Gold Coast’s Francesa Sewell has been awarded the Cycling Australia Road National Championships’ women’s under-19 road race gold medal in bizarre circumstances at Buninyong.
She first had the survive a heavy crash – suffered when her chain locked as she launched a final sprint.
A battered and bruised Sewell picked up herself up and walked her disabled bike for the last 120 metres to cross the line for what she initially thought was a silver medal behind Neve Bradbury.
Sewell was then promoted to first place after Bradbury from St Kilda was disqualified for having an under-weight bike.
Cycling Australia, in a prepared statement, said official race commissaires found Bradbury’s bike to be 120g under the required minimum weight of 6.8kg after regulation post-race bike checks.
Sewell still appeared in disbelief after the medal presentation, having first heard about the disqualification on public address systems.
She said she still wanted to congratulate Bradbury on a good race.
“She got across the line first.”
“I feel really terrible because that’s harsh, but I guess it’s not my choice to make.”
Sewell put the fall down to a racing incident.
“Stuff like that happens, there’s not a lot you can do.”
She said adrenalin had been the driving force behind her picking up bike and getting to the line.
“I wanted to get second still.”
Sewell said she had been quietly confident of out-sprinting Bradbury before the fall.
“You’ll never know. She might have got me on the line.”
Only one of the 14 starters failed to finish 69.6 km event, which took two hours, 13 minutes, 59 seconds.
Catelyn Turner was promoted to second position and Ashlee Jones to third.
For Sewell and Jones, it was their second medals of the championships
Sewell finished third behind Jones in the criterium in Ballarat on Friday night.
Sewell also won the sprint and queen of the mountain categories.