Alexis RhodesBALLARAT – Alexis Rhodes has marked another dramatic turning point in her cycling career with a commanding win on day one of the Australian road championships.
Nanjing Night Net

Six months after season-ending surgery and two months after her professional team suddenly folded, the 27-year-old staged a daring solo break to win the women’s elite criterium title on the main street of Ballarat.

Also last night, Anthony Giacoppo again showed he was a rising star by winning his first Mars senior national title in the men’s elite criterium.

It was Rhodes’s fourth senior Australian title in the criterium and she is also defending champion for tomorrow’s road race at nearby Buninyong.

“I can never seem to get away from them, actually – they seem to follow me everywhere,” Rhodes joked of her latest criterium crown.

This was Rhodes’s first race since July’s operation to fix a blockage in the artery that supplies blood to her legs.

Fellow cyclists Stuart O’Grady and Travis Meyer have needed the same surgery.

“I had a lot of scar tissue there, so they had to open my stomach up, clean my artery out and make a little graft and sew it back together again,” she said.

Rhodes had returned to training when she found out via a text message in late November that the Garmin women’s team had folded.

After some frantic negotiations, she was able to join the new GreenEDGE-AIS women’s team.

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