January 5, 2012 Leave a comment
Wollongong’s Scott Law has claimed his first major Australian road title, the under 23 Australian Criterium Championship, the opening event of the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships at Ballarat.
Law, national omnium and scratch race champion prevailed over Jayco-AIS representative Jay McCarthy and defending champion, Tasmania’s Ben Grenda. Jayco-HoneyShotz rider Mitchell Lovelock-Fay took out the Sprint Championship.
With Law’s focus being on the track in the lead up to the national titles at the end of the month, the 19-year-old was hoping the speed work would pay off.
“The title has been one of my big objectives especially with my track background and the speed work and I’ve been training quite hard for it,” said Law. “I definitely had high hopes but never thought I’d be up there holding the green and gold.”
Grenda said he was “happy to get a medal” in back-to-back championships but it was far from smooth sailing.
“I was making a good fly in to the last corner and I ended up crashing into the back of Jay [McCarthy] and someone else so I did the divebomb up the gutter and that moved me into about fourth wheel but I’d lost all my speed so I was just trying to hang on up the straight,” he explained to Cyclingnews. “I thought I was going to be on my backside for a minute but I stayed up so it wasn’t too bad.”
A daring escape from Aaron Donnelly was caught on the final bend heading up the finishing uphill straight resulting in a bunch sprint to the finish in the 30 lap, 33 kilometre event. The Jayco-AIS rider had been active from the opening laps, along with Lovelock-Fay who was ultra-attentive during the sprint primes.
Lovelock-Fay said he was shocked at the result, considering he has been struggling with injury in the lead up to the championships.
“I wasn’t feeling anywhere near this good back in Canberra so I’m pretty happy with where my form is with the road race and time trial coming up,” he told Cyclingnews.
The pair made a move with 10 laps remaining which hovered around the 10 second mark before Donnelly made the move down the back straight with five laps remaining. With one circuit left to race, Donnelly’s seven second lead was swallowed up at the bottom of the course.
Law, who will ride for the An Post – Sean Kelly team in Europe in 2012 following a frustrating season with V Australia, admitted he had thought that Donnelly wouldn’t be reeled in.
“We had a couple of strong guys pulling some hard turns up there from there and I knew the AIS guys weren’t going to do anything so I just sort of waited and waited and tried to figure out what was going to happen but I was pretty lucky in the end that he got caught in the last two corners,” he explained.
1 Scott Law (NSW) 0:45:55
2 Jay McCarthy (Qld)
3 Ben Grenda (Tas)
4 Benjamin Hill (NSW)
5 Jackson Law (NSW)
6 Aaron Donnelly (NSW)
7 Damien Howson (SA)
8 Jordan Kerby (Qld)
9 Brenton Jones (Vic)
10 Mitchell Codner (NSW)