What a year it has been for Ballarat’s Shannon Malseed.
The Portland export has every day carried the title of Australian elite women’s road race champion.
It has been the experience of a lifetime and one she would certainly like to continue.
To do that she faces the biggest challenge of her career when she defends the FedUni Cycling Australia Road National Championships’ elite women’s road race at Buninyong on Sunday.
Only once has a champion gone back-to-back in the event – Gracie Elvin in 2013 and 2014.
Katie Mactier (2011 and 2007), Oenone Wood (2004 and 2008) and Amanda Spratt (2012 and 2016) are other two-time winners.
Elvin and Spratt again face the starter in the the road race in the FedUni Cycling Australia Road National Championships at Buninyong on Sunday, when a field of 70-plus elite and under-23 riders pursue gold.
Spratt looks a real chance to become the first three-time champion.
The 31-year-old showed she is ready for a big performance with a win in the opening stage of the Bay Crits Series in Geelong on Tuesday.
Chloe Hosking is the other big name to watch. A gold medallist on the road in last year’s Gold Coast Commoonwealth Games, Hosking was also a stage winner in the Bay Crits.
Hosking has been at the top of Australian cycling for more than a decade, but at the age of 28 she yet to win a national road title. There’s nn doubt she would like to put name on the honour roll.