Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2018-01-17 Contents EDITED BY JEFF PISTOLA
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018
YOUR HILLS SPORTING NEWSPAPER
By Jeff Pistola
Continued Sport 11
Alex Edmondson (inset) jubilantly greets the finish line as he secured his maiden Australian
national road racing title in Ballarat earlier this month. The 24-year-old Aldgate resident will be
part of the Mitchelton-Scott team’s bid for glory in this week’s 2018 Tour Down Under cycling event
which will feature stages throughout the Adelaide Hills region.
Image courtesy Con Chronis.
As the world’s leading cyclists descend upon
the Adelaide Hills this week, there will be more
than a touch of national and local pride for one
rider among the peloton chasing glory in the
2018 Tour Down Under (TDU) event.
Alex Edmondson is set to contest Australia’s greatest
race on many of the roads where he cut his teeth in the
sport of cycling over a decade ago.
During an 11-year involvement in both track and road
racing, the 24-year-old Aldgate resident has already
established some highly decorated career highlights.
At the age of 18, he became the second youngest
cyclist to gain selection for an Australian Olympic team,
and with his sibling Annette, became the first brother and
sister duo to represent Australia at the same Olympics.
A past recipient of the SA Sports Star of the Year
award, Edmondson has also been involved in gold
medal winning performances at various UCI track world
championships and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
However, one of his most satisfying results came earlier
this month when he claimed his maiden Australian
national road race title at Ballarat in Victoria.
In a thrilling finale, Mitchelton-Scott team rider
Edmondson launched a thrilling closing sprint to take
victory by a mere second amid a field which contained
the likes of close friend Chris Harper, Richie Porte, team-
mate Caleb Ewan and Nathan Haas.
The Hills product admitted that the biggest win so far of
his road career provided some time to reflect on his feat.
“To win a national title is something very special ... not
just for me but for a lot of people who have helped out
along the way,” noted Edmondson late last week as he
prepared for the TDU.
“You always dream of being able to wear the national
champion bands, so I’m absolutely thrilled.
“It will give me great pride to wear the green and gold
wherever I race over the next year ... be it here at home
“I had contested the senior road nationals once before
in 2016, but this year was really my first making a
“Previously my aim was more on the track events, but
following the Rio Olympics I have made the road my
“You always go out wanting to win, but my main plan at
Ballarat was to assist any of my team-mates to possibly
get the win.
“But as they say, if a chance arises you grab it, and
things just seemed to fall into place, although it was
certainly a bit exciting over the final kilometre.
“While it was a magical and special time for myself, I did
take time to reflect on all those people who have assisted
me along the way.
“My family have been unbelievable over the journey
while those who have helped in the smallest ways have
“The Mitchelton-Scott team support has been second to
none, while my win continues a pretty good record at the
road titles for SA riders.
“That can only strengthen the profile of the SASI cycling
program and the high performance Cycling Australia
program based here at Gepps Cross.”
Wearing the national champion colors for the first time
in road competition has enabled Edmondson to carry a
further sense of pride and achievement into the TDU,
which he will contest for just a second occasion – the
first being in 2015 as part of the Uni SA combination.
“Here I am riding in an event I grew up watching and
hoping to be able to ride in one day,” he outlined.
“I will be a member of Mitchelton-Scott, Australia’s first
ever professional team, I’ll be wearing national colors,
and I will be riding stages in virtually my backyard.
“On one stage I will be actually riding past my home
in Aldgate in a world-wide televised event ... it’s a bit
“There will certainly be a touch of nostalgia for me,
knowing so many of the roads so well, which hopefully
will be a benefit for the team in regards to tactical
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