Morgan and Baker claim criterium crowns
Victoria’s Alex Morgan and Tasmania’s Georgia Baker were crowned under 19 national criterium champions in Shepparton on the final day of the 2012 Cycling Australia U19 Road National Championships.
In trying conditions, Alex Morgan rode away from the field to take a spectatcular solo victory in the under 19 men's event, while Georgia Baker outsprinted her rivals in the under 19 field to claim the women's title.
The defending champion in the time trial, Morgan was pipped by Caleb Ewan (NSW) by just 3.6 seconds for gold in the time trial held in Dookie on Thursday.
With another chance to take gold, a determined Morgan was one of the aggressors in the criterium, breaking away at the mid-point of the race with New Zealand rider Chad Elliston. Sensing victory, Morgan then went clear in the final few minutes to claim a surprise victory.
“I am pretty tired and keen to go to bed now, of course I am really happy," said Morgan, 17 . "I was unexpected, so that is always good surprise.
"Obviously the time trial was main goal, I wanted to win gold. But I had a bit of a bad day on day so I just put my head down today and it worked.
"I tend to get a little disappointed when I don’t go well, as I always want to give 100%, so today's result was a great way to bounce back," Morgan said.
Ewan took the silver medal, while Saturday's road race champion Robert-Jon McCarthy (SA) claimed bronze.
In the under 19 women's event, Baker won ahead of Queensland duo Taylah Jennings, and time trial and road race champion Emily Roper, who was just seconds away from claiming the hat trick.
Morgan and Baker, along with Jennings, will now switch their back to the track, with the 2011 junior world champions set to head to New Zealand in August as part of the Australian team for the 2012 UCI Junior World Track Championships.
The 2012 Cycling Australia U19 Road National Championships was held from Thursday 28 June to Sunday 1 July in the Shepparton & Dookie areas of regional Victoria. It was hosted Cycling Australia in conjunction with the Greater Shepparton City Council.