South Australia’s Damien Howson, 20, has claimed the under 23 men’s individual time trial national title at the Mars 2013 Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat on Wednesday.
Howson, a silver medalist one year ago, blitzed the 29.2km course in a time of 34mins 42:18secs, averaging a tick over 50 kilometres per hour to take the victory by a whisker.
He finished a mere 1.7 seconds ahead of Victorian Alex Morgan (34:43.97) with Tasmania’s Campbell Flakemore (35:20.56) a further 38.3 seconds back.
“I’ve been really focusing on this event for a while now, so I’m so happy and relieved to have it go my way this time,” an excited, yet relieved Howson said after his win.
The cool and gusty conditions that greeted the 36 starters in Ballarat were in stark contrast to the rest of the country, making it tough for competitors. Riders battled tough cross winds as they covered the lap around Lake Wendouree, before a strong head made it difficult as they headed through the Arch of Victory and along Ballarat’s historic Avenue of Honour to the turn around point.
“The conditions were definitely tough,” said Howson, who also claimed the bronze medal in the under 23 time trial at the 2012 UCI Road World Championships in the Netherlands.
“Heading around the lake was really tough, it’s so open and the wind is coming off the water at different speeds – it blew me across the road a fair bit.
“(But) I knew what I had to do and no matter what the conditions on the course, a time trial is a time trial, so the strongest man wins,” Howson explained.
Howson will now contest Thursday’s criterium and the road race on Saturday morning, before heading to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under after being named in the UniSA-Australia outfit.
“Competing at the Tour Down Under in my hometown of Adelaide will be a really exciting time for me. I’m really looking forward to the challenge there,” Howson remarked.
Silver medalist Alex Morgan used his track cycling skills to fly over the time trial course, overtaking opponents who started two minutes prior.
“I had saved a bit for the finish but couldn’t quite bring it home fast enough to beat Damien,” Morgan lamented. “I can’t complain though, this was my first Under 23 road time trial and I’m very happy to come so close and to win a silver medal”.
“My goal on the road in 2013 is to make the Australian team for worlds, so hopefully finishing second today helped with that,” Morgan added.
Campbell Flakemore managed to match his 2012 result, finishing with the bronze medal.
“Last year I was surprised with the podium, but this year I was aiming to get on the podium, he said. “I knew there was some classy riders here so to get third I am really happy.”
20-year-old Jordan Kerby (QLD), winner of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour prologue last week, held the lead for the majority of the race after posting a time of 35mins 43.47seccs to finish in fourth place overall.
(2013) - U23 ITT National Championships
|1.||Damien HOWSON (SA)||34:42.18|
|2.||Alexander MORGAN (VIC)||34:43.97||+1.7|
|3.||Campbell FLAKEMORE (TAS)||35:20.56||+38.3|
|4.||Jordan KERBY (QLD)||35:43.47||+1:01.2|
|5.||Jack HAIG (VIC)||36:01.96||+1:19.7|
|6.||Mitchell LOVELOCK-FAY (ACT)||36:15.64||+1:33.4|
|7.||Alex CLEMENTS (TAS)||36:38.02||+1:55.8|
|8.||Mitchell MULHERN (QLD)||36:43.84||+2:01.6|
|9.||Aaron DONNELLY (NSW)||36:44.33||+2:02.1|
|10.||Harry CARPENTER (SA)||36:53.91||+2:11.7|
|11.||Adam PHELAN (ACT)||36:55.90||+2:13.7|
|12.||Samuel SPOKES (NSW)||37:21.83||+2:39.6|
|13.||Matthew CLARK (VIC)||37:23.94||+2:41.7|
|14.||James BOAL (VIC)||37:43.76||+3:01.5|
|15.||Jesse KERRISON (QLD)||37:46.24||+3:04.0|
|16.||Mitchell COOPER (VIC)||38:01.05||+3:18.8|
|17.||Luke OCKERBY (TAS)||38:10.80||+3:28.6|
|18.||Alex WOHLER (QLD)||38:15.30||+3:33.1|
|19.||Jay DUTTON (NSW)||38:45.30||+4:03.1|
|20.||David EDWARDS (QLD)||38:47.85||+4:05.6|
|21.||Rylee FIELD (NSW)||38:59.49||+4:17.3|
|22.||Alexander HOFFMAN (QLD)||39:01.56||+4:19.3|
|23.||Fraser NORTHEY (SA)||39:12.81||+4:30.6|
|24.||Scott MCPHEE (SA)||39:23.47||+4:41.2|
|25.||Jordan DAVIES (NSW)||39:32.98||+4:50.7|
|26.||Ivan MICHELIN-BEARD (ACT)||39:40.41||+4:58.2|
|27.||Fergus SULLY (VIC)||39:53.42||+5:11.2|
|28.||Ben CUTAJAR (QLD)||40:12.32||+5:30.1|
|29.||Jesse EWART (NSW)||40:20.75||+5:38.5|
|30.||Douglas FREEBURN (QLD)||40:34.24||+5:52.0|
|31.||Justin VANSTONE (QLD)||41:10.87||+6:28.6|
|32.||Joshua CORNISH (NSW)||41:15.79||+6:33.6|
|33.||Blaise BOURKE (VIC)||41:33.12||+6:50.9|
|34.||Matthew SLEE (NSW)||41:37.42||+6:55.2|
|35.||Karl MICHELIN-BEARD (NSW)||41:50.80||+7:08.6|
|dnf||Miles SCOTSON (SA)|
|dns||Bradley LINFIELD (WA)|
|dns||Peter LOFT (TAS)|
|dns||Timothy CAMERON (ACT)|
|dns||Thomas HAMILTON (VIC)|
|dns||Dimitry MAKEEV (VIC)|
|dns||Jake MCMAHON (TAS)|
|Average speed of the winner: 50.5 km/h|