Scotson Claims Gold at Australian National Road Race Championships8. January 2017, Ballarat (AUS) — Road Team
Miles Scotson has stunned the peloton to claim the gold medal at the Australian National Road Cycling Championships in his first road race with BMC Racing Team.
Scotson, who turned professional in 2017, launched an attack with 1.5km to go and powered on to hold off the chase group and take the win in spectacular solo fashion.
Scotson will wear the green and gold jersey throughout 2017, joining teammate Rohan Dennis who claimed the gold medal in the individual time trial three days ago.
The 183km race, comprised of 18 laps, saw a number of breakaways go clear including a ten-rider move with Scotson. With 100km remaining Scotson was back in the bunch as another seven-rider group broke away.
As the pace picked up and the finish line approached, Scotson was part of a small group of 12 riders chasing solo leader Brendan Canty (Cannondale-Drapac).
With one 10km lap to go the race was back together, with Scotson staying at the back of the group before making the daring surprise attack that would see him become BMC Racing Team’s first Australian National Road Race champion.
Scotson will have the opportunity to race on home soil as the Australian champion when he lines up at the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide next week.
The Winner’s Interview with Miles Scotson
Miles, in your first road race as a professional rider you have won become Australian National Road Race champion. Has it sunk in?
“It has kind of sunk in that I won. I didn’t expect to have a day like today. I didn’t expect that I was going to make 18 laps of the climb but on some of the laps, maybe not the last two, I felt like I was one of the strongest and everything just came together.”
The breakaway situation changed throughout the race and you were in one of the moves. Talk us through the race for you leading up to the final lap.
“I went into the first move but I felt fairly marked. Obviously ORICA-Scott had six riders and when I went in one of the moves where there were two ORICA-Scott riders and other teams represented. But it was like the break didn’t want to work once I got there and it then came back. When the next move went I was really annoyed as I thought I should have gone with that as it would stay away. Then I found that I had really good legs during the race so I pushed the pace on the fourth to last climb up the hill and it brought about a minute back and split that peloton apart. Other riders started to push along and then it came back and I was still there, so I took the opportunity.”
You were the only rider from BMC Racing Team. How did this change your race tactics?
“I didn’t even have much of a race tactic. I didn’t think about it too much apart from trying to get into one of the early breaks. I thought I used a bit of energy when I rode across and then I sat back. On the fifth or sixth-to-last lap I thought I could really make it across the front with the good climbers and the fourth time I saw that I was putting some favorites in difficulty, so I sort of changed my race plan. I hoped it would come back and I would sit in and race smart. I thought a top five or a podium in the road race would be great but then I like to roll the dice sometimes. I could have finished first or I could have finished last but I had good legs when I went and I went really hard and opened up a big gap. I was still moving well over the last kilometer and that kind of effort over 1.5-2km really suited me. It was perfect.”
How does it feel knowing you will make your debut as Australian champion on home soil in Adelaide for the Santos Tour Down Under?
“It’s going to be nuts. As a neo pro you’re always a little bit stressed about your first year is going to go. I know it’s going to be tough at times. Now I’ll stand out a little bit with the Australian jersey. I’m just going to enjoy it. It’s an honor to wear the Australian jersey. I think it helps the sponsors of the team which is so good with it standing out. So I just want to do the best I can and starting in Adelaide in front of the home crowd, I’m really looking forward to that.”
Australian National Road Cycling Championships
Road Race Ballarat > Ballarat (183km)
Top 3: 1. Miles Scotson (BMC Racing Team), 2. Simon Gerrans (ORICA-Scott), 3. Nathan Haas (Team Dimension Data).
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