It’s a honey-bunny win for English

Jason English wins the men’s 30-34 category. Photo: Katherine Griffiths Cyclists on the home stretch after 24 hours of riding. Photo: Katherine Griffiths

Hot cross buns with honey were the secret weapon that helped power Jason English to his sixth consecutive Australian solo 24-hour championship at Stromlo Forest Park on Sunday.

The Port Macquarie teacher is hoping to find a baker willing to make some of the traditional Easter buns in October when he’ll return to Canberra for the world 24-hour championships.

He’ll be going for a remarkable fourth consecutive world title in the endurance event.

”Hot cross buns with honey is amazing,” English told The Canberra Times after the race.

”I haven’t really tried it before, I don’t know how many I had.

”I’ll have to get a bread shop to sponsor me so they can make hot cross buns in October, it’ll definitely be handy.”

While English has established himself as the benchmark in the men’s event, Wollongong’s Liz Smith was starting to do the same for herself in the women’s.

She won her second consecutive national title, to go with her 2012 Scott 24-hour title, by more than one lap of the 12-kilometre course.

Smith is yet to win a world title, but gets her chance to change that later this year.

While she’ll celebrate her 33rd birthday on Friday, Smith said she felt closer to 50 after her 24-hour ordeal, although she looked as if she’d just been on a Sunday afternoon ride.

”I’d like to think I could [emulate English], but there’s a lot of good girls out there and a lot of strong competition,” Smith said.

”I’ll give it everything I’ve got and see what happens.

”I think there’s going to be lots of competition [at the world titles], not just from the internationals, but from the other Australians that weren’t here today.

”Hopefully I’d like to [finish] top five.”

Smith completed 25 laps in 24 hours and 25 seconds.

Libby Adamson finished second and Francesca Sanders third, both with 24 laps.

While her win was comfortable, English was made to fight for his until the very last lap.

The OnTheGo Racing team member was just 10 minutes ahead of Canberra’s Ed McDonald going into the 33rd-and-final lap.

It had been as low as 90 seconds on Sunday morning before English ground it out to nearly 26 minutes by the end of race.

The 32-year-old felt it pointed to a close race at the world titles, albeit one dominated by Aussies.

”You definitely can’t be confident [going into world titles], a race that close, it could’ve gone either way,” English said.

”That just comes down to a flat tyre.”

The world titles will be held at Stromlo on October 12.

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