21st - 23rd February
Stage 1 : Tuesday 21st February
Portarlington Time Trial, 10:30am 8km
Christiane Soeder took the new look purple leader's jersey in the 2006 Geelong Tour on Tuesday morning. Her time trial performance was 5 seconds faster than both Russian, Svetlana Bubnenkova and Melissa Holt from New Zealand. Soeder rides for Univega, which is the team of World TT Champion, Karin Thürig (not in Melbourne this week), perhaps some of the technique has 'rubbed off'?.... The morning was almost perfect for time trialling. Riders reported a headwind on the way out to the turn of the out-and-back course, but it was nothing significant. The temperature was in the early 20s 'C and the skies were overcast, adding to the good conditions.
Soeder has been in Melbourne for the past 6 weeks. She has been training and racing in club events with local team-mate, Emma Rickards, as well as Priska Doppman and Sara Duester. Jo Kiesanowski and Nicole Cooke have joined the Univega "training camp" in Australia in just the past couple of weeks.
Amanda Spratt rode strongly to take the lead in the Under 21 competition. She was pleased to be wearing the jersey, but told WCN that it would not necessarily be an Australian National Team strategy to protect it. She knows very well that the Portarlington criterium circuit is a tough one and pointed out that there would be more competitors on it than ever, with over 130 starters in the 2006 Geelong Tour.
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