The beginning of 2023 saw some changes in both the men’s and women’s teams, as they continued to build on a successful 2022.
For the men’s team, we welcomed Finlay McRobbie as first-year J19, Finlay has been in the junior ranks of CDF for a number of years, and we’re excited to have him join the National Road Series team. We also welcomed Andrei Navalov and Sam Welch. We said farewell to Joe Inglis, who is going to try his luck in Europe, Jaxon King and Will Thomas, and we wish them all the best with their futures.
For the women’s team welcome Isla Carr. Larissa Boon, Chloe dal Passo and Jacqui Stevens also joined us as development riders. Kelly Fettes has left us to focus on qualifying for the Paralympics 2024 as pilot for Candice Kennedy. We also farewelled Nicole Mitsigeorgis and Emma Pratt, and wish them all the best.
The 2023 NRS teams are:
Chloe dal Passo
There was little rest over Christmas, with the Australian Road National Championships in Ballarat in early January. The women continued where they left off, with Mackenzie Coupland taking out the U19 National Criterium Race and second in the J19 road race. Mackenzie was also on track for a high finish in the time trial, until she came off in the final corner. Fortunately, Mackenzie was not badly injured and was able to finish the race in 8th position. Mackenzie also won the most aggressive rider and the climbing classification in the road race.
Other notable results were 9th for Nicholas Bolt in the J19 criterium, 11th for Matthew Connan in the U23 time trial, and 17th for Finlay McRobbie in the J19 time trial in his first National Championships. Special mention must also be given to CDF alumnus Brady Gilmore, who came 2nd in the U23 road race. It was a highly competitive field for the National Championships, with a number of professional riders returning from overseas to compete, and congratulations to all riders who took part.
The National Road Series started in early February with the Melbourne to Warrnambool and Women’s Warrnambool Classic, the longest one-day races in Australia at 267 km and 160 km, respectively.
The women’s team welcomed guest rider Nicole Wilson, who went rode solo in what turned out to be the only break of the day. She came close to taking the Queen of the Mountain Classification in the process but missed out on countback. After the peloton came back together, it was down to a bunch sprint, with Lucie Fityus taking 5th place.
The men’s race had professional riders Chris Froome (Israel Premier Tech) and Lachlan Morton (EF Education First) join the field, as well as a number of NRS teams eager to get some early results on the board. An early break of 29 riders, including members from every team in the race, meant that little was going to happen in the main peloton. Brendon Green was our sole representative in the break, riding a very clever race, saving his energy as much as possible. The tactics and his hard work over many years paid off, with Brendon coming 2nd. This is an outstanding result given the toughness of the race and the caliber of the competition. Also noteworthy was Mitchell McGovern, who took 3rd in the U23 competition, coming home with the main peloton.
Coming up in the next few months, almost the entire team will be in Perth during March for a team training camp, and will be taking part in a number of local races, as they prepare for the Oceania Championships and Tour de Brisbane in Brisbane from 28 March – 2 April. We also say farewell to Matthew Connan, who is about to head off to Italy to race with the Aran Cucine – Vejus and will be racing in Europe for most of the year. Good luck Matty and see you when you get back!
Sam Bolton, Team Manager
Photo thanks to AusCycling