Luke Durbridge is again back at the top as national time trial champion.
The West Australian upstaged world champion Rohan Dennis to capture his third time trial gold medal at the FedUni Cycling Australia Road National Championships at Buninyong on Tuesday.
He lived up to his nickname of “Turbo Durbo” to reclaim the crown by 21.1 seconds from Dennis, who was shooting at a fourth consecutive title.
Two-time Cameron Meyer was third in a world class podium.
Durbridge, who won the time trial title in 2012 and 2013, said sticking to his plan had been the key to victory.
“I’m an emotional racer, but I stayed calm.”
Durbridge said he had gone into the race against the clock with “fire in his belly” – determined to do well after a brave fourth in Sunday’s road race after being part of a breakaway.
Durbridge said the nationals were special to him.
He paid credit to Dennis, who as a world and three-national champion had forced everyone else to lift their game.
Durbridge said hard work and persistence had paid off for him.
Durbridge said the championship also rounded out a special week for his family.
His brother-in-law and a training partner Michael Freiberg won the elite men’s road race.
“For him to win the road race and me the time trial is pretty incredible,” Durbridge said.
Dennis did not offer any excuse for having his colours lowered.
“For me it was a good ride. My power was good. Just beaten by a better guy on the day.
“The legs were there. The power was there. As good as any other year, if not a little bit better.. It’s just a matter of finding out why I didn’t go quicker,” he said.