21-year-old Callum Scotson has claimed his third consecutive under-23 time trial title at the Australian Championships in Buninyong today, putting in a measured performance to finish seven seconds ahead of teammate Sam Jenner.
A triple for Scotson
Scotson, who is expected to sign with Mitchelton-BikeExchange t the conclusion of the Australian season to remain eligible for national team positions, went into today’s national time trial as the clear favourite and despite a track focus in training, delivered to perfection.
The South Australian was third fastest at the turnaround point but managed his effort to finish strongly for the title. His class makes him the only rider to complete the feat at the under-23 level.
A stand out ride from Jenner
After a top five finish in 2017, Jenner took a step up in today’s 2018 championship, challenging teammate Scotson to finish in second position and make the contest a lot tighter than many were expecting.
Jenner reached the turnaround point as the 11th fastest rider but finished incredibly strongly, particularly in the final kilometres, to steal the silver medal from those who misjudged their efforts and faded.
All in the pacing
The experience of sport director James Victor had Mitchelton-SCOTT’s four starters set with a pacing plan for the tough 29.5km time trial course and it proved beneficial.
The lack of wind forced a full 40minute effort with the usual tail wind in the first half of the course nowhere to be seen.
Passing the half-way and turnaround point in third and 11th respectively, it was the backend efforts of Scotson and Jenner that proved the difference.
Callum Scotson – Gold Medal:
“It feels great. A lot of people had told me that no one has done three in a row but I tried to focus on the process, the same as I always do for the time trial, and not think about it too much.
“It’s a big relief when you have that pressure to come across the line and win, especially when it was close – I could hear coming up to the line it was really close.
“It’s not an easy course to ride. It helps to hold a bit back for the way home, but if you use that strategy you have to have the good legs to lift up the speed when you need. It’s quite a difficult one to pace but I like it, it’s a hard course and it pays off when you have done the work. You can really make big gains on other riders if you have a strong back end.”
James Victor – Sport Director
“Everyone was expecting Callum to win but it was probably a bit closer than everyone expected, including the boys, given how well he has won it in the last couple of years. But Callum is a champion, he was the favourite to beat and he has shown he can be consistent and he has some good confidence and motivation going into the track worlds and Europe.”
“Sam Jenner probably produced the ride of the day, he was charging home in the final kilometres.”
“Rob expected a bit more, he was strong but just wasn’t fast. He was consistent the whole way out and back, but it just wasn’t his race day today.”
“The wind didn’t come up as expected and it actually turned the course even harder again. Normally we have a tailwind until the turnaround but today there was a crosswind and cross-head into the turn which meant the boys had to work hard for at least three quarters of the circuit. It made for a pretty tough day but as always on this course, irrespective of the wind, the boys who have done the work show themselves in the final five kilometres and can bring the last bit home.”