The jersey of the national champion is also of great importance for seasoned WorldTour riders. After all, winning the championships not only makes you the best in your country, you can also wear a special jersey for a year, which also distinguishes you from your own teammates. The associated prestige needs no further explanation.
With summer in Australia and New Zealand many are gravitating to the south equatorial heat to prepare for the upcoming season or stay in racing mode. For the local racing cyclists, however, it was already a matter of national championship honors last weekend.
It should be the fourth title for New Zealander Hayden Roulston. After the Trek Factory rider pulled away on lap six of twelve together with triathlete Tom Davison and Garmin Sharp's Jack Bauer, the final bang came in Roulston's hometown of Christchurch. Here he prevailed against Bauer in the sprint and again secured the championship jersey. "It's a lot harder to win the title again than never to have won it", said Roulston after the race.
Rushlee Buchanan (United HealthCare) won the women's sprint ahead of Linda Villumsen (Wiggle-Honda). Third was Reta Trotman from the German women's team Maxx-Solar.
1. Hayden Roulston (Trek Factory Racing) 4:40:39
2. Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) 0:00:00
3. Tom Davison 0:00:00
4. Jason Christie 0:02:28
5. James Williamson 0:02:28
1. Ruslee Buchanan (United HealthCare) 3:32:25
2. Linda Melanie Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) 0:00:00
3. Reta Trotman (Otago-Maxx Solar) 0:00:07
4. Emily Collins (Wiggle Honda) 0:00:14
5. Sophie Williamson 0:00:14
The elite men in Australia had to conquer a 183-kilometer route divided into 18 laps on the same day in glorious weather. The race was a bit tough at first. None of the favorites made a really serious attack and so the 20.000 spectators had to marvel at a 17-man top troop right up to the last lap, which was also very hesitant. Only on the last lap did the all-important attack by Orcia GreenEdge team rider Simon Gerrans come. He narrowly pulled away on the final climb of Mount Buninyong and crossed the finish line ahead of Cadel Evans (BMC) and Richie Porte (Sky) to secure the championship jersey for the second time in his career.
Grace Elvin followed suit with the Gerrans women and also secured her second national title. But it was not to be an easy victory. Although Elvin was able to break away from the field together with Lauren Kitchen on the last lap, their lead was not enough. The field picked up the pace and caught the two breakaways. In the final sprint, however, nobody was up to Elvin's start.
1. Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge) 4:43:43
2.Cadel Evans (BMC) 0:00:00
3. Richie Porte (Sky) 0:00:00
4. Cameron Meyer (Orica GreenEdge) 0:00:05
5. Jack Bobridge (Belkin) 0:00:23
1. Grace Elvin 3:02:42
2. Lauren Kitchen 0:00:00
3. Katrin Garfoot 0:00:00
4. Tiffany Cromwell 0:00:00
5. Amanda Spratt 0:00:00