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Jones finally wins Australian criterium

After a succession of near-misses, Brenton Jones has won the Australian criterium championship as Rebecca Wiasak went back-to-back in the women's race.

Jones finally wins Australian criterium

After a succession of near-misses, Brenton Jones has won the Australian criterium championship as Rebecca Wiasak went back-to-back in the women's race.

BRENTON JONES of Avanti Racing Team Australia reacts as he crosses the finish line to win stage 9 during stage 9 of the 2014 Tour in Padang, Indonesia.
BRENTON JONES of Avanti Racing Team Australia reacts as he crosses the finish line to win stage 9 during stage 9 of the 2014 Tour in Padang, Indonesia. Picture:Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

Persistence has paid off for Brenton Jones, who finally snared the criterium title at the Australian road cycling championships.

After a silver medal and three bronze in the event, the 27-year-old Victorian sprint ace held off Tristan Ward in a tight finish.


Bora-Hansgrohe rider Jay McCarthy finished third at Ballarat.

Earlier on Friday night, Rebecca Wiasak successfully defended her women's title ahead of Mitchelton-Scott rider Sarah Roy and under-23 category winner Ruby Roseman-Gannon.

Jones' win comes seven years after doctors put him into an enforced coma following a sickening race crash.

His Mum Karin Jones and fiancee Lucy Hinchley were among those on hand to celebrate the popular win.

"It's been a challenge, but to finally get there is a massive reward for everyone who's helped and supported me along the way - and a pat on the back to myself, I guess, for just persevering and not letting people distract me," Jones said.

He was third last year behind Caleb Ewan, who opted against a crack at a fourth straight title to concentrate on Sunday's road race - news Jones found out sooner than most.

Jones delivered Ewan his suitcase on Thursday night after they had gone head-to-head in the last race of the Bay Crit series at suburban Williamstown earlier that day.

"He said 'good luck tomorrow night, mate' and that gave me the heads-up he wasn't going to be here," Jones said.

"For him to concentrate on the road race is probably a smart move after racing head-to-head with me at the Bay Crits, it's a vicious series."

Jones, like Wiasak won despite not having team support.

Wiasak's win comes a day after she was left kicking herself at the Bay Crits series.

The two-time individual pursuit world champion also was cut last year from the Australian track endurance program.

She started Thursday's final race of the Bay Crits tied for the women's series lead, but was caught of position at the start of the last lap.

This time, there was no mistake as Wiasak timed her sprint perfectly.

"I made a really big technical error yesterday that was worth three and a half grand, for the (series) win," Wiasak said.

"I'm currently unemployed and it's hard to see the bank account going down, but a green and gold jersey is something that money can't buy.

"I replayed the race yesterday in my head 5000 times."

Also on Friday, Jarrad Drizners won the men's under-23 criterium as Jesse Norton and Ashlee Jones secured the under-19 championships.

AAP


AAP




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