The 26-year-old at the start of the men’s road race downplayed a trademark aggressive tactic and his own chances but then went on to singlehandedly lead about half of the 183.6km race and claim gold.
“I’m only here by myself so I’ll let the other teams bash each other up throughout the day and I’ll just try and pick the right move at the right time and try and go with it,” he said.
Moments after the start gun sounded, Bobridge went away with a group of 21 on the first lap of an undulating 10.2km circuit and kept riding until he had just his own company. It was a move that easily could have been dismissed was it not for his known potential.
The Adelaide native squarely pointed to the sponsor on his trade-team jersey as he crossed the finish line minutes ahead of Cameron Meyer (Dimension Data) and Pat Lane (Avanti) in hot and blustery conditions, which decimated the field with only 15 from 127 riders finishing the title event in Buninyong, Victoria.
“In this race anything can happen. It always brings out the best rider, the guy who has done the most work often wins,” he said.
Trek offered Bobridge an avenue back into the WorldTour with a one-year deal confirmed in September and its currency has not been lost on the all-rounder with road results currently taking precedence over gold medal objectives on the track at the Rio Olympics.
“Hopefully I can snag a few good road results, and hopefully enough to secure the contract for another year or so with Trek,” he said.
“Closer to the Games everything will be on the for the team pursuit but I guess at this point of time, early season, we try and get the road racing and the base in and then convert and go to the track.”
The father of one leaves for Adelaide and the Tour Down Under on Monday and will return to Victoria for the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Herald Sun Tour later in the month.
Bobridge will have opportunity across those events to step-up following a season with the third-tier Budget Forklifts outfit, which, similar to the UK domestic squad WIGGINS, fosters Olympic track endurance hopefuls.
The now two-time national champion, who manages rheumatoid arthritis, is set for a transient lifestyle with his young family in 2016 as he chases multiple goals across continents, however, if his performance at the national titles is anything to go by then it may
be worth it.
“It’s a pretty jumbled year,” he said.