Roper does the double, McCarthy wins maiden crown
Queensland’s Emily Roper won her second national crown in two days and South Australia’s Robert-Jon McCarthy claimed his maiden title at the 2012 Cycling Australia U19 Road National Championships in Dookie on Saturday.
Less than forty-eight hours after claiming a stunning victory in the time trial, Roper claimed line honours in a bunch sprint finish in the under 19 women’s 82 kilometre road race.
New Zealand’s Maddi Campbell took the silver medal, while South Australia’s Jessica Mundy claimed the bronze.
“I am pretty happy right now as for this weekend I focused more on the time trial as I haven’t won one before,” said Roper, 17.
“So I was pretty excited when I crossed the line knowing I had won, knowing I had done all the hard training, and it had paid off.
“And to get both titles, that is pretty amazing,” the 2011 team pursuit junior world champion added.
In Thursday’s time trial, Roper was simply superb as she claimed gold, over 30-seconds ahead of her nearest rival.
Roper will now turn her focus to the third and final event, Sunday morning’s criterium.
“There is a little bit of pressure on me to get the hattrick, but I will see how I go,” said Roper.
In the under 19 men’s 127 kilometre race, McCarthy outsprinted some of his more fancied opponents to claim his first national title.
McCarthy narrowly edged time trial champion Caleb Ewan on the line and Queensland’s Nicholas Schultz claimed bronze.
“I still can’t quite believe it really, I am pretty ecstatic as it is my first Australia championships win,” said the Irish-born McCarthy, who moved to Australia with his family at age 14.
“The pressure is off after winning today, but I certainly wouldn’t mind getting a second win in tomorrow’s criterium, that’s for sure.
“I will just give it everything I have got and hopefully my legs hold up,” added McCarthy.
The 2012 Cycling Australia U19 Road National Championships run from Thursday 28 June to Sunday 1 July in the Shepparton & Dookie areas of regional Victoria. They are being hosted Cycling Australia in conjunction with the Greater Shepparton City Council.
The championships move to Shepparton on Sunday for the final event, the critierums.
The event has been a breeding ground for Australia’s elite professional cyclists, with 2012 London Olympic Games cyclists Rohan Dennis, Josephine Tomic, Melissa Hoskins and Amy Cure, plus reigning world champions and Orica GreenEDGE cyclists Cameron Meyer and Luke Durbridge, all forging their careers with victories at the championships.