Time trial queen?Shara GILLOW?(Rabo-Liv Women?s Cycling Team) claimed her fourth national crown in five years after conquering the lumpy 29.3 kilometre time trial course in Buninyong?on Thursday. The 27-year-old from the Sunshine Coast shone in the persistent rain in her first appearance for European team Rabo-Liv, taking the gold ahead of?Bridie O?Donnell?(Total Rush Hyster) and?Taryn Heather?(Bicycle Superstore).
?I?ve come [to the nationals] since 2009, I?ve medalled six times and this is my fourth national title, so I?m really happy.? It?s an awesome result today,? said Gillow, who now sits just one national time trial title behind Kathy Watt who holds the record on five. ?After winning it three years in a row, to finish second last year and lose the jersey, I just realised how special it is to get back the green and gold. “But is also really special to to it in the Rabo-Liv colours too.” In warm but wet conditions, Gillow gained significant ground on?the 2008 national champion?O?Donnell in the early kilometres of the race.? With Commissaire’s keeping a close eye on the distance between the pair, Gillow maintained an acceptable distance before digging?deep to pass O’Donnell metres from the line. ?I wasn?t really concentrating on anything but my own race. I?m working on finishing stronger and that?s always improving,? Gillow said. O?Donnell stopped the clock in 45 minutes and 22.60 seconds, just over a minute behind Gillow (44 minutes 21.12seconds) while South Australian?Heather clinched the bronze medal in 45 minutes and 30.58 seconds. In the under 23 race, West Australian?Rebecca Mackey?(Wormall Civil) finished fourth overall and claimed gold in the age group ahead of Ellen Skerritt (QLD) and Jenelle Crooks (Holden Women?s Cycling). Mackey, who earned silver in the under 23 women?s criterium on Wednesday night, crossed the line to post the fastest time of the day before Heather, Gillow and O?Donnell surpassed the 21 year old. ?It?s amazing, I can?t believe that I did it. I?ve been training really hard for this event, I?m so happy,? said Mackey. ?It started to rain on the turnaround and the wind picked up. “It was pretty horrible conditions but I have raced in worse. It was a pretty tough course and the rain wasn’t helping at all.? Text via Cycling Australia Media Release