Whilst a late breakaway went on to contest the green and gold jersey, Team Sunweb’s Chris Hamilton fought for a strong position in the top 10, finishing the Australian national championships in 6th place.
The race consisted of 16 times around an 11.6 kilometre circuit, situated in Buninyong. One of Team Sunweb’s new additions for the 2018 season, 20-year-old Michael Storer, was also on the start line today, riding his debut race for the team in the new season. It took three laps for a breakaway to establish, with six riders initially going clear, who were later joined by a chase group of four. After two riders were dropped, the race had eight leaders who were able to stretch their advantage out to six minutes.
Throughout the race multiple groups tried to jump across to the leading group, but it was the 13th lap which saw a counter attack from two riders, a move that would ultimately be race deciding. Countless attacks came from within the bunch, but one of the leading riders was just able to cling on to take the victory. Chris Hamilton remained well positioned into the finale, sprinting to 6th place after a gruelling day out.
After the race Chris said: “A late breakaway made it to the finish just in front of the main group. The bunch was sprinting for 3rd and I finished 6th. I’m happy with the result and how Michael and I rode together in our first race of the season.”
Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts said: “A late two-rider break was caught just on the line but managed to hold places 1 and 2. Chris was part of a very select small group that were the remains of the peloton. Michael sacrificed himself on the final two climbs to pull for Chris, whilst there were only 15-20 riders left in the peloton. It was a strong team effort from our two Aussies in their first race together of the season, and we can be pleased to walk away with 6th after a demanding race.”