GRACE Brown fell agonisingly short of retaining her Australian time trial title at the 2020 Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old Camperdown export was edged out by Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank young gun Sarah Gigante.
Gigante, 19, the reigning elite women's and under 23 road race champion, took out both categories as she finished the new-look time trial course in 42 minutes and 41.82 seconds.
Brown crossed the line in 42 minutes and 50.99 seconds with Roxsolt Attaquer rider Emily Herfoss a further two seconds back in third.
"I think given my form this year I paced the course pretty well," she told the Mitchelton-SCOTT website after her race.
"I chose to just ride by feel and not focus on power, which has worked well for me in the past.
"Finishing second by nine seconds is hard to take because I feel like I could have dug deeper and gained that time, but really I think it was a solid ride.
"All up, the result fits in well with where I want to be at this time of the season. I'm aiming to peak for the Cobbled Classics and that seems to be on track."
The Michelton-SCOTT rider will now turn her attention to helping teammate Amanda Spratt secure the elite women's road race title on Sunday.
Brown's top result comes five months after a heavy crash in the stage fourth stage of the Tour of Norway.
She suffered four fractured ribs, a punctured lung and large gash to her left forearm in what she described as one of the worst crashes of her cycling career.
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