championships after posting the best time in the under 23 category.
Noonan, who took the gold in Saturday’s road race after finishing 12th overall in her first race with the Jayco AIS team, finished ninth overall with a time of 39:54.85.
“I am pretty overwhlemed at the moment, to get both is pretty exciting,” said Noonan. “I am looking forward to going overseas with the Jayco AIS team this year now, getting more experience riding with the pros and seeing what I can do.”
New South Wales Lauren Kitchen (40:16.56) and West Australia’s Sarah Kent (40:19.02) took the silver and bronze medals after finishing tenth and eleventh respectively.
2012 Australian Road National Championships (2012) - Elite Womens TT
Date: Tue, 10th January 2012
Rider Time Gap
1. 202 Shara GILLOW (QLD) 37:04.35
2. 203 Taryn HEATHER (VIC) 38:17.54 +1:13
3. 204 Bridie O’DONNELL (VIC) 38:18.78 +1:14
4. 205 Amanda SPRATT (NSW) 38:33.09 +1:29
5. 201 Alexis RHODES (SA) 38:42.49 +1:38
6. 206 Grace SULZBERGER (TAS) 39:29.80 +2:25
7. 212 Rachel NEYLAN (SA) 39:34.61 +2:30
8. 208 Rebecca WIASAK (ACT) 39:42.46 +2:38
9. 420 Sinead NOONAN (SA) U23 39:54.85 +2:50
10. 416 Lauren KITCHEN (NSW) U23 40:16.56 +3:12
11. 419 Sarah KENT (WA) U23 40:19.02 +3:15
12. 431 Emma LAWSON (TAS) U23 41:01.70 +3:57
13. 422 Ailie MCDONALD (ACT) U23 41:03.77 +3:59
14. 210 Carla RYAN (VIC) 41:05.03 +4:01
15. 417 Jessica ALLEN (WA) U23 41:09.35 +4:05
16. 207 Carlee TAYLOR (SA) 41:19.43 +4:15
17. 216 Stephanie FRAWLEY (VIC) 41:23.35 +4:19
18. 213 Nicole WHITBURN (VIC) 41:41.40 +4:37
19. 217 Miranda GRIFFITHS (VIC) 42:03.39 +4:59
20. 214 Gracie ELVIN (ACT) 42:07.31 +5:03
21. 221 Samantha DE RITER (VIC) 42:47.46 +5:43
22. 220 Megan BAGWORTH (ACT) 42:52.24 +5:48
23. 223 Lucy COLDWELL (VIC) 42:59.13 +5:55
24. 219 Elizabeth HALL (VIC) 43:39.69 +6:35
25. 222 Stephanie IVES (VIC) 43:49.44 +6:45
26. 218 Kellie MATHERS (VIC) 44:45.90 +7:41
27. 423 Alice WALLETT (ACT) U23 45:35.62 +8:31
dns 421 Kendelle HODGES (VIC) U23
dns 224 Delphine ASTIER (VIC)
dns 209 Rowena FRY (TAS)
dns 211 Tiffany CROMWELL (SA)
dns 418 Alexandra CARLE (ACT) U23
dns 215 Loren ROWNEY (QLD)
Average speed of the winner: 43.87 km/h
Number of starters: 27