Press Release: West Australian Luke Durbridge has launched the Australian medal charge by winning the gold medal in the U19 time trial on day one of the 2009 UCI Junior Road World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
The 18 year old covered the 25.8km individual road time trial course, over two laps of a circuit out and back from University Square, in a time of 32min52.23sec at and average speed of 47km/h. The silver medal was claimed by American Lawson Craddockwho was 2.22sec slower (32min54.45sec) with Denmark’s Lasse Hansen third in a time of 33min03.01sec.
"I’m absolutely stoked and I just can’t take it in at the moment," said a delighted Durbridge after the medal ceremony. "I headed out reall,y really quick and was fastest in the first lap (by six seconds on Hansen) and then I died a little bit in the last lap but I managed to hold onto it.
"It was a good day and I’m really happy and I really want to thank Darryl Benson, my coach at WAIS (WA Institute of Sport) for all the work he’s done with me."
The reigning Australian U19 time trial champion, Durbridge is no stranger to gold medals. He was a member of the victorious team pursuit line up at his Junior World Championship debut last year on the track where he also claimed bronze in the points race. At last year’s Melbourne World Cup the teenager stepped up to join the elite men in the team pursuit and collected another gold medal. This season he added team pursuit gold at the Oceania and Australian Championships as well as the Australian Youth Olympic Festival.
"I’ve ridden flat courses that I’ve done well on and the Nationals was really hilly and I won that so the type of course hasn’t really worried me," said Durbridge. "This course had lots of gradual climbs and I could use the big gear and my power to get up them and my track work preparation meant I could use high cadence on the downhills so that helped me a fair bit as well but the course was rather flat."
Durbridge says he felt on form from the minute he began his warm up.
"When I got on the rollers today I knew it was going to be a good day," said Durbridge. "I was going well in Adelaide (pre-event team training camp) and I coped well with the flight over.
"I did all the right things, lots of strecthing and light rides and the coaching staff got me up to where I needed to be," said Durbridge who was also happy to draw a good starting position midway through the field.
"The first few days we were here it was really sunny but then we came out on the course yesterday and the wind picked up later in the afternoon," he explained. " When I started today the wind blowing a little bit and there were heaps of clouds but then it got progressively windier."
The newly crowned World Champion will not contest Sunday’s road race but will instead turn his attention to the track events which begin on Tuesday.
"For sure we’ve been training for six months on the team pursuit and that’s definitely my goal but I think I’ll enjoy this for a couple more hours and then start to focus on the track," said Durbridge.
In the junior women’s 12.9km event Victorian Kendelle Hodges narrowly missed a place on the podium finishing fourth just seven tenths of a second off the bronze medal with her time of 18min29.22sec) The gold medal was won by Ukraine rider Canna Solovey in a time of 17min39.43sec. She was 41 seconds faster than silver medallist Pauline Ferrand Prevot of France (18.20.57sec) with Elizaveta Oshurkova, also of the Ukraine, third in 18min28.46sec.
source: Cycling Australia