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    WEB_Tom McDonald (16)_pe_c6_20180110
    BUILDING FORM: Tom McDonald has been training and racing hard in Australia before he returns to France and his cycling team. PHOTO: Scott Anderson

    THOMAS McDonald is preparing himself for a big year ahead in Europe after impressive performances at Cycling Australia’s National Road Championships.

    The 19-year-old was competing in the under 23 division for the first time, and despite relatively limited preparation he produced an outstanding time trial on the undulating 30km course at Ballarat last Thursday.

    McDonald stopped the clock at 40:40 – 1:19 slower than gold medallist Callum Scotson, who won the event for the third straight year.

    He finished in 12th position, but McDonald was less than two seconds off claiming a spot in the top 10 in a fiercely contested race.

    “It was ridiculously close this year – normally you get pretty big gaps between the top five or six guys because of the distance, but this year there was 30 seconds between the top five,” McDonald said.

    “I was 0.3 of a second off 11th and 1.5 seconds off 10th, so a pedal stroke here or there and the results could have been different.

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