Image 1 of 4
It was a course that forced splits early yet it still came down to a tight battle to the line in both the men’s and women’s races at the very first RADL GVL gravel race in South Australia.
Nankervis forced long-time rival Brendan ‘Trekky’ Johnston (Giant) to lead out the sprint as the duo headed toward the McLaren Flat finish line, nestled among the grapevines of a winery, and he got to throw his hands up in the air in celebration this time.
“I just had a day that you just hope for every race, it just felt like I had no chain on today. Very good feelings and it was awesome to get the win,” Nankervis said.
Adam Blazevic, winner of two UCI Gravel World Series rounds, tailed off to take third, having had to spend a little too much energy chasing back to the front two so not having enough left in the legs to take them on in the sprint.
Chapman is the 2023 Australian road race champion and she won the women’s race by darting across the line ahead of 2022 national title holder, Nicole Frain (HESS Cycling) while Heidi Franz (Lifeplus Wahoo) came third.
All three of the podium placers had just wrapped up racing at the three-day Women’s Tour Down Under on Sunday, and Chapman and Franz also raced the Down Under criterium Thursday evening.
“We can all feel it in our legs but it was a really good event and pretty stoked to take the win,” said Chapman.
The RADL GVL race was held alongside the WorldTour racing at the Tour Down Under, further enhancing the ten days of racing in South Australia.
The 108 km route included 2048m of elevation gain and barely a sniff of paved roads.
The riders rolled out in crisp conditions early on Friday morning. Warm puffer jackets were the feature pre-start rather than the ice…