Australian Elite teams prepare for Wollongong road race

After success in the time trials, the Australian elite men's and women's teams now turn their attention to the road races, and try and get one of their own in a rainbow jersey in front of Australian fans.

After already taking out silver and bronze in the time trials, the Australian elite men's and women's teams now look to their road races, and their quest to win a national championship in their home nation.

Australia previously hosted this event in 2010, where Michael Matthews won in the under 23 category. With the course suited to him as a rider, there are talks of him taking out another rainbow jersey in Australia, this time in the elite category.

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“I've been trying to replicate everything I did that year, to be honest,” Matthews said.

“We went back to Canberra, we did basically the same preparation at the AIS using all the facilities there which was really great.

“Obviously it was a long time ago now, but still, it’s been on our minds almost every day since that moment."

The Aussie team have also enjoyed the opportunity to race and train on a course filled with Australian fans.

“It’s always special to be in Australia. We’ve been inundated with fans yelling out every day around the course – weather hasn’t been ideal but that’s alright,” Luke Durbridge said.

“Being in Australia, having a home World Championships doesn’t get bigger than that for us – for all these, we don’t get to spend too much time back here, especially racing,” Matthews agreed.

Things haven’t been entirely smooth sailing, as Jai Hindley tested positive for covid earlier this month, leading to fears about him having to pull out of this event.

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“I was a bit worried because I got covid straight after the Vuelta, so I wasn’t sure if this was still going to be possible. Luckily I had pretty light symptoms and I was testing negative pretty soon after,” Hindley said.

“I was sweating for a bit, but happy to be here.”

One of the other major headlines for the Australian team this week has been winning the bronze medal in their first-ever mixed team time trial race.

“It was the first time we’ve done this event as a country and It was really fun out there.

“We were really stoked as a team to be able to share it with the girls,” Lucas Plapp said.

The Women’s riders were also excited about their race.

“The vibes are super high,” Brodie Chapman confirmed.

“It was a bit wet yesterday, so it gave us an idea of what it might be like if it does in fact bucket down.

“But yeah, we’re all just really ready to race.

With Grace Brown winning a silver medal in the elite time trial it has already been a successful weekend for her. Following on from this she’s confident in her form and looking forward to the road race.

“Obviously being good in the time trial doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got road race form, but yeah I’ve been training for the road race specifically.

“So yeah, I can still be confident that my form will translate to the road race.”

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Another exciting moment for the team will be Josie Talbot making her international elite road debut in her hometown.

“I’ve been enjoying the whole week and trying to absorb every part of it.

“Obviously training and racing on roads are totally different experiences, but I’m hoping that all the information I’ve been able to provide is going to help the whole team collectively."