Thursday, January 8, 2015

Australian & NZ Nationals: Scotson, Oram win U23 TTs

The summer racing in the Antipodes is coming to a climax with Nationals occurring for both Australia and New Zealand. The U23 TT for Australia happened on the 8th and for the Kiwis, on the 9th even though I am typing this on the night of the 8th, still feeling the last bits of a gin-induced hangover.

Miles Scotson wins Australian U23 TT

With defending champion Jordan Kerby graduated to the Elite ranks, there would be a new winner for the Australian U23 TT title. Both Harry Carpenter and Miles Scotson made the podium last year and were two of the favorites to get medals again. I could sit here and go through the entire list of riders but that would be boring for all parties. Only a few riders were in any real contention for a medal and really, only 3 showed they were medal contenders.

Oscar Stevenson set the benchmark ride with a 38'40". The young rider fractured his pelvis just 6 months ago but came back last month to win the Tour of Bright. Stevenson hit the hot seat and got to bite his nails for an hour or so.

Harry Carpenter put on a big show at last year's nationals to get him a ride with the national team in Europe last year. Carpenter put in a strong ride but there was a rider that was focused on his figure in the distance. World Team Pursuit Champion Miles Scotson had passed Jack Haig and Sean O'Callaghan and was plastering himself on the hill on course. Scotson didn't catch Carpenter but he did sneak in 4 seconds ahead of Stevenson to take the green & yellow bands.

Scotson has been a prodigy on the track and this title is just a point that he could transition his talents to the road.

James Oram takes New Zealand U23 TT
Across the Tasman Sea, the New Zealand Nationals got underway "today" with the time trials with 10 riders undertaking the U23 race. It seems slightly odd that James Oram hasn't won a time trial national title since his junior days even though he has been the best, on average, Kiwi time trialist in his class. He was able to turn that around to take the win on the on the Lincoln course with a convincing performance.

In 2nd place was Dylan Kennett, who has been riding with the national track squad and is currently on the team pursuit squad on track for the Olympics. Kennett was able to beat out defending champion Fraser Gough, who was 58 seconds behind Oram.

Oram was able to take the the first win for Axeon Cycling, Axel Merckx's new squad. If you haven't heard of them, then by all means, you should read my preview of the team.

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