Australian National Championship Preview
The Australian cycling scene will once again make the annual pilgrimage to the infamous Mount Buninyong just outside of Ballarat for the Australian National Championships. The courses may be unchanged but Buttefields-Appselec powered by Van D’am Racing will enter unchartered territory with the addition of u19 riders meaning the team will be represented in eight out of the nine mens races across the five days. Spare a thought for poor team manager Lachie Ambrose who will spend more time out on course helping others than he will sleeping across the five days.
Riders to watch
Henry Dietze will be the solo representative for the team in the u19 criterium and will be looking to collect the green and gold bands. Dietze comes into the championships on red hot form, recently winning the Victorian madison championships with teammate Blake Agnoletto. Sixth at the hugely stacked Shimano Super Crit and winner of a number of A grade criteriums across the summer so far, he enters the race as a favourite, an impressive feat for a first year junior.
Liam Lawlor has recovered from a nasty crash at Amy’s Otway Tour in September to be ready in time for the criterium champs. It’s not secret that Lawlor loves a crit and will be supported by the strong Mark Sampson as he looks to make use of the punchy Sturt Street hotdog course.
David Randall will be flying the flag in the elite race and hoping to make his mark against a world class field.
Blake Agnoletto has been training hard and will be keen to show what he is capable of the dreaded slopes of Mount Buninyong. A natural climber, Blake will look to put the field in a world of pain and sneak into the winning move in his first official race for the team. Diezte will provide support as well as look for his own opportunity if the race stays together.
A strong team of seven for the u23 road race, the team do not have a clear leader but a number of riders who could pull a result. The Tasmanian strongman Iven Bennett is always a threat no matter what the course profile. Known for being a hardman, Bennett will turn himself inside out to get a result for himself or either help the team out. Daniel Siwek has come a huge way since his debut for the team last year and has been crunching some huge numbers in training. Ethan Egglestone will look to utilise his climbing talent to put himself into a position to get a result.
Rylan Dowdell had an impressive showing in the elite race last year and will look to build on that. He comes into the race with some solid form and a good year behind him with some super strong performances including third at the Baw Baw Classic. Unfortunately, Jason Thomason is a late withdrawal after snapping his bike last week. A huge loss for the team but no doubt they boys will still be in a strong position.
The time trial slips into a new slot after the road race which could add a bit of fatigue into the event. Dietze and Agnoletto will both empty what is left in their tank with Agnoletto in particular looking like he could pull a strong result after his third at the recent Tour of Bright time trial.
Lachlan Darch loves a time trial and is a solid chance for a top 10. The best out of the team last year at this event, Darch has made huge strides in this event and it should make an exciting day. Tristan Saunders is a South Australian time trial champion which will make him one to watch. In his first outing in the blue, he’ll look to show why the team were keen to sign him up.
The team will be joined by Avi from Avi’s photos so be sure to keep an eye out on the socials for some interesting content across the weekend. We’ll keep you updated with all the results and news from the championships.