After taking silver in the junior men’s time trial, James Fouche was crowned Oceania Continental Road Race champion, in a New Zealand 1-2 ahead of Robert Stannard. Fouche crossed the line solo after a simply sublime breakaway performance.
This weekend’s championships had already begun well in the men’s junior time trial. Kiwis Fouche, Stannard and Kees Duyvesteyn took three of the top ten positions and two spaces on the podium. James Fouche took silver while Robert Stannard took bronze behind Harry Sweeny of Australia who took the win in 39.47mins over the 30km course.
The road race would be an interesting affair with the field of 66 riders taking on the 109km course in Bendigo. Fouche immediately set about making his intentions clear for the race, attacking from the off and drawing a group of four away with him that included Kees Duyvesteyn. Also in the move were Australians Joshua Beikoff, Jordan Louis, Pat Kennedy and Alistair Barr. The break was well established at the 34km mark and approaching 40km covered the gap had grown to 3.25mins.
It was at the 65km mark, with 44km of racing still left to go that the race winning move was made. Three riders at this point had been able to break clear with Jordan Louis and Patrick Kennedy escaping the rest with James Fouche. But eventually Fouche distanced his breakaway companions and faced up to a long few kilometres in the saddle all alone.
He made good his advantage, stretching his lead to 5.10mins at one point despite having to ride alone through some torrid conditions. Despite the lead being reduced to 2.10mins with 10km of racing remaining there was nothing anyone could do to stop Fouche from claiming the title; and eventually the Kiwi took the win after almost three hours of racing, a full 2.01mins ahead of the nearest chase group.
Behind him Robert Stannard had managed to move up into contention and on the line he secured his second medal of the championships as well; a silver to go with his bronze in the time trial.