RoadNats 2021: SarahRoy dominates elite women's road race

Champion: Sarah Roy celebrates as she wins the elite women's road race. Picture: Kate Healy
Champion: Sarah Roy celebrates as she wins the elite women's road race. Picture: Kate Healy

SHOOTING ahead by more than a minute by the final lap, elite women's road race national champion Sarah Roy had no doubt the race was hers.

With about a kilometre-and-a-half to go, her Team BikeExchange car pulled up alongside and told her the gap to the chase group, and the television camera on the motorbike following managed to grab her grin.

Finishing the 104.4-kilometre race in three hours, one minute and 52 seconds, Roy said she was not expecting a win at all.

"I felt really strong today in the climb today, I haven't really trained for anything like this," she said. "I'm really happy to just feel like I had some good legs out there.

"(BikeExchange teammate) Luke Durbridge's quote for the last few weeks has been 'be brave', and he said that to me the other day, I thought I'm just going to give it a crack."

Pushing through the pack to establish a breakaway through light rain in the morning, she added she was still checking over her shoulder with 200m to go - "you just never know with this course.

"As a professional cyclist you want to win the national championships at least once in your career, I think I'd been written off just because I'm a bigger rider, people seem to think that I can't get around this course and it's too hard for me. I probably couldn't beat the climbers if I was in a group with climbers, but you make the race your own."

Supporting her on the final lap was teammate Grace Brown, dueling with Lauretta Hanson all the way to the end after fighting her way to the chase group.

"Coming into the final lap I knew that Sarah was pretty secure in her win, I thought I'd have a bit of a dig and see if I could get a spot on the podium, which came off well," she said.

In the under 23s race, Emily Watts from KOM Financial Knights of Suburbia seized a win after pulling away from challengers Neve Bradbury and former champ Sarah Gigante.

"I feel pretty stoked, I've never felt like this before," she said, still shaking. "As I crossed that line I didn't even know I had the under 23s so when they told me it was pretty crazy."

RESULTS

  • ELITE WOMEN'S: Sarah ROY 3h01:52; Grace BROWN +1:16; Lauretta HANSON +1:18
  • ELITE MEN'S: Cameron MEYER 4h39:12; Kelland O'BRIEN +0 ; Scott BOWDEN +0;
  • UNDER 23 WOMEN'S: Emily WATTS +1:27; Neve BRADBURY +1:55; Sarah GIGANTE +1:55;
  • UNDER 23 MEN'S: Thomas BENTON 3h33:59; Rudy Porter +25; Carter Turnbull +25.
This story Roy dominates in solo breakaway challenge first appeared on The Courier.