Thursday, January 4, 2024 at 8:09 am
The cyclo-cross riders are now working hard for the championship, but the new road season has now also started in Australia. In Mount Helen, a fast-growing southern suburb of Ballarat, Luke Blabb and Grace Brown were crowned Australian time trial champions.
Luke Plabb managed to record the fastest time among the elite men and thus won the Australian title. The 23-year-old Blabb – known as a versatile and very promising driver – achieved a final time of 46 minutes and 19 seconds after 37.5 kilometres. It turned out that he was more than half a minute faster than his Jayco AlUla teammate Chris Harper. Michael Hepburn moved up to third, making it 1-2-3 for Jeko Alala.
For Ballab, it was his first match for Jaiko Al-Ula, after joining from Ineos Grenadiers in the winter. The young knight gives his new employer victory on the spot. It is Plapp's second Australian time trial title among professionals. In 2021, he has already been crowned the best time trialist in his country.
A fourth time trial title for Grace Brown
Among the women, victory – not surprisingly – went to Grace Brown. The 31-year-old rider, who competes on the FDJ-SUEZ team, was able to perform her favorite role over a distance of 28.6 kilometers. In the end, the gap with Brodie Chapman (Liddle Trek) was just seven seconds in favor of Brown. Georgie Howe, competing for Liv Ala Jayco, was good for bronze.
It is Brown's third consecutive Australian trial title among professionals. The number now stands at four Champions jerseys, which was also the best in the discipline in 2019.
Previously, titles in other (youth) categories had already been awarded. In the junior category there was success for Lauren Bates (women) and Will Holmes (men), and in the under-23 category the titles went to Ella Simpson (women) and Jackson Medway (men). Next weekend, there will be multiple Australian titles on the line again, but in different road races.
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