Blooded all-rounder Miles Scotson may have to change the game plan to successfully defend his Australian national road title.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
4 Jan 2018 - 1:15 PM  UPDATED 4 Jan 2018 - 1:18 PM

The 23-year-old in his first days as a rookie pro last year launched an audacious solo attack within the final 2km of the elite men's road race to claim gold.

The upset victory shocked the field that surely won't let Scotson (BMC Racing) go unmarked again this Sunday.

"I've done two months of training so I expect to be good. I don't know if I expect to go there and definitely defend," Scotson said.

"I hope to maybe try for the time trial, put more emphasis on that this year because the road race can be difficult going in as defending champion when you're watched by the majority of the field."

BMC Racing will send a bolstered line-up to the slightly modified 185.6km title event including former time trial champions Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis, as well as two-time road race gold medalist Simon Gerrans.

Scotson was respectful of the senior teammates in the lead-up but equally didn't rule out his own daring.

Scotson wins road race title with daring solo move
Miles Scotson (BMC) attacked as if from nowhere from the back of a 12 rider-strong lead bunch, time-trialling solo for 1.8 km to claim the 2017 Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships men's elite title.

"If I found myself in the same situation as last year I'd go with the same tactic, it suits me. They [the field] might watch me a little bit more but it's about getting that little gap you need in the last 4km," he said.

"We'll all have an opportunity to go for the title.

"I like that tactic because the field may look at them more than me as well so I'm interested to see how it pans out. I don't think we'll have one leader."

Scotson underwent a baptism of fire with BMC last season both professionally and personally, adjusting to a base in Ghent, Belgium.

He lined-up for the major spring classics, took silver in the team time trial world championships and is hopeful of getting a taste of Grand Tours in 2018.

"Last year everything was so unknown but this year I know what to expect. This year is more about going for some results and trying to step-up a bit," Scotson said.

"I'd like to keep developing as an all-rounder but definitely the classics are more suited for me. I don't particularly see myself racing for GC in major tours … but I'd like to go to races like the Tour de France as well as the classics. I'd probably have to say those one-day classic races is where I might be best suited in the future."

The collective experience can only serve him in Ballarat, Victoria on the weekend.

Scotson and Garfoot looking to mine more Ballarat gold
2017 road race national title holders Miles Scotson and Katrin Garfoot will return to Ballarat in January looking to repeat their success as Cycling Australia yesterday announced some of the major stars lining up in 2018.