Victoria Grace Brown has almost certainly booked her place in the Australian women's time trial Olympic team after another strong win at the Road Nationals in Ballarat.
Brown earned her fourth national title in the elite women's race and third straight win with a 6.89-second win over last year's national road race champion, Brodie Chapman.
The 31-year-old started well, taking the lead at the first checkpoint and extending the lead to more than 14 seconds at the 20km mark over her rival before Chapman fought back.
Brown held on to become the third woman to win four or more Test crowns for Australia.
She is also the fourth Australian to win three consecutive national titles in the event.
“It wasn't my best time on this course, it was very difficult,” Brown revealed.
“I've adjusted myself fairly well for where I'm at.
“Brody was getting close to me on the second lap, but I was able to stay fairly consistent.”
Brown later revealed that she was suffering from a nerve injury in her lower back.
She's confident that won't affect her moving forward this year.
“It's an injury that I know I can continue to perform with, but it will be good not to be there,” she said.
Brown said if she was selected to compete in Paris it would be nice to head there as a national champion.
“Racing in Paris in the time trial would be great, especially since like in Tokyo, we couldn’t have our own fans or spectators,” she said.
“That's something I'm really looking forward to is being in Paris with everyone there.
“If I'm there, my whole family will be there, which is really special to me.”
Looking forward to joining her is Chapman who continues to impress in the time trial.
Last year, she placed third in her first attempt at national titles, and this year she placed second behind two-time World Championship silver medalist Brown.
Chapman, an Olympic hopeful in the road race, said the addition of a time trial would be a nice bonus, if she is selected.
“I want to go to the Olympics for the road race and time trial,” she said.
“This was part of that journey.
“That (time trial) was my biggest focus this year (on the road race).”
The story of bad luck in the time trial was 2020 Olympic champion and two-time national time trial champion Sarah Gigante.
A mechanical fault with her bike forced the 23-year-old to start again in the time trial after she had to stop during her first attempt.
When the tournament began, the 2020 and 2021 champion could only finish 11th, almost three minutes behind the winner.
All riders will now prepare for the criterium around the streets of Ballarat on Friday before the road race around Bunnyong on Sunday.