In a national championships road race filled with crazy, unlikely performances, Avanti IsoWhey Sports Cycling Team rider Pat Lane did one of the better ones. On the third last ascent of Mt Buninyong he jumped clear of the main chasing group on the road, catching Rohan Dennis and then ploughing on to maintain his gap on the chasing group and finish third. Peloton Caf? caught up the bronze medal winner, and he described the race from his perspective, as the 20 man group went away on the first lap.
?We had three guys set down as trying to make that move, so with two riders there, that was a perfect result for us. We were happy to let that stay and fight out the race, and the pressure was on Orica, and we got a free ride all day. We were always in a positive position, just getting to follow around until I made my move at three laps to go.
Rohan Dennis and Cameron Meyer had attacked with four laps remaining, which looked like it had sewn up the podium spots as the pair quickly gained a good advantage on the chasers, but Lane went on a solo effort to drag them back. ?We had good numbers there (in the chasing group), and I was making a few too many efforts, so I sat back a bit and missed Dennis and Meyer. I knew I had to go across, because we had three guys in the group and none with that move. Mark O?Brien did a good turn on the front, and I just gave it everything up that hill and got a good gap. I couldn?t quite get across to Meyer, but it was good when I caught Rohan, he gave me a couple of turns, we used to be teammates and that was really helpful. I knew I was riding for the podium, so that made finding the motivation pretty easy. I had a lot of supporters cheering me, which definitely makes it a bit easier as well.?
Pat Lane has been regarded as a top talent for a long time now, he was a member of the AIS development programs, racing in Europe with big expectations on his future as a cyclist. He didn?t kick on from that basis however, and his stint with Synergy Baku, an Azerbaijani Continental team, wasn?t a successful one. He was showing good signs in his first season back in Australia with African Wildlife Safaris, and has taken to his new team Avanti IsoWhey like a duck to water. ?Yeah I?m absolutely stoked, the team put a fair bit of confidence in me and it went a long way, I?m glad I could pay them back with a podium. I?m improved a lot since last year, I?m back to a good level, and that?s thanks to FTP training and Andrew Christie-Johnston at Avanti. I just needed the good backing and support that Avanti give, that gave me my confidence back, and for cycling that?s really important. Without them, I wouldn?t be standing here. When lining up with Avanti, it?s that good support, they might not have the same money as those guys (World Tour teams), but whenever we line up against them we know we?re racing to win. To come third, it?s not a win, but I?m really happy with it at this level. Our worst result was a 4th or 5th this nationals, so every event has worked pretty well for us, and it rubs off on everyone else, everyone?s getting good results and you see that and really believe that with the support we?ve got that you can do it yourself.?
With good results in the nationals there?s a lot of exposure that goes with it, and Lane will no doubt be hoping that, along with continuing his superb form, he gets a chance to show it off on bigger and bigger stages.
Ed: This article was written before the announcement that Pat Lane was named in the Team UniSA-Australia squad for the Tour Down Under, but published later due to editor laziness.
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