Sean Lake defends elite men’s Oceania title as Hamilton and Berwick take U23 and U19
The 2017 Oceania Road Championships came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday, March 11, with Australia wrapping up its domination, claiming all three titles on offer to sweep all 12 events over the three-day championship.
Lucas Hamilton won the men’s road race to take out the under 23 title following a challenging 160-kilometre race. Sean Lake successfully defended his elite crown, while Sebastian Berwick was too strong claiming the under 19 race adding to his time trial gold.
The elite men’s crown completed a successful three days for Lake who also claimed the time trial for a second year in a row.
“It means heaps to come back to these races and take the wins especially after a disappointing nationals and changing the type of rider I am. It’s huge for the confidence and hopefully I’ll have a big year ahead,” Lake said.
“Really tough conditions out there but I really like races that are hard and hot all day, they seem to suit me well!
“I did watch the Australian team riders a fair bit as they were super strong today and I think I managed to play my cards perfectly to drop all the elite riders and get away with them.
“But three on one, it would be nice to take them on but not worth the risk as they are separate races within the race,” Lake explained of the battle for both the under 23 title and elite titles in the combined race.
Elite silver went to Neil Van der Ploeg (Australia) with Jesse Featonby (Australia) completing the podium.
Lucas Hamilton won an epic elite men’s race to be crowned the under 23 champion, after the 103 rider field was torn apart in brutal conditions. In a three up sprint for the line Hamilton was too strong taking gold ahead of Michael Storer (Australia) and Jai Hindley (Australia).
Sebastian Berwick (Australia) completed his domination of the under 19 men’s category with a convincing solo win in the road race. Berwick who claimed gold in the time trial covered the 120-kilometre undulating course in three hours and four minutes, nearly half a minute faster than his closest rival. Silver went to Liam Nolan (Australia) 25 seconds behind, while Craig Wiggins (Australia) won the sprint for bronze from a 10 rider group at 1min 44secs.
The three-day championships have seen 12 titles awarded across under 19, under 23 and elite categories for men and women in time trials and road races.
Sunday sees attention turn to the dirt for the 2017 Oceania Continental MTB Championships in Toowoomba, Australia, where 10 titles will be awarded Cross-country and downhill categories.
2017 Oceania Men’s Road Race Medallists
Gold – Sean LAKE (AUS)
Silver – Neil VAN DER PLOEG (AUS)
Bronze – Jesse FEATONBY (AUS)
Under 23 Men
Gold – Lucas HAMILTON (AUS)
Silver – Michael STORER (AUS)
Bronze – Jai HINDLEY (AUS)
Under 19 Men
Gold – Sebastian BERWICK (AUS)
Silver – Liam NOLAN (AUS)
Bronze – Craig WIGGINS (AUS)
Photos: Adrian Marshall