Australian Open Road Championships 2007
Buninyong, Victoria, 102km
to Bunninyong, just outside Ballarat, Victoria after a two year absence,
the road Championships culminated in a bunch sprint which was won by Katie
Mactier (VIC). She beat eleven rivals in a breakaway group, including the
reigning Olympic and Commonwealth Games Champions, to win in a time of
3hrs 10 mins 35 seconds, ahead of another Champion, the 2003 U23 Olympic
Distance Triathlon World Champion, Nikki Egyed, Mactier’s Victorian team
mate Emma Rickards was third.
testing circuit covering 10 laps of a 10km loop caused the bunch to split
over the course of the race. The race was dominated by the Queensland
team. Right from the start they sent riders up the road to attack. The
first two to go where Liz Young and Helen Griffiths, Young could not keep
the pace and it was left to Griffiths to lead the race. She managed to
secure a 28 second gap through to the end of the second lap. The sprint
competition started at lap 2 and continued to lap 9, points being awarded
for first to third. Griffiths
secured the first 3 points with Jenny Macpherson (VIS) hot on her wheel.
Bridie O’Donnell took third.
was caught and immediately her team mate Louise Kerr attacked at the foot
of the climb. Macpherson tried to go with her but by the time they had
reached the top of the climb Kerr had managed to open up a 40 second gap
on Macpherson and a further 7 seconds to the bunch. At the start of lap 4
it was Kerr, Macpherson and Tiffany Cromwell across the line for the
sprint points, this increase in pace did however cause a small crash on
the turn at the bottom of the climb. All riders accept Kate Mercer
managing to get back up. She was taken to the local hospital for a check
up, but it was not thought to be seriously injured. By the half way stage,
Kerr had secured a 1 min 58 second gap to Jenny Fay (GBR) one of two
overseas riders taking part in this event. The peloton were a further 12
seconds behind the two leaders.
By lap 6 Kerr had opened the gap out to 2 min 66 seconds on the main peloton and was holding almost 2 minutes on Fay. The bunch reacted slowly, forcing it to string out on the decent, but the team mates of Kerr controlled it beautifully and the gap held for a further two laps. It was Natalie Bates the Commonwealth Games champion who decided to attack on the 8th time up the climb. The peloton reacted behind her and the gap to Kerr started to come down. With two laps to go the gap was at 1 min 46 seconds and Fay was caught just as the peloton crossed the start/finish line. At the bell the gap was 30 seconds and despite a valiant effort Kerr was caught on the final assent of the climb. It was on the decent that Carrigan the Olympic champion decided to attack. This caused a frenzied reaction from the bunch led by Mactier and Rickards. Carrigan was caught and as they approached the finishing straight it was the oldest competitor in the field, Kathy Watt, who went on the attack down the left hand side of the road. Rickards went with her then decided to switch back to the right. Watt followed her and they both jostled for position. Mactier though showed her early form and sprinted for the line.
Mactier was overjoyed at her victory
Ballarat Australian Road Championships.
“Its amazing this course is so
tough but I think that suits me. The Queensland team tried hard to
dominate the race and they almost succeeded at the end. A few people said
this was possible today but I wasn’t sure. When you come out and take a
win like this with such a competitive field it’s the best thing that can
happen to you and I can’t wait to get up in the morning and go training,”
said Mactier. “I’ve
been doing this for many years and I think it’s an honour to wear the
Aussie jersey because it’s so hard to get it. It’s three hours of
absolute slogging your guts out on that course,” she
“It’s a fantastic race and I really enjoy this course (because it’s
a) very honest and fair course and at the end of the day you work really
hard to earn this jersey for the year which makes it more gratifying.” Maciter
will now focus on her preparations for the World Track Championships in 9
weeks and Beijing in 2008.
was very emotional at the end of the race. “I
feel like I let the team down, we had eleven riders out there today and I
should have finished it. I got boxed in on the sprint and could not find a
way through. Maybe it’s a lack of experience but I felt that if I had
gone through I may have caused an accident and I did not want to do that.
The team met yesterday and we thought hard about our tactics and said if
we don’t win this, we should be ashamed of ourselves, we had so many
good girls – it’s really hard to take.
I could never have imagined that Louise [Kerr] would stay out there
for so long, we should won.”
finished a strong third; she talked after about her positioning in
the sprint. “I
went on the left after Kathy Watt but then I realised that it was better
to go on the right. I got a good position and just went hard.”
still an under 23, was in the bunch that got away on the last lap.
The U23 championship jersey was open when the bunch caught Louise Kerr.
Nichols sprinted to the line but Candice Sullivan just managed to get
through to beat Nichols on the line and take the jersey. Speaking after
race Nichols was please with her race today. “It was a tough race today, when the bunch caught Louise [Kerr] and the
group attacked, I knew I had to go with it. I am pleased with my
to Warren MacDonald the Australian Women’s Road Coach prior to the
race WCN asked what his tip was for the race and he was emphatically “Mactier”.
There should have been money on it he picked the first and second places.
Lorian Graham racing in her first major championship in 18 months looked strong as they crossed the start finish line. Finishing in the bunch sprint she said, “I don’t quite have the kick yet but I finished and I feel good.” Asked if the Queensland team were disappointed with not taking the jersey she said “Of course we had a strong team today and really wanted it, when Sara [Carrigan] went away we thought we had it but the bunch reacted and pulled her back.”
** Denotes Under 23 rider
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
(21:00 hrs, 13th Jan - there may be an error viewing the large image gallery, we will fix this as soon as possible)
Want to contact WomensCycling.net?
The WomensCycling.net email address is
To contact the webmaster, the address is :
Type this address into the "To" line of a new email message in your email programme.
The WomensCycling.net email address is displayed as a graphic in order to reduce the amount of 'spam' email received from programmes which 'crawl' the internet for sites with addresses displayed in text and then overwhelm that address with junk, or even forge the address in junk messages that they generate and send to others. Sorry for any inconvenience this approach causes you.
WomensCycling.net 2004, 2005, 2006 ©