Geelong Women's Tour
Stage 3 Results
77.5km (5 laps of 15.5km)
With intermediate sprints for each of
the first three laps, the race was hot from the gun. The riders faced a
cross-headwind up the finishing straight and a slight rise in the last 100m
to the line. Race temperature today was around 20’C.
The first intermediate sprint was won by Oenone Wood from
Katherine Bates and Sarah Ulmer third. The lap time was 25minutes 03
seconds. Part way through the second lap, a crash occurred, affecting 5
riders : Anna Perrin (QAS), Hannah Banks (QAS), Oxana Kashchyshyna (Ukraine) Leonie Aisbett (NSWIS) and Jenny
Macpherson (Body Torque), but they were all able to remount and regain the
bunch, although with a lap time of 24 minutes, they passed
through the start finish area in the convoy of cars, just regaining
contact with the bunch as they went into lap 3 of 5. The race at the front
was particularly frenetic due to the fact that this was the second
intermediate sprint – Oenone Wood took the race lead on the road by
winning the second sprint from Sarah Ulmer and Kate Mactier. The bonuses for
the sprints are 3,2,1 seconds, so with 6 seconds from her sprints today
against Maciter’s 1, Wood therefore took the virtual lead by 1 second at
this point. Kirsty Bortilin went through as lanterne rouge about 2 minutes
down, although she wasn’t one her own for long, several other riders
joining her in the next couple of laps.
During the 3rd lap a
breakaway by Amber Neben (T-Mobile) was successful – her lead extending to
46 seconds, but this was brought back to 14 seconds by the time the race
passed under the start / finish banner for the third sprint competition of
the day. The sprint for second was fierce; winding it up with 200m to go was
Katherine Bates, followed by Wood, Mactier and Belinda Goss. On the line,
second went to Wood with Bates third.
It did not take the bunch long to catch
Neben, she was joined by Oki Miho (Japan) and Olivia Gollan (AIS) and the
three got a small lead before being swallowed again by the bunch on the
tailwind section of the 15km circuit.
As the riders went through to take the
bell, the race was together. It had been another mid-24 minute lap.
Backmarkers were still going through the finish. Lynn Gaggioli called it a
day and rode into the race car parking area at the end of her fourth lap.
On the final lap, Alison Wright (NOBI-FANI)
and Sarah Carrigan (QAS) gained a slender lead on the bunch. They stretched
a 70 metre advantage to 10 seconds as a maximum. But as the race came into
the final kilometre, everything was back together again.
headwind from the sea across the rider’s right shoulders caused an
arrowhead effect in the bunch. With 250m to go, there were riders pushed way
over into the left-hand gutter. As the sprint would up, the bunch was strung
out, Oenone Wood was accelerating, alongside Gilmore. Petra Rossner (Team Nürnberger)
started later, but soon found the space at the front. She had plenty of time
to give a victory wave as she crossed the line. Wood and Gilmore fought it
out for second, Gilmore took the placing from Wood and Tanja Hennes (World
Team). It transpired that Gilmore had pulled her foot during the sprint
again today – the second day running.
Oenone Wood AIS
Third on the stage gave Wood another 4
seconds time bonus, totalling 12 for the day (the other 8 coming from the
intermediate sprints). With Mactier finishing in the bunch, Wood has the
blue leader’s jersey and an 8 second advantage going into the final stage
of the Tour. The final stage starts from Lara, for a 115km road stage which
includes the climb of the ferocious Mt Wallace – Yaloak Vale – Glenmore
Road. Race organisation has recommended a chainring combination of 39x25.
Jerseys for the final stage are:
Blue - Leader – Oenone Wood
Red – Sprints – Katharine Bates*
Yellow – U23 – Alexis Rhodes*
*Wood is the actual sprint leader,
second in the sprints is Bates. Bates leads the U23 competition, but cannot
wear 2 jerseys, so Rhodes as second best U23 wears it.
Speaking after the race, Oenone Wood
confirmed that picking up time bonuses via the sprints had been the AIS
tactic for today, to get the blue jersey. She was pleased with the team
performance and grateful to them for their efforts. When asked whether the
efforts during the intermediate sprints had an impact on the stage result
for her, Oenone said that she was pleased to come third to Petra Rossner –
“a sprinter with such a prodigious background in sprinting”. As for
tomorrow, she didn’t think that the efforts today would have much of an
impact, given that NSWIS is one of the strongest teams at the race, they
should be able to control things and hopefully protect the jersey.
Unlucky Rochelle Gilmore Team SATS, who
pulled her foot again, had sought help last night from the race’s bike
shop after the incident yesterday. She couldn’t get it tight enough and
felt that there was too much float, but still couldn’t get it quite right.
She said that she started today knowing that she would have to keep her foot
straight in the pedal and make a conscious effort not to twist it. She was
aware that it may happen again and she was even conscious of it as she was
accelerating out of the corners. In the final sprint, she was aware of it as
Rossner came level; even though she tried to keep her foot in line, it popped
out again. She is going to “dump the (pedal) system completely” for
tomorrow. Commenting upon her speed, she admitted that she has been working
hard with the AIS in South Australia, but has not really done any specific
speed work yet. She looks forward to flying once she has done some speedwork!
Katharine Bates, wearing the yellow
jersey during today and taking the red into tomorrow’s final stage was
also grateful to her team for looking after her today. She hopes that they
will be able to impact upon the race tomorrow. Bates also joked that she is
getting used to wearing a different colour jersey every day. She hopes that
tomorrow it might be blue…..
Petra Rossner, stage winner and would-be surfer joked that she would have been happy to allow someone else to ride her bike today so that she could test the waters along Thirteenth Beach Road. Speaking of her team, she told WomensCycling.net that they had looked after her so well throughout the race that she had been able to save all her energy for the final sprint. Another European rider who admits to being a month behind the Australian in terms of form at this time of year, Rossner made tactical use of the wind today and of the shelter provided by her teammates. Every time there was a cross or headwind, Team Nürnberger protected Rossner from it by having someone riding next to, or in front of her. The German outfit will be looking for another result tomorrow, but they are aware that they are not the strongest at the moment. Using the race as a warm-up for the World Cup is more important, but a good result would do good things for team spirit. “We expect to get our arses kicked at this time of year by the Australians” (she laughed) “but we love being here, its great to be here. Its a long time until October though [the end of the season], there are so many other events to be on form for.”
General Classification After Stage 3
1 Oenone Wood (AIS)
2 Kate Mactier (JAYCO) @ 7 sec
3 Katherine Bates (NSWIS) @ 10 sec