21st - 23rd February
Stage 2 : Tuesday 21st February
Portarlington Criterium, 2:30pm 30km (1km circuit)
Sarah Ulmer tried to make it her race in the Portarlington Criterium on Tuesday afternoon, but was not allowed. The German teams - Équipe Nürnberger and T-Mobile were determined not to let anything get away, so when she made a break with just three laps gone, she didn't really stand a chance of staying away.
Not that she stopped at one attempt; Ulmer tried to get away from the bunch on two more occasions, but was just not strong enough to 'break the elastic'
In the end, it came down to a sprint, with Rochelle Gilmore popping out of the bunch from nowhere to challenge Ina Yoko Teutenberg and Oenone Wood. They finished in that order, but were apparently lucky - to finish at all - Wood admitted after the race that she had touched the rear wheel of Teutenberg during the sprint -something which could have been disastourous, had she come down....... best not contemplated really. "I stuffed the sprint a little bit this afternoon, I ran into Ina's back wheel and luckily I held it up but it didn't help me for the finish" said Wood afterwards.
Gilmore was naturally pleased with her win; "It was pretty fast and you had the Nurnburger and T-Mobile girls up there trying to get a lead out for their riders and it was obvious that Oenone and Ina Teutenberg would be the two fastest sprinters there. I just felt confident at the finish with a lap to go, I knew that I'd done the work the last few weeks. I've had a good preparation and great support from my coach Wazza McDonald"
Christiane Soeder retains the Leader's jersey, but is now only 3 seconds ahead of defeding champion, Oenone Wood.Melissa Holt is third, 4 seconds down
Tiffany Cromwell from South Australia, riding for Team Safi dislodged Amanda Spratt from the young rider's jersey.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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