Sulzberger grabs silver

TASMANIAN rider Bernard Sulzberger overcame a tooth infection to get a taste of the medals at the Oceania road championships.

The 30-year-old from Flowery Gully collected a silver medal in Toowoomba where just 32 of the 206 starters finished a 142-kilometre race in hot and windy conditions.

West Australian duo Luke Durbridge and Robert Power broke away with two kilometres remaining to finish 19 seconds ahead of Sulzberger, 18-year-old Power claiming the under-23 title, while Brenton Jones of Tasmania's Avanti team won a sprint for bronze.

``It would have been nice to get the win, but obviously Durbo is going pretty strong as normal and I just couldn't hang on to him,'' said Sulzberger, who was well supported by his Drapac teammates, including brother Wes and another Tasmanian Will Clarke.

``We said we were going to start attacking. Wes got away by himself there for a while. Durbo and Robert Power bridged across to him and he just couldn't hang on. 

``As soon as he came back to us, Wes and Jack [Anderson] did a really good job of attacking. I just went when I thought everyone else was stuffed and held on to the finish.''

Directeur sportif Henk Vogels was delighted with Drapac's third medal of the championships, with Clarke, of Campbell Town, having claimed silver in the elite time trial.

``Bernie is such a strong rider,'' Vogels said of the former national criterium champion and 2009 Tour of Tasmania winner.

``He's had a tooth infection literally for the last three weeks and I wasn't expecting anything from him. Today's race turned out a lot harder than what everyone else expected.''

Wes Sulzberger finished 15th, 26 seconds off the pace, and Clarke 17th (+1:36), with Tasmania's two World Tour Academy riders Alex Clements and under-23 time trial silver medallist Campbell Flakemore 29th (+10:10) and 30th (+10:11) respectively.

Durbridge, who will head off to Europe for another season with Orica-GreenEDGE, was pleased to add the win to his 2013 national time trial and road race titles.

``I came here to focus on the time trial and that didn't go to plan [so] I feel like I've made amends for that,'' said Durbridge who punctured with three kilometres remaining in Friday's time trial.

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