Australian Grand Prix of Cycling
Ballarat - 33km
Bendigo cyclist Jessica Berry rode a superb race to claim honours in the women’s criterium, also held over 33 km. Berry (25) missed an early break group and was forced to work a little bit harder than expected to bridge the gap.
“It was such a challenging course that it made things very tough if you missed any breaks,” she said.
Berry beat former world champion, Katie Mactier in a tight bunch sprint, with the defending Victorian Criterium champion, Briana James a wheel width away in third spot. Mactier was gracious in defeat and offered genuine congratulations to Berry, adding “It's great to see such good young talent emerging in women’s cycling in this country.”
It was a modest field of just 13 riders that faced the starter for the women’s event, but the tough course and hard riding from the early leaders Mactier, Rachel Rademaker and Monique Hanley made life difficult for others. James summed up the feelings of most beaten riders when she quite simply stated “I'm absolutely knackered.”
“I missed that early break and although we eventually got across, it took too much out of me for the final sprint home.”
Rademaker, had been impressive in Friday’s time trial and although she missed a podium placing in the criterium, she did claim the sprint championship, four points ahead of Mactier.
The women’s road race on Sunday will also be held at Mt Buninyong, starting at 8 a.m. and held over 91.8 km.
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