The 2019 FedUni Road National Championships at Ballarat featured a big five-day race program beginning with the action packed criterium races held in extreme weather conditions.
Australia’s best under-19s, under-23s and elite road cyclists battled it out on day one with St George cyclist Rohan Haydon-Smith getting on the podium in the under-19s men's race.
In a dramatic performance that saw crashes both at the last corner and after the finish line, it was local up-and-comer Jesse Norton (Ballarat/Sebastopol Cycling Club) who claimed victory on home turf.
Outriding a peloton that had been torn to pieces in the dying moments, Graeme Frislie (Brunswick CC) took silver and Haydon-Smith (St George CC) bronze.
In the under-23s men's, last year’s winner from St George Cameron Scott, racing for Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, won the bronze medal for his efforts in the bunch kick after a solid ride that saw both his team and InForm TM Insight MAKE control the peloton.
In the elite women, Menai Olympian Ashlee Ankudinoff finished seventh and couldn’t overcome Rebecca Wiasak (Fearless Femme Racing) who fought off a stellar field to defend her national criterium crown.
In the men's under-23s road race, St George Continental Team member Sebastian Berwick just finished out of the top 10 in a big field of 123 riders.
Paracyclists also battled for the coveted green and gold national champions jerseys with Sutherland CC’s Gabrielle Vassallo taking the gold medal in the time trial.