9 January 2017
Current and graduate South Australian Sports Institute cyclists produced fantastic results at last week's 2017 Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat from January 4 to 8.
Miles Scotson, a SASI Graduate, captured the admiration of the field, his team and spectators when he won the men's 183.6km road race, the final event of the championships. Scotson, a multiple world champion on the track and in his first week of a professional career with BMC Racing Team, made a late charge and a calculated gamble from the rear of the leading group to win in a gripping ride to the finish. He held out two-time winner Simon Gerrans (Victoria) and Nathan Haas (ACT) to record a time of 4hr 37.55 seconds. Scotson's win gave SASI riders two straight wins in the event after recently retired star Jack Bobridge won in 2016.
The Scotson name also was to the fore earlier in the week when Miles' brother Callum defended his Under-23 Time Trial gold medal to win by a minute. Miles won the time trial in 2015 to give the Scotson boys and SA three straight wins in the event and SA seven of the past nine gold medals in that event.
Alex Porter, the reigning team pursuit world champion, set the bar high early for SASI when he won the Men's Under-23 Criterium and was second to Samuel Jenner (New South Wales) in the Under-23 Men's Road Race. Porter also was recently crowned Oceania scratch race champion.
Alex Manly made it another golden event for SASI when she won the Under-23 Women's Time Trial, beating Jaime Gunning (Queensland) and Ella Scanlan-Bloor (New South Wales). Alex finished 15th behind Katrin Garfoot (Queensland) in the Elite Women's Road Race (102km) but was the first under-23 rider to finish.
Rohan Dennis showed his class by making it two straight gold medals in the Elite Men's Time Trial after winning in 2016.
SASI lead cycling coach Brett Aitken was thrilled with the SA riders' results.
"They really smashed it and again it has been a very successful championship,'' he said.
"To carry on from the Oceania track championships to the road championships was massively impressive.
"When you go through the available medals and see how many SA won, it just shows you how strong SA is. This will give our young riders a lot of confidence for what is coming up.''