IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness rider Sean Lake completed an amazing double this past weekend when he successfully defended both the time trial gold and road race gold at the Oceania Championships in Canberra. It’s a feat we doubt has ever been done before.
After dominating Thursday’s time trial Sean went into Saturdays lumpy 160km road race without pressure. That said he was certainly keen for a good race and in particular the hilly course as it represented an opportunity for him to test his climbing abilities against some of the best cyclists from Australia and across the Tasman. Normally climbing wouldn’t be on Sean’s wish list but after losing more than seven kilos in an attempt to transform into a general classification rider he was quietly confident of being able to hang with the best.
Early in the race Jason Lea managed to get into the days main break. He played the perfect team role and took the pressure off allowing the rest of the boys to sit back and let others chase. At the 81km mark the Orica Conti boys had all but brought the break back and the real race started. Groups were surging off the front and coming back together constantly but it wasn’t until the first time up the three sisters that a group managed to stay clear. Nine riders extracated themselves from what remained of the field with only about 20 left to chase. In the group were Hindley, Hamilton and Storer (Orica), Lake (IWS), Christie (NZ), Dyball (St George), Featonby (Pat’s Veg) and Sunderland (NSWIS).
The two groups came back together momentarily but at the base of the next climb the race was shattered again. Coming through on the last lap to get the bell only Christie (NZ) was away. Behind him Sean went clear and was joined by Hindley and Featonby. By the Three Sisters they had caught and dropped Christie while Hamilton and Storer had attacked to bridge across the 35 second gap. By the top the five were together but an attack by Lake who was joined by Hindley saw Featonby lose out when the other two jumped across. Sean was now outnumbered three to one and was in a losing battle but know he just needed to stay ahead of the chasers to win the elite title.
Hindley attacked with 10km to go which actually helped to settle things down a bit. Sean took his time in bringing him back and once he did went straight to the front and rode a hard tempo to discourage attacks. In the finish Hamilton took the win followed by Storer with Hindley third and Sean rolling home to take the Elite win. Behind a great chase by Neil Van Der Ploeg saw him catch the second group with only five kilometers to go then do enough to win the sprint and take second in Elite.