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Hansen and Rogers fight for Columbia's first win of the year
 
By Bart Hazen
Date: 1/7/2009
Hansen and Rogers fight for Columbia's first win of the year
 

Hansen and Rogers fight for Columbia's first win of the year

This week’s Australian National Championships in Buninyong sees Columbia’s Australian time trial experts Michael Rogers and Adam Hansen gunning for the honour of taking their team’s first victory of the season.

Rogers is a former triple World Time Trial Champion whilst Hansen won the National title in 2008, meaning both will be strong contenders on January 8th’s race against the clock. In fact - with no disrespect to the opposition - the time trial could even possibly come down to a straight fight between the two Columbia team-mates.

But Hansen, in any case, is looking for not one first place at the Australian Championships but two, telling the local press that he will be pushing for gold in the time trial and the road race.

"My aim is to win both races," he stated. "I know that nobody has won the double before, but there's always a first time for everything and I am a lot better prepared this year."

First up, though, is the time trial and three factors could well affect the 39 kilometre course. The heat, the frequent strong winds in the area and the hilly terrain - mainly a series of long climbs with open, exposed straights - are all expected to affect the racing.

As defending Time Trial champion, Hansen will be last rider off, and will thus have the advantage of knowing his rivals’ time references. He also knows the route from last year’s Nationals, held over the same roads.

Rogers on the other hand could be favoured by the sheer amount of climbing included on the course. So far Rogers’ only senior national title is on the track - but he will be looking to put that straight this week.

As for the heat, Hansen can be encouraged by the fact he had no problems with that last year. Despite temperatures hitting around 40 degrees 12 months ago, the Queenslander still managed to take a convincing victory in the searing heat, winning by 56 seconds over Rory Sutherland.

After taking part in the time trial, Rogers and Hansen will be joined by new Columbia team-mate Mark Renshaw for the 163.2 kilometre road race event on Sunday. -and hopefully the trio will clinch a second great result for Columbia in the space of less than a week.

Columbia’s Judith Arndt of Germany will be taking part in the Australian Women’s Road-Race Championships. The women’s event is an ‘open’ race’, meaning riders from any nationality can start.

Look for more information about Team Columbia-High Road at www.highroadsports.com

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