The Australian Cycling Academy have continued to dominate the early Australian cycling season, with commanding wins in both the men’s and the inaugural women’s Melbourne to Warrnambool races, the longest and one of the most prestigious on the Australian racing calendar.
These wins take their 2022 win tally to 15 after just 7 weeks of competition.
The ARA – Pro Racing Sunshine Coast’s in-form sprinter, Cam Scott, took an impressive win in the men’s event, with a flying attack in the closing kilometres of the gruelling 267km event. While the ACA’s Maeve Plouffe finished off an incredibly strong day for the women’s team, with a sprint victory after 160 long kilometres.
The Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic is the second oldest one day cycling event in the world and the longest in the Southern Hemisphere while the inaugural women’s event, is the longest one-day race in the world’s cycling calendar for women.
Maeve sprinted across the finish line ahead of Josie Talbot and Matilda Raynolds and said while it was one of the hardest races she’s competed in, it was also one of the most rewarding.
"I don’t think that I’ve done a race that hard before. It was on from the start, then there was a little lull and then girls really put it to me on those little climbs… they weren’t too long, but they were definitely going hard. I had a lot of nervous energy towards the end with the break there.
“It was a bit of a dream break, we had four or five of the strongest riders in the whole peloton in that breakaway, everyone with different strengths. Everyone had a crack at that finale there, which I thought was really cool.” Maeve said.
“I was really looking forward to being part of this first Warrnambool, every woman out there wanted to be part of that history and animate the race, I think everyone put their nose in the wind at some point to make a move and attack, but clearly my teammates were the ones the brought the most back and they were the ones that worked the hardest out there.”
For the men, Cameron Scott dominated with a late solo attack holding the peloton off by a bike-length.
“After I saw James Whelan and Liam Johnston go with about a kilometre and a half to go, I knew I couldn’t let that happen and jumped across to them, “I looked back and saw there was a bit of a gap and I just committed.”
“As far as road results go, it’s probably the best one for me. It wasn’t a typical way of winning, by myself as opposed to a bunch sprint, really happy I could pull something off.” Cameron said.
ACA CEO Matt Wilson praised the team’s incredible results over the past seven weeks.
“To do the double at arguably the most prestigious race on the calendar caps off what has already been an incredible seven weeks.” Matt said.
“Our riders have stepped up in a big way this year, and we couldn’t achieve what we have without the unwavering support from our sponsors in particular the ARA Group, Sunshine Coast Council, University of the Sunshine Coast, the MacKellar Group and Liebherr, who have supported the ACA through some very difficult moments,
Their backing has allowed us to focus through this period on what matters most and we’re now seeing the tangible results of that focus.”
Next up on the National Road Series calendar is the Tour de Brisbane in April.