Time trial champs collect first gold as Victorian Open road titles start on Emu Creek course 

IT was a day of firsts for the newly-crowned Victorian time trial champions, with Ben Dyball and  Felicity Wardlaw both collecting maiden state cycling titles at Emu Creek yesterday.

The duo recorded the quickest times in the Rising Sun Hotel men’s time trial and North Central  Catchment Management Authority women’s time trial.

The events opened the Bendigo Grand Prix/Victorian Open Road Championships, supported by Hume & Iser Home Hardware. 

Dyball, a previous under-23 national road race champion, rated the triumph at Emu Creek as one of his top-five cycling achievements. 

“I was just hoping to podium,” he said. 

“I would’ve just been happy with third, so to win, I’m very happy. 

“I’ve only ever won state titles in mountain bikes.” 

Dyball, who is in his second year with domestic powerhouse Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers, described the 30km course as tough because of the windy conditions. 

Dyball finished in 39 minutes and one second, with top seed Nick Bensley (39.31) and Nicholas  Squillari (39.45.14) rounding out the podium, and veteran Peter Milostic (39.45.45) in fourth place.

Mandurang’s Luke Knox was 21st in 43:43, while Bendigo clubmate David Fairnburn clocked 45:12 to be 29th.

The titles began with Felicity Wardlaw completing the 24.6km course in 36.29.59 ahead of Jayco-Apollo-VIS rider Taryn Heather (36.41.32) and Samantha Deriter (37.18.65), who has crossed over from triathlons.

Racing for Bicycle Superstore, Wardlaw won a  bronze medal at the road national titles in Ballarat. 

Wardlaw contested her first time trial at the Mersey Valley Tour last April.

“I started road racing in April and previous to that, I was mountain biking for 18 months,” she said. 

The 35-year-old was surprised by her meteoric rise, particularly as several of her rivals race in Europe.

“I’ve just been training in Benalla.”

Placings in the North Central Catchment Management Authority women’s time trial, 24.6km:

Felicity Wardlaw 36:29.59, Taryn Heather 36:41.32, Samantha Deriter 37:18.65, Clare Dallat 38:57.44,  Rachel Ward 39:40.11, Victoria Luton-Bain 40:08.30, Stephanie Frawley 42:00.00, Josie Simpson 42:18.68, Nicole McNamara 42:48.65.

Top placegetters in the Rising Sun Hotel men’s time trial, 30km:

Ben Dyball 39:01, Nick Bensley 39.31, Nicholas Squillari 39:45.14,  Peter Milostic 39:45.45, Michael Gallagher 39:57; Matthew Clark (under-23) 40:01, Harry Carpenter (under-23) 40:04, Jason Spencer 40:28, Tom Leaper 40:35, David Kelly 40:38, Tyler Spurrell (under-23) 41:03, Stephen Lane 41:21, Mark Fagg 41:43, Jay Bourke 41:43, Michael Cumming 42:33, Haydn Bradbury 42:41, Trevor Spencer (under-23) 42:45, Richard Handley 42:53, Thomas Donald 43:21, Edward Laverack (under-23) 43:24, Luke Knox 43:34. 

BRONZE MEDALLIST: Nicholas Squillari at the start of yesterday's 30km time trial at Emu Creek. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

BRONZE MEDALLIST: Nicholas Squillari at the start of yesterday's 30km time trial at Emu Creek. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY