Holly Harris (NSW) claimed her first elite national win while Brendan Johnston (ACT) won his fourth title at the Marathon National Championships in Brisbane yesterday.
Harris, who looked like winning her first title at the same event in Townsville last year only to be robbed by a mechnical in the final stages, was emotional as she crossed the finish line.
“Was really concerned today with Cristy Henderson racing but I’m just speechless I’m so excited with the win.”
The Armidale rider wasted little time on breaking apart the women’s field for the 94km ride on predominantly singletrack which was expected to be fast and dry.
The only rider who could potentially latch on to Harris was Cristy Henderson (ACT) who would finish less than 20 seconds behind in second and Emma Viotto (ACT) took the bronze.
It was more of a contest in the men’s with Johnston battling away with Tasman Nankervis (VIC) and Reece Tucknott (WA) who would ride as a pack of three for the first 42km of the race.
“It was a matter of pedalling as hard as you could for four and a bit hours. That was the game plan, about a third of the way into the race I started to feel really good and I decided that I needed to go to the front and get rid of as many guys as possible.”
“Then it was Tas and I left, and he was going pretty good. I laid it over in a corner, just a silly crash but I broke a shoe buckle. I knew I didn’t want to sprint with one shoe done up. It was now or never so I went to the front, and distanced Tas and pushed onto the finish.”
Johnston with his fourth national title, with Tucknott in silver and a surprised Alex Lack (TAS) who fought back from an incident in the first half of the race to claim a deserved bronze medal.
Hundreds of riders competed over the two days with the Under 17 and 15 championships held on the Saturday.
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