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Geelong Women's Tour 

Stage 3 Results  

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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.

The 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.

Stage Result

1          Petra Rossner                   Team Nürnberger

2          Rochelle Gilmore            SATS

3          Oenone Wood                 AIS

4          Tanja Hennes                   World Team


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.”

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General Classification After Stage 3

Provisional : 

1 Oenone Wood      (AIS)

2 Kate Mactier         (JAYCO)    @ 7 sec

3 Katherine Bates  (NSWIS)     @ 10 sec


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