Never give in. It’s a message repeated often in sport and Michael Freiberg again offered an example of why perseverance pays. He scored an audacious victory and is the Australian champion of 2019.
And then there were three: former winner, Cameron Meyer, along with last year’s bronze medallist Chris Harper, and – almost of course– there was Michael Freiberg. If it’s a race in Australia, he’s usually in the mix. You find him here, you find him there, and he’s always putting in.
Watch the crit from Friday, he was taking turns and attacking… getting caught. And attacking.
He’s a regular on the Australian scene and a rider with strong appeal. They like him here, they like him there, they tend to like him everywhere.
On the track he was a star.
On the road he just keeps on keeping on.
He is a rider who has been there and done that, but he keeps on going. At 27, he has already been close to retirement (only a few short years ago) but his nature and his physiology seem to insist that he keep on racing.
– UPDATE: listen to our exclusive interview with Michael Freiberg, click the link below –
Photos: Jean-Pierre Ronco
Years ago he used to use enormously long, 200mm cranks. “It was part of a project I had going where I had to optimise everything I was doing. Whether it be nutrition, training, bikes, position… and this [theme] happened to be crank length.”
Then, more recently, he dreamed up a new training mechanism that essentially forced his return to racing, even though he’d decided to concentrate on his new AirHub business.
He rode the resistance system, largely to demonstrate its effectiveness, and came to form. Before long, he was racing with Australia’s premier domestic team… and winning the premier road series.
He’s been a world champion (in 2011) but also been a(nother) rider denied a chance to defend his title because of petty politics within Australian cycling. But he never complained (loudly). He got on with getting on.
The AirHub is, quite clearly, good for keeping fit.
And now for my next trick… Freiberg: Australian road race champion (above).
Freiberg rides with other world champions in training: his brother in law is Luke Durbridge (recently married to Michael’s sister Lara) and Cameron Meyer are also from the same city. Three of them made the final selection of four for the national championships in Buninyong.
In the first national championship road race in years contested before the time trial, Freiberg went early, stayed up front… he maintained the pace and held position. Others faltered, but eventually there were three: Meyer, Harper, Freiberg.
Then there were two.
Durbo lost contact earlier. Then, on the final climb, Freiberg drifted back. Not far, but far enough for the two up front to play games.
‘Cat-and-mouse tactics.’ We’ve heard about it often, seen it play out. And usually the gamblers play their hand before the wildcard is thrown down. If they toy with each other up front, it’s usually because the have the winning margin – they sense it… they know it.
Not this time. Not with Freiberg. Not with his power. Not with his determination and strength and ability to overcome resistance.
The AirHub adds watts to the riding experience. On the run-in to the finish in Buninyong there was no resistance, only opportunity. Keep going!
They freewheeled. Cam said, “If we don’t ride, Freiberg will catch us.”
Chris rode. Cam did too. But Freiberg did catch them.
It was fun, wasn’t it?
– By Rob Arnold