Champion returns on the right track

By Melanie Whelan
Updated November 2 2012 - 3:40am, first published September 24 2010 - 4:16am
BACK ON THE ROAD: Damien Turner flies off the start of the time trials yesterday. Picture: Daniel Hartley-Allen

AUSTRALIAN 2010 Road Masters Champion Shane Miller says the individual time trial really is, as they say, the race of truth.This national 20-kilometre time trial has been Miller's sole focus since spending four months sidelined with a broken pelvis and collarbone from competition.Miller wanted to prove he could defend his men's category 1 title, and did so in Ballarat yesterday."It means quite a bit," Miller said.Once I was back on my bike and training I knew this was what I wanted to do."Miller clocked 23 minutes, 40.96 seconds, averaging 50.67km/h, along the Ballarat-Burrumbeet Rd course.New South Welshman Daniel Brickell, a road race favourite, was second in the category with a time of 24:02.09 while Footscray's Benjamin Johnson was third in 24:48.21.Miller, who hails from Horsham, rides for Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club but says Ballarat always feels like an adopted home town, having studied at the University of Ballarat.The last of more than 570 competitors to hit the road, Miller flew off the start at the Arch of Victory.He familiarised himself with the course as a visitor in the Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club championships last Saturday, in which Miller posted the event's fastest time.Miller knew then that he was on the right track.His race plan was to catch Ballarat rider Damien Turner - his minute man.Turner made a strong start in his first race back from retirement as the fifth fastest category-one rider in 24:59.39, averaging 48.02 seconds.Miller said one-percenters are crucial in time trials and on a flat Ballarat course, it was all about speed and control yesterday."I caught up with (Turner) about the 15-16 kilometre mark - he was like the carrot dangling up the road," Miller said."He's a good rider and I just wanted to catch him."The time trial was Miller's sole outing this weekend but he will stay in town to watch the masters' criteriums today and the World Cycling Classic in Buninyong on Sunday.For Australian women's masters category 7 champion Gaye Lynne, a time-trial win launched a big weekend of cycling.Lynne (Sutherland Shire), who travelled from Cronulla for the event, enjoys the challenge of the masters' circuit.She is prepared for today's criteriums and the road race at Miners Rest on Tuesday.Lynne admits to being a "bit of a novice" after only taking up cycling 2.5 years ago but has netted gold medals at world masters championships."This (national title) is pretty rewarding and I'm hoping to continue doing well," Lynne said."Really all the girls are so lovely to compete against."

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