The moist and chilly circumstances of the under-23 males’s World Championships highway race performed to the strengths of Australian nationwide cross-country champion Matt Dinham, as he claimed the honours of best-placed native in seventh place. The outcome was additionally the house nation’s finest within the U23 occasion since Jason Lowndes positioned sixth in Doha in 2016.
Dinham completed seventh within the bunch dash, three seconds shy of breakaway winner Yevgeniy Fedorov of Kazakhstan, and two seconds behind silver medallist Mathias Vacek (Czech Republic).
With a can of Fanta in his hand, a smile on his face and a full physique shiver, Dinham stopped to speak to reporters within the combined zone, however not earlier than his press officer wrapped a jacket over his shoulders.
“Actually, I’m fairly proud of the way it went,” Dinham mentioned as a stream of riders with exhausted faces caked in mud trickled previous.
“Clearly there have been a few actually robust groups on the market with skilled and older riders. It actually simply got here right down to the opposite boys. They did a very good job taking care of me early on.”
With Fedorov and Vacek out in entrance on the ultimate lap, behind it was a race for bronze with Dinham one of many riders to animate what was finally a failed chase try.
“I gave it a crack on the final lap up the climb to see if I may get away and pressure something however the best way the race panned out, it was a bit too arduous and I couldn’t actually do a lot,” he mentioned. “Particularly with among the strongest sprinters there, I’m proud of it contemplating it got here right down to a dash like that.”
The issue of the technical metropolis circuit course with its 33 turns was enhanced because the race began in pouring rain and the circumstances hardly abated for the next 4 hours. Dinhman proved to be one of many riders to learn from the inclement climate that thinned the peloton throughout the virtually 4 hours of racing.
“After the primary few laps you’re employed out the place you possibly can transfer up and which corners are slippery and which aren’t. I’d say it simply obtained simpler as a result of numbers scaling down,” he mentioned of a race the place some 59 riders dropped out.
“You simply had much less folks to battle for place. Which was clearly actually essential with all of the corners on the market. I believe it performed into my strengths and made it just a little extra selective. With out having the identical staff numbers, it was just a little bit simpler to place in opposition to among the larger groups.”
Wollongong wasn’t Dinhim’s first World Championships on Australia soil. In 2017, he raced the junior cross nation on the Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns, the place he additionally completed in seventh place on what was a really dry and dusty course.
And presumably at the price of ostracising himself from the mountain bike neighborhood, Dinhim, whose dream is to race within the WorldTour, was fast to reply when requested which dwelling Worlds was the higher expertise of the 2.
“I’d need to say the highway Worlds,” he mentioned with a slight grimace. “You get larger crowds and so they have executed a very nice job with this Wollongong circuit. I believe now that the locals are just a little extra uncovered to the racing all through the week, they’re actually beginning to get round it. Thanks for everybody cheering on the market right this moment, I actually respect it.”
And with that, Dinham was off to discover a heat bathe as one of many final riders to go away the combined zone.