World championships beckon
Amy Bradley (2nd), Katrin Garfoot (1st) and Carla Ryan (3rd) cross the line at Tidbinbilla in the Oceania Road Cycling Championships. Photo: Jay Cronan
CHLOE HOSKING has backed this year's Oceania road race champion as a cyclist who will be ''a great asset'' to Australia at this year's worlds.
The Canberra cyclist said that, traditionally, the Oceania course, which grants the victor an automatic berth at the world championships, did not match the worlds course, but she had no such qualms about Katrin Garfoot's victory.
There were 37 starters in the elite women's field at Namadgi National Park, but only 16 finished the race.
Carla Ryan leads the peloton. Photo: Jay Cronan
Garfoot won a sprint to the line between a group of six climbers that led the field, with the Gold Coast cyclist finishing the 102-kilometre course in two hours 57.21 seconds.
Victoria's Amy Bradley was second, with Carla Ryan (Queensland) third.
Lisa Keeling was the best-placed local in seventh position.
Lucy Coldwell during the climb at Tidbinbilla. Photo: Jay Cronan
Hosking was one of the many who failed to finish because of the tough course.
The 22-year-old was back in Canberra for her sister's wedding and will return to Europe for April's Energiewacht Tour.
As a sprinter not suited to a climber's course, she found the going tough and viewed it more as training.
The Hitec Products rider said Garfoot showed a good kick at the end and she backed her to be a valuable contributor at this year's worlds in Italy in September.
''I think it was great [to have a tough course] because Oceania does have a lot of weight behind it because the winner is an automatic spot for the world championships … quite often you'll find the Oceania course doesn't correspond to the world championship course, so you can get people qualifying that aren't necessarily suited,'' she said.
''But Florence is really difficult, so I think you've got a winner that could potentially be a great asset to the Australian team come September.''
Meanwhile, Canberra's Madeline Marshall finished third in the under-19 women's road race.
She completed the 72 kilometres in two hours 9.03 seconds - the same time as winner Josie Talbot, from NSW, who won the sprint home, with Alexandra Manly second.
AT A GLANCE
Under-19 Women's Road Race - 72km: 1. Josie Talbot (NSW) 2h09:03; 2. Alexandra Manly (SA) same time; 3. Madeline Marshall (ACT) same time; 4. Alexandria Nicholls (ACT) 2h10:37 +1:34. Elite Women's Road Race - 102km: 1. Katrin Garfoot (QLD) 2h57:21; 2. Amy Bradley (VIC) same time; 3. Carla Ryan (QLD) same time.
At Namadgi National Park. Under-19 Men's Road Race at 9am; Elite and Under-23 Men's Road Race at 12.30pm.