Glenvale GP Feminine Criterium
Sponsored by Kelly Cycle Coaching
Glenvale Criterium Course
A combined field of 40 riders on the road, rolled out in the pair of GP Feminine women's races at Glenvale. The riders were split into groups based on experience, which was one race of local B, C and D grade riders and an elite race consisting of those preparing to compete in the Geelong Tour and World Cup later this week.
In the elite race Raleigh Lifeforce Creation, who have based themselves out of Australia for the past two months, showed why their warm weather training was paying off. They set the tone for the race, they sent Sarah Duster up the road in an attack from lap one. Local riders Peter Mullens (Jayco VIS) and Jenny King decided to try to bring the break back. They were joined by the American Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci Racing), Catherine Hare (GBR and Biggin & Scott) and Pascale Schnider (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation). As soon as the break was caught, Priska Doppman (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation) counter-attacked. This time it was Lisa Friend (Drapac Porsche) who managed to bridge the gap and Doppman and Friend held the lead for a couple of laps. Next Nicole Whitburn decided to take up the chase, unfortunately the rest of the bunch, including the Raleigh Lifeforce team closed this down.
By lap 9, the decisive move of the race occurred. Raleigh Lifeforce team leader Nicole Cooke and local team mate and Carnegie Caulfield CC member Emma Rickards, successfully broke away. This was a combination of shear talent and a small amount of thanks to the support of team mates and the two Great Britain riders, Slater and Heard, who held an even pace on front to enable the two leaders to get away.
The pair of Cooke and Rickards increased their lead to 33 seconds before it was left to local riders Tess Downing (Drapac Porsche), Peta Mullens and visiting Irish rider Jenny Fay (Biggin & Scott) to try to close the gap. They managed to bring the gap down to 23 seconds before being joined by Helen Kelly (Webcor) who took over to try to reduce the lead a little more. This caused a small gap in the bunch, however the small group did not managed to catch the leaders as it included Jo Kiesanowski, Priska Doppman and Patricia Schwagon (Raleigh Lifeforce Creation), who were unwilling to chase their team-mates. Also in the group was Malaysian, Azian Alias. This chasing group slowed sufficiently for the backmarkers to catch them.
The gap was down to 16 seconds and did not look like it would be pulled back any further. With 19 laps completed, Raleigh Lifeforce Creation's Serena Trechsel attacked and managed to bridge the gap to the leaders. This race was turning out to be a showcase of Raleigh team tactics, under the guidance of team manager, Thomas Campana. The three leaders worked hard at the front of the race to maintain a 10 second lead, despite a number of attempts to close the gap by chasers at the front of the bunch, Friend, Hare and Mullens.
With 6 laps to go, Downing moved to the front and tried hard to close the gap but there was little support from the bunch to do this. Clubmate, Mullens, tried to help with the Malaysian Uracca Leow and Cliff Ryan following, but time had run out for them.
At the bell the leaders had an 8 second lead, and by the final corner, 150m from the finish line, all they needed to do was decide who would take the race honours. Local, Emma Rickards was the winner, with Cooke and Trechsel enjoying the coast in to the line alongside her.
Lifeforce Creation won places one, two and three, Rickards, Trachsel and
Cooke. Theresa Cliff-Ryan ruined the whitewash by taking 4th ahead of Jo
Kiesanowski. Catherine Hare bringing sprinted to sixth.
included two sprint primes and these were divided amongst the Raleigh
Lifeforce Creation team.
In the "B to D' grade race, the pace was much more sedate in the first 7 laps before the sprint prime. Melissa Kah, Kerrie Howard and Gemma Goyne shared the majority of the lead until this point but it was the Debbie Hobbs who won the sprint, coming round the right hand side of the bunch to win, Stephanie Coulson was second and Gemma Goyne third. The lead in the rest of the race was shared between a number of riders. Over the next five laps this included Clare Vlapopoulos, Christabel Prischl, Annie Jensen and Melissa Kah.
At the bell, the peloton was together, forcing an early attack or a sprint to the line. In traditional Glenvale style, it was a sprint. The bunch spread wide to use every space available for the sprint on the wide Glenvale circuit. On the finish line, it was Debbie Hobbs, who just managed to snatch the win ahead of Clare Vlapopoulos, Livia Gluchowska, Kerrie Howard and Stephanie Coulson.
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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