Mikayla Harvey completes under 23 Oceania double with road race crown
New Zealand’s Mikayla Harvey claimed the under 23 women’s double as she climbed and sprinted her way to gold, adding the road race crown to Friday’s time trial in Railton, Tasmania, March 24.
It was an all New Zealand affair in the women’s race with Sharlotte Lucas claiming a maiden Oceania jersey outsprinting time trial champion Grace Brown (Australia). The under 19 men’s gold went to Carter Turnbull (Australia) who also won a two-up sprint to take the title.
Under 23 and Elite Women
It has been an amazing two days for Mikayla Harvey who braved wet conditions to take a third career Oceania title, and first in the road race. Remarkably it is Harvey’s sixth medal from a possible six events in the last three years.
“It means quite a lot it is always quite hard to back up both races, so I am extremely happy to be able to come away with the win today,” Harvey said.
“It was a pretty tough day the conditions were really hard. It pretty much rained the entire race and it became quite tactical at the end.
“I was just off the back of the bunch on the last lap and me and another rider had to get back in to the lead group. Then it became quite a tactical finish between us under 23’s leading in to the finish. I managed to have a good sprint to get third overall and the under 23 jersey.”
In the elite race it was Sharlotte Lucas who proved to be the strongest as she outsprinted time trial champion Grace Brown in a two-up sprint.
“It is pretty awesome. I came all the way from New Zealand to do it which is about eight hours of travelling with flights and stuff, which really makes it worth it,” Lucas explained.
“The course was really hard going up and down and a few of us made it a hard race too, so there was a lot of pressure on the hills at times and technical too in the last two kilometres heading in to the sprint with Grace, I had to be pretty switched on. So, I was pretty happy to get over her in the sprint.
“I am going to the Commonwealth Games for New Zealand in the road race that is the big aim,” Lucas added.
The first attack of the day came from Libby Arbuckle (New Zealand) who sensed the opportunity to make a move and quickly built a 30 second lead as the field completed the first of four 26.2-kilometre laps of the undulating Railton circuit. Arbuckle who represented New Zealand at the UCI Junior Track World Championships in Italy last year went in to time trial mode extending her advantage to a minute and a half mid way through the second lap.
An increase of pace in the peloton saw the gap rapidly fall, with Arbuckle caught on lap three as the terrain caused a select seven ride group of Harvey, Lucas, Brown, Justine Barrow (Australia), Grace Anderson (New Zealand), Lizzie Stannard (New Zealand) and Georgia Catterick (New Zealand) to form. Seven would become 10 as Kathryn Woolston (Australia), Kate Perry (Australia) and Erin Nolan (Australia) re-joined.
Early on the final lap the pace lifted again and only the strongest six of Lucas, Barrow, Brown, Harvey, Anderson and Catterick remained in contention. Briefly distanced Catterick and Harvey were able to ride their way back on with 10 kilometres remaining.
A late move inside the final eight kilometres by Brown dragged Lucas with her and away from the field with Harvey, Barrow, Catterick and Anderson unable to respond.
Heading in to the finish it was Brown who went early, though Lucas was able to stick with her every step of the way before unleashing her powerful sprint to take the title.
Under 19 Men
Carter Turnbull (Australia) emerged on top proving fastest in a two-up sprint against Josh Lane (New Zealand) following an exciting 105-kilometre race that left spectators guessing until the final 10 kilometres as who would cross the line first.
With rain falling as the peloton rolled out from Railton the opening 20 kilometres were raced at a relatively sedate pace with the field seizing each other up.
Towards the end of the opening 26-kilometre lap Elliot Schultz (Australia), Rudy Porter (Australia) and Finn Fisher-Black (New Zealand) made the most of the speed to attack, quickly building a 40 second lead on David Williams (Australia) and Noah Costar (New Zealand) and over two minutes on the peloton as they crossed the line for the first time. Before increasing it to nearly four minutes a lap later.
A mechanical for Shultz on lap three saw Fisher-Black go solo with the peloton unwilling to mount a major chase, allowing Turnbull and Lane to attack off the front. With the duo quickly bridging across to Schultz who was stuck in the middle. A tiring Fisher-Black who had been out front for much of the race was caught by the chase trio inside the final 10 kilometres.
Schultz was the first too lose contact before the long solo ride by Fisher-Black saw him lose contact. With the gap to the two leaders out of their grasp the remaining bunch set their sights on the final podium spot. In the finish Turnbull hit out first holding off Lane, behind Samuel Cook (New Zealand) unleashed a late turn of speed to take the final spot on the podium ahead of Schultz.
2018 Oceania Road Championship Medallists
Gold – Sharlotte Lucas (New Zealand)
Silver – Grace Brown (Australia)
Bronze – Justine Barrow (Australia)
Under 23 Women
Gold – Mikayla Harvey (New Zealand)
Silver – Grace Anderson (New Zealand)
Bronze – Georgia Catterick (New Zealand)
Under 19 Men
Gold – Carter Tunrnbull (Australia)
Silver – Josh Lane (New Zealand)
Bronze – Samuel Cook (New Zealand)