January 14, 2007
Unheralded Lapthorne takes Aussie road title
Darren Lapthorne, just 23, beat out a crop of better-known racers to take the Australian national championship jersey. Lapthorne is an undergraduate studying business, and led Drapac Porsche teammate Robert McLachlan across the line by 15 seconds. Karl Menzies, of the US-based HealthNet team, was third.
“It's the happiest day of my life ... It is an unbelievable moment for me and I'll never forget it.”
McLachlan scored his third consecutive 2nd place in the Aussie championships.
Among the ProTour riders in the race were Simon Gerrans, Allan Davis, Matt Wilson, Henk Vogels, and Baden Cooke.
Meanwhile, Robbie McEwen's status for the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia, is still unknown. The race starts Tuesday, and McEwen, the most prolific stage winner in the race's history, will be the last rider to arrive in Adelaide, skipping the rider presentation. From AdelaideNow:
McEwen has told veteran cycling commentator Phil Liggett he is hungry to add to his TDU stage win tally of 11 this week to underscore his early-season form and maximise his preparation for the Milan-San Remo spring classic in March he so dearly wants to win.
But the Queenslander is one of the most unpredictable riders in the world with a reputation for winning from out of the blue so, infection or not, only a fool would discount him tomorrow night.
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