18-year-old Michael Storer riding for the Jayco Australian National Team was crowned the best young rider at the 2016 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, after finishing 19th part of the main chasing group behind solo winner Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain/Team Sky).
It was an impressive result for Storer who is in his first year in the under 23 category with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race his first UCI event outside of juniors.
Storer was present at the front of the select peloton coming in to the final laps with some of the world’s biggest names. “I was looking to go in the breakaway late over the top of one of the climbs, I had a few goes at it, but it didn’t quite come off,” said Storer the 2014 bronze medallist in the junior world championships time trial.
“I ended up just staying with the front guys. I had a go at the sprint, but I’m not the most renowned sprinter here, but it doesn’t hurt to have a go.”
The result continues a successful start to 2016 for Storer who finished sixth in the time trial and fifth in the road race at the 2016 MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships earlier this month.
“They did really well today. They’re a group of young guys, none of them had seen this race before so based off last year I said ‘no pressure on you guys there’s six World Tour teams and here and a bunch of pro teams that have to control the race’, said Cycling Australia National U23 Men’s Road Coach and Jayco World Tour Academy Director Sportif James Victor.
“Basically it was who had the best legs coming into the circuit and could ride in good position. Michael came out the pointy end of that and had a really great day, but all the other guys were only dropped with one or two laps to go on the circuit.”
Victor was pleased with the team’s performance and the experience they were able to gain. “Coming into a race like today, the experience is the most valuable thing you can get.
“To get that opportunity in Australia, racing in your own backyard, that’s what it’s all about with these young guys. Taking that experience one step at a time, using those experiences racing against those pros to ideally eventually go pro themselves.”
Dual Para-cycling road world champion Alistair Donohoe finished second behind his teammate in the young rider classification.
Four members of the team Alistair Donohue, Benjamin Dyball, Angus Lyons and Michael Storer now turn their attention to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, February 3-7. Joining them will be under-23 road champion Chris Hamilton and silver medallist Lucas Hamilton.
Read the full race report here and visit the official Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race website here.
Courtesy of Cycling Australia.