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Jenner wins under-23 cycling title

AAP logoAAP 7/01/2017 Roger Vaughan

A year of hard knocks in European cycling has paid off for Sam Jenner, who has won the Australian under-23 road race championship.

The 19-year-old from the NSW country town of Armidale made a bold solo break with just over 40km left in the 132.6km race on the testing circuit at Buninyong, near Ballarat.

Only 28 of the 120 starters finished the race, held in 30-plus degree heat, and Jenner could not move for a couple of minutes after finishing because of leg cramps.

Last year he went overseas with Cycling Australia's WorldTour Academy squad and several of those riders were his rivals in Saturday's race.

While teammates such as Lucas Hamilton thrived in Europe, Jenner had a run of bad luck with illness and crashes.

But he persisted and Jenner received widespread praise for the biggest win of his young career.

He finished 47 seconds clear of a chase group of eight, with Alex Porter second and Hamilton, the pre-race favourite, taking third.

"I just kept on getting up every time I was kicked down and to pull it off ... it's unbelievable," Jenner said

"I believe it's what you need to do - you go over there (Europe) and realise how hard you do have to work."

Jenner was in a small group that had just caught solo leader Daniel Fitter when he sensed a lull in the race and broke clear.

He then stayed away for the last four of the 13 laps on the testing Buninyong circuit, despite cramping throughout the last lap.

Olympic mountain biker Scott Bowden was among the chasers and finished sixth.

The championships end on Sunday with the women's elite road race from 8am AEDT and the men's elite race from 12.15, also at Buninyong.

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