The course in Buninyong is great for TV. It creates tension that builds through the afternoon. It seemed like Alex Edmondson would be the strongest but you could never be certain until the very end. He won by one second!
He was there, so he says, to just “play a team role”. And Alex Edmondson had plenty of associates for the road race national championship of 2018. He was one of a team of eight riders from Michelton-Scott.
This was the team’s race to lose. With the strength of numbers – and a collective with immense talent – the latest name for the group we (really) know as ‘GreenEdge’ raced with cunning through to the end.
Alas, Luke Durbridge crashed out in nasty fashion. Arguably the strongest of the team going into the nationals, the West Australian was a DNF. Instead of riding away with the green and gold jersey, he wouldn’t get to see the thrilling finale.
Broken right collarbone. No more racing in the Australian ‘Summer of Cycling’ for ‘Durbo’.
He will get to watch the replay and what he’ll see, no matter how many times he rewinds and rewatches, is ‘Edmo’ holding off the charge of the challengers. Somehow.
Once he went clear, it seemed likely that Edmondson would be capable of the win. But it was never certain. Even at the end, although he won “on his own” he was just one second ahead of the runner-up, Jay McCarthy, and his good friend (and valuable escape companion) Chris Harper.
Alex Edmondson is the winner of the final event of the #RoadNats of 2018.
In the coming days, we’ll catch up with some of the riders who helped make the elite men’s road race the fitting finale that it was. It was broadcast live on TV and the images shown demonstrated how compelling road cycling can be. A pursuit to the very end and, this time, the escapee won out.
Edmondson ahead of McCarthy and Harper. With Caleb Ewan and Nathan Haas rounding out the top five.
It was a race that Michelton-Scott seemed destined to win but that doesn’t mean that it was at all predictable. Not even the winner would have believed it in the morning if you said he’d be Australian champion by the end of the afternoon.
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Below are the images of the race: the day ‘Edmo’ became champion of Australia.
Photos by Jean-Pierre Ronco. Presented by Cervélo.
It’s not often we show a photo with the central figure out of focus but this shot (above) illustrates ‘the others’… the group that was so close to Edmondson but not able to beat him.
As is so often the case with road racing, there are myriad stories from one session of competition. Over time we’ll get to examine some of the themes that emerged on the roads of Buninyong on Sunday 7 January 2018.
One thing is certain, we’ll remember a solid ride by Edmondson but there was a cast of others who entertained and impressed in the elite men’s road race.
Maybe you didn’t know the name Troy Herfoss before… but after his ride in the break, many will be gobsmacked to see him listed up there in 23rd place. He was the little engine that never seemed to stop. Eventually he slowed down, got passed by the bunch, but he did keep on going. All the way to an impressive finish.
This is one reason why the nationals are important: it exposes Australians to cycling. To racing. To competition. To exhilaration, frustration, and many other emotions.
Above are the photos of the win and the podium, below is a collection of images by Jean-Pierre Ronco that help remind us of what we saw on the television. A good race, one with soul… one to remember.