Racing has continued in the past few months with the National Road Series continuing. The Tour de Brisbane in early April was combined with the Oceania Championships, which had several team members competing in the time trial, criterium, and road races.
In the women’s team, Mackenzie Coupland raced the time trial and came second in the U19s. Unfortunately, Mack had a bad crash immediately after her finish and was ruled out for the rest of the racing. Everyone in the Cycling Development Foundation wishes Mack a speedy recovery.
The criterium was raced by Isla Carr, Savannah Coupland, Lucie Fityus, and Hannah Seeliger, with Lucie taking out the win and putting her into the leader’s jersey for the National Criterium Series.
There were two road races – the Oceania Championships on Saturday and the Tour de Brisbane NRS race on Sunday. The team of Isla Carr, Savannah Coupland, Jennifer Davis, Lucie Fityus, and Hannah Seeliger. The flat course for the Tour de Brisbane gave the sprinters an opportunity to go for the win, and the team to continue to develop their lead-out train, bringing Lucie in for fourth place.
For the men, Finlay McRobbie and Mitchell McGovern raced the time trial, with Mitch continuing to show improvements, coming in 14th in the U23 men’s category. Brendon Green and Nicholas Bolt did the criterium, which was a race of attrition. Less than half the field finished, with Brendon crossing rh line in 11th place.
Harrison Aves, Nicholas Bolt, Brendon Green, Mitchell McGovern, and Finlay McRobbie represented the team for the two road races. The Oceania Championships proved to be a tough race, with only Brendon Green finishing in the elite men, and Nicholas Bolt and Finlay McRobbie both successfully made it home in the Junior race. Mitchell McGovern brought it home for the team in the Tour de Brisbane, coming in 6th.
Special mention needs to be made of our under-19 riders Finlay McRobbie and Nicholas Bolt, who got through a few tough days of racing in the first and second years as U19s respectively.
Next up was the Grafton to Inverell. This is the toughest race on the calendar, both in terms of managing the logistics of getting to and from the race and the races themselves, with the organizers proudly promoting them as the hardest one-day races in Australia. Representing the women were Savannah Coupland, Lucie Fityus, Hannah Seeliger, and Serene Lee, and representing the men were Ryley Collett, Brendon Green, and Mitchell McGovern, who were joined by guest riders Ben Pepper and Connor Vickers.
Both races were defined by splits in the groups, mechanicals, and tough conditions. All riders did a fantastic job, with Savannah Coupland our top-placed woman, coming in 10th and Daniel Potter coming in 21st, just three minutes behind the leaders.
Wanting to defend the National Criterium Leader’s jersey, the women raced the Inverell Criterium on Sunday. In a perfectly executed race, the team was quick to close down any breakaway attempts delivering Lucie for her second win in two races. Lucie now has the maximum number of points in the series and a strong lead. The team will continue to defend that lead in the remaining races.
Most of the team are off to Europe for a block of racing, during the mid-year break in the National Road Series, and we wish them all the best there.
We’ve also had a couple of team changes since the last update. Nicole Wilson has joined the team for the rest of the year, following her guest ride at the Warrnambool Classic. Boris Clark has re-joined the men’s team, after a year’s break to finish his masters and follow some career opportunities in New Zealand. We have also said farewell to Andrei Navalov, Jacqui Stevens (development), and Larissa Boon (development). Andrei and Jacqui have had to take a step back from cycling while they further their careers, and Larissa unfortunately has had to take a break with injury. We wish them all the best and hope to see them out on the road soon.