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The 2019 cycling season kicks into gear for Australia’s best cyclists as they take on the challenging national championships course around Ballarat for another year. Join The Roar for live coverage and rolling updates of the race from 1:30pm (AEDT).
The race will again be run on an 11.6-kilometre circuit around Ballarat in Victoria, to the west of Melbourne.
It’s a challenging circuit, which include the difficult climb of Mount Buninyong, and riding it 16 times will certainly wear down the riders and teams across the course of the day.
The control of the race is down to the Mitchelton-Scott and Drapac Cannondale development team. Both have plenty of riders in the race, and if they don’t assume responsibility over the front of the peloton, a breakaway will be allowed to skip clear.
In saying that, they will need very clever tactics to get the win. While Richie Porte is skipping the national championships, there are some very talented punchy riders who might be able to make it over Buninyong time and time again.
Caleb Ewan at Lotto Soudal this year probably won’t be one of them, but watch out for clever riders like Jay McCarthy, Heinrich Haussler, Miles Scotson, Nathan Haas and Zakkarai Dempster, all of whom will be fending for themselves throughout the race.
If it does come down to a small bunch, it’s expected Ewan will have been dropped, even with the work of teammate Adam Hansen, while it’s unclear who Australia’s professional team would try to set the win up for.
Sunweb have three riders in Chris Hamilton, Jay Hindley and Michael Storer, but they are expected to be active in breakaways, while Mitchell Docker and Lachlan Morton could be a dynamic duo riding for Education First.
These single day races are always hard to tip, however, even riding on his own, Jay McCarthy has the smarts to tack on to the Mitchelton-Scott team, let them do the work and jump away.
For that reason, I’ll take McCarthy to win ahead of one of the Mitchelton-Scott riders. Watch out for Caleb Ewan if he can hang on though, while Adam Hansen is always a show for a spot on the podium.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the Australian national cycling championships men’s road race from 1:30pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Start time: 12:30pm (AEDT)
Expected finish time: 5pm (AEDT)
Distance: 185.6km (16×11.6 km laps)
TV: Live, SBS, Fox Sports
Online: Live, Cycling Central, Kayo Sports, Foxtel app, Foxtel now