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Wright Crowned National Road Race Champion

Published on 4th of Jul, 2017

Australia's future stars impressed over three days at the 2017 Cycling Australia Under 19 Road National Championships in Geelong, last weekend.

Five champions were crowned over six events with Illawarra Academy of Sport Athlete Mitchell Wright crowned U19 National Road Race Champion, having already taken Bronze in the Time Trial on day 1.

It was a class field of 77 starters in the 113km Road Race, which included Sebastian Berwick, the Oceania Road Race and Time Trial Champion from earlier this year, who was looking to add the Australian crown to his name.

On a gruelling course that started with a 3.8km 4.5% average gradient climb and a total 1,530 meters of elevation gain, that included a 1.3km, 6.5% average gradient climb, which in parts rose to 8%, Wright was able to execute his race plan perfectly to claim the Australian Title. 

The race speed was frantic with 50km/h + speeds and a race average of 37.8km/h for Wright, took its toll on the riders with 22 riders abandoning the race. 

5 riders broke away 30kms into the race and at the 70kms, with the gap held to 90 seconds, Wright saw an opportunity with his main rivals caught at the back of the peloton and rode across, pulling another rider with him.

Having done most of the work to bridge the gap, Wright had recovered well and saw another opportunity on the toughest climb with 15kms to go and launched a bold solo attack that caught the other riders by surprise.

These two moves proved to be the deciding moments in Wright’s victory, with him riding solo through to the finish, 52 seconds from his nearest rival and 2 minutes 40 seconds from the peloton.

Wright’s feat in the Road Race were impressive considering that the day before he pushed himself to the limit on the 18km Time Trial Course, to narrowly miss winning the Time Trial, finishing 3rd in a time of 29 minutes and 56.6 seconds, 11.7 seconds behind the winner.

Wright adds these two National Achievements to his U17 National Time Trial Crown from last year and his selection in the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games Team which will compete in the Bahamas in July. Mitch is now in strong contention for selection into the Australian team for the Junior World Championships to be staged in Norway later the year.