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Race Results

Australian Women's Road Race Championships

8 laps of 13km - 104km

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Queensland Triple

After breaking away a couple of times in the final lap, Queenslander Lorian Graham finally managed to stay away after the descent of the main climb and took a sweet victory in the Australian Women's RR Championships. Having heard all week about the possibility of a 'triple', the crowd were treated to one, but not the one they expected. Expectations were high that Oenone Wood, defending RR champion and already 2005 Criterium and TT Champion, might take the 'triple' - something never achieved before, but it was not to be. Instead, the large crowd in Euchunga was treated to a Queensland "triple" - all three podium places taken by Queensland riders.

The race took some time to develop - everything was quite pedestrian and stayed together for the first couple of  laps, although there were some riders who slid off the back on the hills. Then, on the third lap, Christine Riakos and Hannah Banks broke away. Their lead quickly went up towards a minute. As the riders made their way through Euchunga, the Team Nürnberger teammates (but rivals today), Sara Carrigan and Oenone Wood were active at the front looking to bring things back together. This activity at the front meant that the race exploded towards to the back - into a main bunch and a group chasing them, with a handful of small groups still racing but out of contact with the main groups. At its peak, the gap achieved by Riakos and Banks reached over 1 minute, but that was sliced to ten seconds a lap later, with just 2 to go, when the bunch put their collective foot to the floor. Olivia Gollan pulled out due to mechanical problems at this point. Gollan is another Nürnberger rider for 2005.

With the riders taking the bell, the leading group was confirmed as Oenone Wood, Natalie Bates, Emma James, Jemma O'Brien, Toni Bradshaw, Hannah Banks, Sara Carrigan, Bridget Evans, Lorian Graham, Candice Sullivan, Amy Gillett (née Safe and silver medallist last year),  Claire Baxter, Kerryn Charman, Emma Mackie, Emma Rickards and Kathy Watt. It was during this lap that Lorian Graham attacked on the hill, was bought back but went again on the undulating section afterwards and managed to extend the lead. 

Graham's attack continued and by the time she was about 5km / 3 miles from the finish, her lead was being classified as unbeatable - barring incidents, Lorian Graham was going to be the new Australian Women's RR Champion. And so it was - coming into view in the home straight, Graham was checking over her shoulder, but there was no need, the cars between her and the chasing bunch indicated at least a 30second lead. She crossed the line with pointing just one finger skyward - "number 1"....

The bunch approached, spread across the road. The sprint was fast and Sara Carrigan emerged from the group about 20m from the line to easily take her second silver medal of the week. The remainder of the bunch finish was harder to split and the judges took a few moments before announcing Bridget Evans as third placegetter - which meant a Queensland clean sweep of the medals. 

Speaking afterwards, Lorian Graham was quick to thank her team-mates from Queensland and to point out that they had been dominant all day. She was also grateful to be in Euchunga, where many locals had turned out to watch and where a terrific community effort to welcome the Open Road Championships this week had been made. Of her win, she said that "it was unexpected but I knew with the training I have been doing that I was a contender for today and I definitely didn't want it to come down to a sprint 'cos Oenone's obviously in very good form. The counterattacks happened one after the other at the end. I did put in a solid effort with about two laps to go but unfortunately it didn't stick and so I had to keep trying and I stayed away. That eleven (sprocket) definitely got used with about 2km in to the finish!" She confirmed that the Queensland team had agreed last night to work together and she was pleased that they had succeeded - "sometimes it doesn't happen but we stuck to what we said we'd do and we came away with the win at the end of the day". With race favourites, Oenone Wood and Sara Carrigan in the break on the final lap, there was an opportunity for others to try to get away unnoticed. "You just had to play your cards right in the end and I played mine exceptionally well." Graham is looking forward to riding in the AIS team again this year, having ridden as domestique for Oenone Wood during the UCI World Cup series, she sees the elevation of Wood and Carrigan into the professional ranks (as riders with Team Nürnberger) as an opportunity to step up in the international arena with the Australian Champion's jersey on her shoulders. 

Lorian Graham is something of a revelation - she switched from cross country running to cycling in 2000. A running friend had identified her talent as a cyclist and advised her to take it up rather than follow what had been the plan at the time - to become a triathelete.... 

Sara Carrigan also pointed out the team effort which had been made - reminding the crowd of the early race effort made by Hannah Banks and the effort made by Sally Cowman - also of Queensland. "that's why we won today - it was a good team effort and look at us now, we're up on the podium. Congratulations to everyone."

Bridget Evans was surprised with her result, she performed consistently in the Jayco Bay Classic last week, with several attack attempts and cover efforts where she raced in front of the bunch alone and she was always in the bunch at the end of the races. But about today's result, she admitted "I'm not quite sure what I'm doing here".  



Posn Name State Club / Team Time / Time Gap
1 Lorian Graham (Qld) Ffast Cycle Club


2 Sara Carrigan (Qld) C.A.T.S.  0.31
3 Bridget Evans (Qld) Ffast Cycle Club
4 Jennifer Manefield (NSW) Parramatta
5 Emma James (NSW) Randwick
6 Kate Nichols (NSW) St George CC
7 Candice Sullivan (Qld) C.A.T.S.
8 Louise Yaxley (Tas) Launceston City CC
9 Helen Kelly (Vic) Carnegie Caulfield CC
10 Toni Bradshaw (NZL) NZ Cycling Federation
11 Oenone Wood (ACT) Canberra CC / Nurnberger
12 Amy Gillett (SA) Norwood CC
13 Natalie Bates (NSW) Parramatta CC
14 Emma Rickards (Vic) Carnegie Caulfield CC
15 Kathryn Watt (Vic) Blackburn CC
16 Jemma O'Brien (NSW) St George CC 2.39
17 Hannah Banks (Qld) Uni CC 2.57
18 Emma Mackie (Vic) Albury-Wodonga CC
19 Christine Riakos (NSW) St George CC
20 Claire Baxter (Vic) Hawthorn Citizens Youth Club 5.17
21 Kirsty Bortolin (Vic) Blackburn CC 7.49
22 Rachel O'Connell (NSW) Peloton Sports Inc
23 Vicki Eustace (ACT) Tuggeranong Vikings CC
24 Judith May (ACT) Canberra CC 7.54
25 Jenny Macpherson (Vic) Carnegie Caulfield CC 9.37
26 Kerryn Charman (Vic) Geelong CC 11.08
27 Patti Whyte (NSW) Hunter Valley Vets CC
28 Lisa Payne (Qld) Cairns CC 8.33
29 Cristine Foster (Vic) St Kilda CC inc 12.33
30 Laura Bortolozzi (NSW) Randwick Botany 12.38
31 Toireasa Gallagher (NSW) Bathurst CC 14.13
32 Sarah White (NSW) Bicisport 16.39
33 Linda Cappello (ACT) Canberra CC
34 Jessie Maclean (ACT) Canberra CC 17.18



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Sara Carrigan, with new Champion - Lorian Graham and Bridget Evans - all from Queensland in the podium at the Australian RR Championships  click to enlarge >>

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Lorian Graham - newly crowned RR Champion  click to enlarge & enter gallery >>


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