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Race Results

Tour Down Under - Women's Criterium Series

January 18-23 

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Round 1 Round 2 Round 3


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Round 3

Following on from her sister Kate's wheeltracks on Thursday, Natalie Bates took the third race in the Adelaide Advertiser Women's criterium series on Saturday. The 30 minute race was as fast as the previous 2 have been - with the women attacking off the front of what was already a speedy event.

Early in the race, Louise Yaxley took a slight lead, but was soon brought back. It was at about half-distance that Natalie Bates went off the front of the bunch. She managed to build up to at 15 second lead within 3 laps. Others were keen to bring her back - Emma James chased and worked hard for a couple of laps, but nothing came of her effort. 

As the race entered its closing minutes, Sara Carrigan and Alexis Rhodes opened a gap on the bunch and closed Bates down to just 10 seconds. At the same time, Jenny Macpherson worked hard to jump across to the chasers. With 2 laps to go, Bates was still out in front, followed 12 seconds later by Carrigan, Rhodes and Macpherson and then 10 seconds further back, the bunch.

As Natalie Bates appeared up the slight slope to the finishing line, the sole figure of Macpherson could be seen sprinting for second. Sara Carrigan took third place, Rhodes fourth and then race leader, Rochelle Gilmore took the bunch sprint for fifth. 

After the race, the riders were grateful to the race organisers for putting on the series, with its rich $10,000 prize list. They were also impressed with the South Australia crowds who turned out en masse to view the races. 

There was a local prize presentation for the race at Aldinga Beach, although the series-proper was awarded on the main podium down the hill at Wilunga, where the Tour Down Under stage finished a couple of hours later. The local presentation was worth waiting for, though. The yellow jersey for Series Winner was presented to Jenny Macpherson by the Race Director of the best known Tour in the world, Tour de France director, Jean-Marie Leblanc!

Speaking after the race, winner Natalie Bates explained that sister Kate, Alexis Rhodes and she had enjoyed a victory each during the week, fitting in with a preconceived plan to work for each other. The fact that they got a win each was a bonus....  For today, the plan had been to get one of the trio to the line first, given that "overall the points were so close between everyone that it was has to know what was going to happen, so our plan was to go out there and make it as tough as we could, to attack over the top of the slope and make the race really dynamic. Then if it came down to a bunch so be it, but you're in a better position to win the race if you can get away." There was no sibling rivalry : "I've been working for her, she's been working for me, along with Alexis Rhodes, we've had a good combination". How the combination came together was, Bates admitted, a strange situation, given that the Bates' are from New South Wales and Rhodes from  South Australia. "We thought we were a good combination - Kate's got a bit of a sprint, Alex and I prefer to be able to get away. It was a strong team".  She continued "There's a few South Australia girls, a whole lot of New South Wales girls and a whole lot of Queenslanders. If we'd just broken into state alliances, it's would've really closed the race down and make it not nearly as dynamic. There were a few different alliances out there."

Both Bates' programmes will continue with a few weeks at home in New South Wales before heading to Victoria for the Geelong Tour and Geelong World Cup event, then on to New Zealand for the World Cup event there. Then its another quick trip home to NSW before heading to Europe for the Northern Hemisphere's road racing season. They are, she told WomensCycling.net "hopefully going to Geelong with some really good form. Its a really good opportunity, for us we're really fit and going well with some good racing under our belts compared to the Europeans." The Bates' are both signed to ride in Dutch team Ton Van Bemmelen Sports.

Jenny Macpherson was really pleased to have taken the Series win with her second place today. Catching up with her after the race, she told WomensCycling.net "Its awesome, I was actually hoping my team-mate (Emma Rickards) would be up there. We were working together, Emma was on equal points with Rochelle (Gilmore), but at least one of us was up there." Commenting upon her recent very good form here and at the Jayco Bay Criteriums in Melbourne, she said "I've cut back my work hours so that I can train and recover properly and its helped having a break from riding the tandem."  (Macpherson was a pilot for a sight-limited rider in the Australian Para Olympian team) and about the powerful sprint she has developed...  "Over the last six months I've been working on my pedalling and I've learnt to be more efficient during the race so that I've got more left at the end.


Round 3


1   Natalie Bates 

2  Jenny Macpherson

3  Sara Carrigan



1  Jenny Macpherson

2  Rochelle Gilmore

3  Alexis Rhodes




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