• Luke Durbridge and Cameron Meyer in action for Team BikeExchange at the Santos Festival of Cycling. (Velo)Source: Velo
The new-look Team BikeExchange will enter the Australian National Road Championships this week with their sights firmly set on retaining the coveted green and gold jersey, after taking out both titles in last year's events.
By
SBS Cycling Central

3 Feb 2021 - 10:12 AM 

Luke Durbridge secured a second consecutive time trial victory whilst teammate Cameron Meyer walked away with the road race crown after a 12-year pursuit finally paid off.

The duo will return in 2021 looking to do it again, as Durbridge enters fresh off a stage win and overall victory at the Santos Festival of Cycling. 

The 29-year-old acknowledged there would be a target on his back as the reigning time trial champion, but remained confident he would be able to perform at his best.

"I don't take it on as pressure," Durbridge said.

"Obviously you can't underestimate it, you can't go in thinking it is a given win."

"When you are the defending champion, everybody wants to take it off you, so I think you have to be, not nervous but just respect that people do want to beat you and that you are the benchmark, so make sure you go out there and give it everything."

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"You can't beat a bit of confidence going into a race, once you have a victory early on you can sometimes roll with it and go from one victory to the next, so I'm really looking forward to just taking the confidence and form into next week."

Meyer, 33, admitted it would be difficult to produce a performance similar to last year's road race triumph but vowed to compete at his best with the rest of the BikeExchange team.

"It's been an honour to wear the green and gold this past 12 months," Meyer said.

"Obviously due to the pandemic I didn't get as many race days to show it off as I would have liked, but the memory of last year's win will always be special."

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"My form is pretty good heading into the Championships. I think it will be hard to replicate what I was able to do last year but like most years I should be up amongst the front group, and with a strong team I'm sure we can produce a good result for Team BikeExchange."

"I am very passionate about the race and always want to perform at my best, so being the defending champion and having some consistent performances on this course over many years I have the expectation of being at the front of the race when it matters."

After finishing second in last year's road race, Lucas Hamilton will compete in all three of this year's events, joined by former national road champion Alex Edmondson who will also challenge in the criterium.

Rounding out the road race hopefuls, former Czech Tour winner Damien Howson and young sprinter Kaden Groves will both be part of BikeExchange's push for the green and gold jersey, as well as in the criterium.

Groves will be hoping to turn last year's silver medal to gold in this year's criterium on Sturt Street.

SBS will be providing coverage of the Australian National Road Cycling Championships. The time trials don't have any live broadcast, but stay tuned to the site for the results from Ballarat.

The elite men's and women's road races will be shown live on television on Sunday, February 7. The national criterium championships elite women's and men's races will be streamed live on the SBS Cycling Central website.