2021 Australian Road Nationals, Race reports, Racing, Sarah Roy -

Sarah Roy solos to Australian road race title

BUNINYONG, Australia (CT) – Sarah Roy (BikeExchange) will wear the green and gold bands for the next 12 months after riding to a strong solo victory at the Australian Road National Championships.

On a cold and drizzly morning Roy made her way into a strong early breakaway of six riders. Roy, Lauretta Hanson (Trek-Segafredo), Peta Mullens (Roxsolt Liv SRAM), Matilda Raynolds (Specialized Women’s Racing), Georgia Baker and Kathryn McInerney got clear on the first of nine ascents of Mt. Buninyong, building a lead that grew to more than four minutes as the laps ticked by.

On the fifth time up the climb Roy attacked from the break and when the dust settled, she had just Hanson and Raynolds for company. Raynolds was dropped the sixth time up the climb and Hanson suffered the same fate on lap 7 of nine. With 32 km to go, Roy was on her own and charging to the finish.

The 34-year-old seemed to labour over the last two climbs but had enough of a buffer to cross the line more than a minute clear.

Grace Brown completed a BikeExchange 1-2 after attacking from the peloton on the closing lap and bridging across to Hanson. Hanson held on for the bronze medal.

Pre-race favourite Sarah Gigante (Tibco-SVB) put in numerous surges from the peloton throughout the race but wasn’t able to get clear.

Roy’s victory comes two years after taking the bronze medal in the same race. Roy was part of the winning break that day as well, before Gigante attacked and rode to a solo win. Today’s victory adds to the national criterium title Roy claimed in 2015.

Emily Watts was fifth across the line to take the U23 title, with Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM) taking silver and Gigante the bronze.

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