Today the Australian team had some outstanding results but also one disappointment in the long qualifying event held in trying conditions. The junior boys set the scene with Chris Firman finishing 5th outright (as all boys did the same course) in 63mins and amazingly there were 3 Danish riders amongst the 4 in front. Chris lost just the odd minute here and there. Marc Gluskie, in his 2nd jwoc , placed 13th in 67 minutes and navigated well. Tom Goddard, the rookie of the team, had a daunting start near last in the midday 38 degree temperatures. He rode strongly but had two mistakes that cost him time, but finished in 45th place looking good and happy to have that first event done. Oscar Phillips rode exceedingly well and would have placed in the top 10 but had a brain fade after a steep climb near the end and rode past control 10 (100 metres away) and on to 11. Luckily the juniors have a “mercy rule” that allows all riders to start the final, so all is well.
In the elite men the stakes were much higher with only the top 20 from the 3 heats qualifying through to tomorrow’s final. Alex Randall rode a steady well controlled race to finish 10th in 93 mins with Dane Erik Knudsen Skovgaard taking the win in 81 mins. In contrast Steve Cusworth’s effort came to a grinding halt half way around the course with a broken derailleur bolt after catching a stick. He’s unlikely to race the B final as we are still chasing up a replacement part. Reigning world champion Anton Foliforov (Russia) suffered a similar fate. Melanie Simpson cruised through her heat finishing 16th in 92 minutes despite losing some minutes redoing a route choice due to a locked gate.
So high hopes tomorrow, in which the riders will finish over an historic wooden bridge in the town centre of Bassano.