He’s a three-time world track champion, Olympian, Commonwealth Games gold medal winner and multiple national track champion. Despite palmares that already read like that of a retiring pro, Alex Edmondson – winner of the Elite Mens’s Road Race in Ballarat on Sunday – celebrated his 24th birthday less than a month ago.
Storming to victory against an all-star sprint cast, the Mitchelton-Scott rider will wear the coveted green and gold bands for the next 12 months. And, if his emotional post-race speech was anything to go by, securing the national jersey is one of the South Australian’s proudest moments yet.
‘This Is Just A Fairy Tale’
“I am absolutely speechless,” an emotional Edmondson told Cycling Australia after the podium presentation. “This means a hell of a lot to me. I would like to thank the team for all their help, my family, my coach – this is just a fairy tale.”
Edmondson, younger brother of well-known pro rider Annette Edmondson, said his role at the Nationals was to do what he could for his teammates.
“To come away with the green and gold is a dream come true,” he said. “Every cyclist grows up wanting to wear the green and gold, and this is not going to sink in for a while.”
Joining Edmondson on the podium was Bora-hansgrohe rider Jay McCarthy – who put in a scintillating sprint to almost snare his maiden Nationals victory – and 3rd placed Chris Harper (Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team p/b Cervelo), a close friend and training partner of Edmondson.
Breakaway With Best Mate
“Chris Harper is one of my best mates,” Alex told Cycling Australia.
“He lives less than 500 metres down the road from where I live in Aldgate. Every day we ride together and every day he is the one pushing me along and vice versa. It was made a lot harder because we are such good friends off the bike. It is one of those hard ones because you want to do your best for your mate, but you also have to look after your team-mates.
“It’s so hard to get over for the win, but it’s even harder when you have got your best mate there riding next to you. It is my day today, and I know there are going to be plenty more opportunities for Chris Harper.”
Sadly it wasn’t all good news for Mitchelton-Scott on Sunday with Luke Durbridge crashing hard on the penultimate lap. ‘Turbo Durbo’, the 2013 dual Road Race & Time Trial Champion, came down heavily on a right hand bend. He was seen sliding into a gutter at speed and suffered concussion, a broken collarbone, and other minor injuries. According to a statement released by the team his 2018 Australian racing season is over.
Edmondson will next line up for Mitchelton-Scott at the Tour Down Under which starts with the People’s Choice Classic on Sunday.