South-west cyclists tackle national titles

FOUR promising south-west cyclists will vie for national honours in Ballarat this week.

Warrnambool’s Matt Lane, Mortlake’s Darcy Woolley and Portland pair Dylan Lindsey and Shannon Malseed have entered the Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat.

The championships start tomorrow and culminate on Sunday when Tour de France winner Cadel Evans competes in the elite men’s road race.

Lane and Woolley are registered in the under 23 men’s criterium tomorrow and road race on Saturday.

Lindsey will join them in the 132.6-kilometre road race.

Malseed is competing in the women’s time trial, criterium and 102km road race.

Lane and Woolley are coming off forgettable Geelong Bay Cycling Classic criterium results.

The pair competed in the elite men’s section — against high-quality teams such as Orica GreenEDGE — and failed to finish the four elite men’s criteriums.

Lane rode for Procon Telematics, which produced the overall winner Brenton Jones.

He said he battled bike issues and illness throughout the Bay criteriums, which finished on Sunday.

“The first one I had some bike troubles before the race so I started the first one with cold legs, which you don’t want to do,” Lane said.

“The third one at Portarlington I got through more than half of it.

“My teammate Brenton Jones won overall. It was disappointing I couldn’t help him when I had bad luck but I tried to help him on the last day.”

Lane missed the 2012 road nationals with overseas competition commitments.

He said he was excited to tackle the Ballarat course after a year away and rated himself a stronger chance in the road race than the criterium.

“I’d like to go top 10 but after this week I am not sure how my fitness is going after the Bay crits,” he said.

“It is a 10km circuit and there is a 3km climb every circuit so it’s a pretty hard course.”

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