• Team Bridglane on Day 8 of the National Road Series in the Tweed (Jamie Finch-Penninger)Source: Jamie Finch-Penninger
Team Bridgelane took their tenth consecutive National Road Series win as the premier Australian domestic squad arrayed their forces to convincingly take out the team standings for 2020.
By
SBS Cycling Central

8 Dec 2020 - 2:32 PM  UPDATED 5 Dec 2020 - 4:56 PM

Bridgelane clinched their title with a win in the team time trial on Day 8 of competition, mathematically sewing it up ahead of the final day's racing.

"It's unreal, to do it, especially with the team time trial this morning," said Bridgelane newcomer Rylee Field of the overall win. "It felt absolutely amazing. I played a small part in it, but some guys have ridden absolutely out of their skin each and every day, which is amazing to witness."

It has been far from easy for Bridgelane, with Nero, Oliver's and ARA-Sunshine Coast all taking stage wins and dictating the racing at some point, with NRS individual classification winner Brendan Johnston also a handful for teams to deal with alongside his plucky CCS Canberra squad.

"There are a lot of strong teams up here but we definitely have the strongest squad at the moment," said Field. "We had the luxury of having 10 riders up here, we can change riders in and out depending on what the course is. It's been really good, especially with the hard courses. Watching yesterday (Day 7 of racing), I was on the side of the road helping with feeding, it was just insane, brutal to watch."

Bridgelane win teams NRS as they and ARA-Sunshine Coast win TTT
Team Bridgelane confirmed their status as the best in Australia for the eleventh year in a row, taking out the 27.2-kilometre team trial to underline their status as the best team in Australia. ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast came into the race as heavy favourites in the women's event, taking the win by a comfortable margin ahead of Sydney Uni-Staminade.
Carman converts European pedigree to Aussie breakthrough
Ben Carman (Nero Continental) was active and on the attack all day, and capitalised on an opportunity to take the win, jumping clear of his breakaway rivals on the final ascent of a climbing-heavy course to take a solo victory.

Throughout the team's various iterations, sponsors and riders, the one constant has been team director and founder Andrew Christie-Johnston. 

"When I first started racing - I think they were Genesys back then - I always wanted to be part of it and looked up to it," said Field. "To be under the guidance of ACJ (Christie-Johnston) and Tom (Petty, manager). Being the first race for me with Andrew being here... he's a very intelligent bloke who knows how to read a bike race. He knows how to maximise the potential of each rider and help them get the best out of themself. 

"With Bridgelane, the amount of talent and good riders... depth is probably the word for it. You could pick any rider for any stage and they could win it. That's a pretty incredible thing to have."

Sprint rivalry heats up with dangerous riding allegations as Plowright wins
Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) was the first rider over the finish line in the Day 2 criterium around the industrial park south of Murwillumbah, but a protest was immediately flagged by ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast and Oliver’s Real Food Racing on the race-winner.
Bridgelane pull off last-minute coup in Tasmania to claim National Road Series title
Team Bridgelane completed an improbable comeback in the final round of the National Road Series (NRS) to snatch the overall team classification title from Inform TM Insight MAKE, who lodged an appeal against the result.

The team time trial victory joined Jensen Plowright's sprint win on the Day 2 criterium, the young sprinter taking out the best NRS Under-21 overall rider.

However, the bulk of their points came from their riders' consistent placings throughout the competition and having more riders near the top of the standings than others. They finished with 2474 to second-placed Nero Continental's 1308, a comfortable margin in the end, despite the hard-fought racing that preceded it.