• Shannon Malseed. (Con Chronis)Source: Con Chronis
Shannon Malseed has offered to play a support role at the Commonwealth Games instead of leveraging her newfound status as Australian national road champion for team leadership.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
9 Jan 2018 - 9:38 AM 

The 23-year-old claimed an upset victory at the national titles mere moments after commentators had more or less heralded late escapee and overwhelming favourite Katrin Garfoot as winner.

Malseed through the result has automatically qualified for Australia’s Games squad but even in the immediate wake of victory yesterday was humble about her chances of competing for gold in April.

Malseed nabs green and gold in women's roadnats thriller
Shannon Malseed (Team Tibco) foiled a late attack by Katrin Garfoot to take line honours and the coveted green and gold jersey for 2018.

“I think that going to the Comm Games is a pipe dream to me and I’m really grateful I get to go. I want to see who [is in] the team is and I’m really excited for that to be announced,” Malseed said. “I think I’ll be in a support role, to be honest - that’s probably the most realistic thing that’s going to happen there - but 100 per cent going to support the Aussie team as best I can.”

The composition of the Commonwealth Games squad remains to be seen.

Time trial champion Garfoot, 36, has put her hand up for selection in what could be one of her last professional appearances. Meanwhile, Amanda Spratt has taken her name out of the running due to a clash with the Ardennes Classics that is a priority for WorldTour specialists.

Spratt sacrifices Comm Games glory for Ardennes campaign
Amanda Spratt has passed on representing Australia at the Commonwealth Games this year to focus on etching her name firmly in cycling's traditional record books.

Malseed avoided brash statements in Victoria though her “sneaky” tactics and winning performance was evidence of stamina that could change her position in the run to the Games.

After contesting the championships in the colours of her American professional team TIBCO-SVB, the former Oceania road champion will later this week ride with local outfit Holden Team Gusto at the Santos Women’s Tour, where going unmarked won’t be an option.

“I know from racing that if you’re in a national jersey people will tend to give you that little bit more respect in the bunch,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing how people react at the Tour Down Under and those coming races where we have a really cool field to race. I’ll try and keep the confidence to a minimum though!”