Sport

Amanda Spratt, Jack Bobridge claim national titles, Canberra's Chloe Hosking, Nathan Haas close

For a brief moment Canberra sprinter Chloe Hosking thought she had a medal after winning the bunch sprint in the women's road race at the Australian championships in Ballarat on Sunday.

But after working hard to catch the peloton she got the "calculations in her head" wrong and had to settle for sixth behind winner Amanda Spratt.

Strong finish: Canberra cyclist Chloe Hosking finished sixth in the Aussie road race nationals.
Strong finish: Canberra cyclist Chloe Hosking finished sixth in the Aussie road race nationals. Photo: Melissa Adams

​Trek rider Jack Bobridge led almost from start to finish to claim the men's road race crown, two minutes and 52 seconds ahead of Cameron Meyer, with Patrick Lane third.

Canberra's Nathan Haas won the reduced bunch sprint to finish fourth.

​Hosking fell off the back of the peloton going up the final climb and only caught them again about two kilometres from the finish line.

The Wiggle High5 rider did not realise an extra three riders had escaped off the front until just after she had crossed the line.

Fellow Canberran and two-time Aussie champ Gracie Elvin finished 18th.

"I wasn't sure what place I'd gotten until I saw my parents after the line ... for a brief moment there I thought I'd maybe got a medal at the nationals, but [my parents] corrected it pretty quickly," Hosking said.

"I can afford to celebrate a little bit. It's the first time I've finished that race with the main group, it's quite a step forward in my riding - prove to myself that if I work hard I can get over these climbs."

The loop circuit up and down the tough climb of Mt Buninyong is not the ideal course for a sprinter.

Hosking has been a critic of holding the nationals over the same course in the past and was hopeful it might be held somewhere else next year.

"It's a championship course, it does stimulate good racing, but at the same time we've raced on it 10 years in a row," she said.

"We can mix it up, it's OK, you can do that. There's talk this is the last year it's meant to be in Ballarat ... I would love to see a change so a different sort of rider can win."

Spratt's win comes four years after her previous title win when she went on to compete at the Olympic Games in London.

The 28-year-old captain of the powerful Orica-AIS team outsprinted Ruth Corset to take out the 102km road race again.

While Olympics selection is still months away, the win is a clear boost to Spratt's hopes of racing at her second Games.

"Certainly it's a really great way to start the year," she said.

"The last couple of seasons I've been a bit more up and down but I've had a really solid block of training in the off-season.

"The Olympics is the really big goal and to start it off with a national title is really, really important - it puts me up there."

Fellow Orica rider Rachel Neylan won the three-way sprint for third, two seconds behind Spratt and Corset. Nationals time-trial winner Kat Garfoot was fourth and Lauren Kitchen fifth.

Then Hosking led the pack home 35 seconds behind Spratt.​ 

with AAP