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Australian Open Road Championships 2007

 

 

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Road Race

Buninyong, Victoria, 102km

 

Race Writeup

Returning 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, Mactierís Victorian team mate Emma Rickards was third.

The 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 OíDonnell took third.

Griffiths 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.   

 

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Post Race Comments

Katie Mactier was overjoyed at her victory at the Ballarat Australian Road Championships. ďIts 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 wasnít sure. When you come out and take a win like this with such a competitive field itís the best thing that can happen to you and I canít wait to get up in the morning and go training,Ē said Mactier. ďIíve been doing this for many years and I think itís an honour to wear the Aussie jersey because itís so hard to get it. Itís three hours of absolute slogging your guts out on that course,Ē she said. ďItís a fantastic race and I really enjoy this course (because itís 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.Ē  Maciter will now focus on her preparations for the World Track Championships in 9 weeks and Beijing in 2008.

Nikki Egyed was very emotional at the end of the race. ďI 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 itís 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 donít win this, we should be ashamed of ourselves, we had so many good girls Ė itís really hard to take.  I could never have imagined that Louise [Kerr] would stay out there for so long, we should won

Emma Rickards finished a strong third; she talked after about her positioning in the sprint. ďI 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 

Kate Nichols 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. ďIt 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 performance.Ē

Talking to Warren MacDonald the Australian Womenís Road Coach prior to the race WCN asked what his tip was for the race and he was emphatically ďMactierĒ. 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, ďI donít quite have the kick yet but I finished and I feel good.Ē Asked if the Queensland team were disappointed with not taking the jersey she said ďOf 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

 

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Results  

Place Name State Time
1 Katie MACTIER VIC  3:10:35
2 Nikki EGYED QLD s.t.
3 Emma RICKARDS VIC s.t.
4 Renee FORTUNATO NSW s.t.
5 Candice SULLIVAN** QLD s.t.
6 Olivia GOLLAN NSW s.t.
7 Kate NICHOLS** NSW s.t.
8 Natalie BATES NSW s.t.
9 Kathryn WATT VIC s.t.
10 Jocelyn LOANE QLD + 0:04
11 Sara CARRIGAN QLD s.t.
12 Carla RYAN** QLD s.t.
13 Lorian GRAHAM QLD + 0:51
14 Tory THOMAS VIC  +1:19
15 Tiffany CROMWELL** SA s.t.
16 Vicki WHITELAW ACT s.t.
17 Amanda SPRATT** NSW  +1:57
18 Kate WARREN TAS s.t.
19 Bridget EVANS QLD  +2:03
20 Jenny FAY GBR s.t.
21 Emma MACKIE QLD s.t.
22 Peta MULLENS** VIC s.t.
23 Jemma O'BRIEN NSW s.t.
24 Maryam ROGERS VIC  +4:32
25 Deborah FAGG VIC  +4:35
26 Toireasa GALLAGHER NSW s.t.
27 Patricia PALMER QLD s.t.
28 Louise KERR** QLD s.t.
29 Kerry KNOWLER ACT  +6:48
30 Jessica BERRY VIC s.t.
31 Emma COLSON VIC s.t.
32 Sophie RUDERMAN GBR s.t.
33 Nicole WHITBURN VIC s.t.
34 Bridie O'DONNELL VIC  +10:08
35 Amber JENKINS NSW  +12:07
36 Linda WHITE QLD  +16:52
37 Simone SPYKERS VIC  +21:51
38 Helen GRIFFITHS QLD  +24:25
DNF Jenny MACPHERSON VIC
DNF Jenni KING MTB
DNF Erin CHAMBERLEN NSW
DNF Kate FINEGAN NSW
DNF Vanessa MCDONALD NSW
DNF Joanna SOMERVILLE NSW
DNF Sarah WHITE NSW
DNF Kate MERCER QLD
DNF Amy SCHRAMM QLD
DNF Liz YOUNG QLD
DNF Naomi WILLIAMS TAS
DNF Freya SCOLLAY NSW
DNF Bebe ADAMS NSW
DNF Megan ROSS VIC
DNF Kerryn CHARMAN VIC
DNF Nicole MAGNER QLD
DNS Sallyanne COWMAN NSW
DNS Emma GAUL VIC
DNS Lorraine MEINKE VIC
DNS Briana JAMES VIC
DNS Claire STEVENS VIC

** Denotes Under 23 rider

 

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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) 

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