The Cyclones have wrapped up their world titles campaign
in the Netherlands with three silver and one bronze medal for the national team.
The weekend action had WAIS athletes competing in the menís
junior road race, and the menís U23 road race, with Brad Lindfield and Michael
Freiberg riding respectively.
in the 129 kilometre junior men's race 17-year-old Ewan
from the New South Wales Southern Highlands narrowly missed reeling in victor
Matej Mohoric. The Slovenian rider won in a time of 3:00:45 after an audacious
solo escape in the final kilometre.
Ewan crossed the line in the same time at the head of the
bunch sprint for second, with Croatian Josip Rumac close behind in third place.
"That was pretty disappointing for me but I think I
will come out stronger next time," said Ewan who went in as a strong
favourite and was marked throughout the race.
175 riders had lined up for eight laps of the 16.1
kilometre circuit including Ewan's team mates, Brad LInfield, Robert-Jon
McCarthy and Nick Schultz, who went in with a clear strategy to protect him
throughout the race.
"The race really had to go my way for me to win it.
We had another three really strong guys that could have won this race (but) we
went in with the one plan to try to get me the win and I really can't thank
them enough," said Ewan. "They did so well out there and rode as hard
as they could. Silver is OK, I guess."
Junior men's road coach Dave Sanders says the Australian
team rode well but having only four riders racing against European teams with
six riders made a difference.
"The plan was always to try and get Caleb over the
crest of the Cauberg but the plan was to also have one of the guys with
him," said Sanders. "Unfortunately with a four man team the guys used
so much to try and set it up and keep it together we ran out of guys over the
"They did everything they could and the last climb
before the Cauberg we had our guys on the front to try and split it up. There's
two of them, that's 50 percent of the team, that spent their final
The French attacked on the climb and Ewan went with them
but when the Slovenian rider attacked at the crest of the final climb no-one would
commit to the chase.
"Once we got to the top we had a gap but no-one
really committed and that let everyone get back on," Ewan explained.
"The guy that won attacked right at the top and everyone hesitated and we
waited too long.
"Last year I decided to focus on the track and then
this year I wanted to focus on the road for this race," said Ewan who in
2011 won the omnium gold medal at the junior track world championships.
Ewan and Linfield have been in Europe for almost three
months racing in Holland, Belgium and France before they joined the rest of the
junior line up in Italy for the worlds training camp.
"We knew what we could do and I'm very, very proud
of Caleb for pulling that result out of what could have got messy," said
Saturdayís menís U23 road race saw WAís Michael Freiberg escape
in a breakaway, only for the peloton to reel them in, with 20 year old Kazakhstan
rider Alexey Lutsenko (4:20:15) taking line honours in a photo finish ahead of
Canada's Bryan Coquard and Tom Van Asbroeck of Belgium.
Queensland's Jay McCarthy was the first over the Cauberg climb the final time
with a handful of others in tow but they were reeled in before the line and he
finished 19th in the bunch sprint.
"From the start of the day we had the plan and the
boys plan was to look after me and for me to give it a crack in the last couple
of laps," said McCarthy. "For me to have a good result today the race
needed to be hard, then put me in the right position.
"As you saw on the last lap, and with a few laps to
go as well, I in the mix of the better climbers over the Cauberg and I guess
you could say if the finish line was closer to the top of the hill it could
have been a different story," he explained. "We gave it everything
today and I'm really proud of the boys. We did everything we could just think
we were a little unlucky at the end there to not come away with the result."
The Australians were active from the start with Michael
Freiberg riding watch at the front in the early laps.
"The race started pretty slowly. No teams willing to
take the lead early on. I went in the early break and got about eight minutes
down the road at one stage so things looked good for us from my point of
view," said the West Australian. "That's essentially what the team
plan was. I went down the road just to be in the mix of it to have our bases
covered and then my real job started when I came back to the peloton and we did
that really well and covered most of the breaks."
Cycling Australia Under 23 Men's Coach James Victor says
although the team didn't get a podium result he's pleased with the way they
"The boys certainly put themselves in the
race," said Victor. "Michael getting in that first move that was
planned for either him or Nick to try and stretch the teams and make the race
work hard, as hard as possible early just to try and not have it come down to a
"But unfortunately for us the teams who were looking
for that bunch sprint saw it fall into place for them at the end."
Victor praised team debutant Adam Phelan who had an
incident plagued first world titles and McCarthy for going for the win.
"Full credit to Adam because he had two bike changes
and a puncture and he was still off the front on the last lap," explained
Victor. "Jay had a go on the Cauberg to try and put himself in the
results, he might have snuck into the top ten if he'd waited for the bunch
sprint but he was going for the win and gave himself every chance on that last
time up the Cauberg."
- Cycling Australia