How cyclist battled to win two state titles in one weekend
CYCLING: Hard work and dedication have seen Dalby cyclist Dean Russell bring home the gold at the Queensland Road Cycling Championships last weekend.
Getting a taste for the podium finish for the last four years but never quite cracking top spot, Russell went one better this year, winning two state titles in two days.
Russell raced for the Brisbane based CompNOW Electrolite Racing Team in the men 45-49 years division.
Russell battled through tough weather conditions on Saturday to win gold in the 20km Individual Time Trial at Kumbia.
Finishing just off the top step of the podium in that event for three years in a row, Russell was relieved to finally secure first place.
"To come so close four times in a row and run second the last three years, I was very happy but very relieved to finally get on the top step," he said.
"In the Individual Time Trial on Saturday, I managed to win in the very windy and dusty conditions. This was great news as I had come third, second, second, second in this event previously so I was obviously thrilled to come away with the win."
Russell also raced in the 90km Road Race at Kingaroy on Sunday and said while the dust wasn't as much of an issue, the wind was the strongest he could recall racing in.
"The road race course was one that suited me, I'm very happy in the wind, as much as it's hard it creates a race where there's nowhere to hide and that's how I like it," he said.
Russell escaped from the bunch with Brisbane's Brent Ducker, who is a noted hill climber. Ducker attacked up the final climb of the day with eight kilometres to go and gave Russell a sizeable gap to close.
Russell chased him down in the closing stages and caught up with only 400 metres to go, proving too quick for Ducker in the final sprint and taking the win.
"I was very happy with that, when I hit the finish line I was feeling quite elated because it dawned on me that I had gone from not winning one of them to picking up both in the same weekend," he said.
"It's a satisfying feeling when you work hard at a sport and sometimes it all comes together and that's exactly what happened on the weekend."
Russell's focus will now turn to the velodrome as he gears up for track racing season.
"A good road racing season very much sets you up for a good track racing season so I'm hopeful that's what's happened this year," he said.