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Race 1

Williamstown, 45 minutes


Race Writeup

Another year on and the size of field for the Elite women's race just keep growing. In its 18th year the race was full of some of the most talented riders in Australia and from overseas both experienced and those breaking into the top ranks.

Emma Rickards (Jayco VIS) was first around the final corner before the finishing straight in the first lap, looking strong as she picked up the pace to stretch the peloton out. It was the team of Katie Mactier that tried to dominate the next lap; however Pitcher Partners' Natalie Bates was watching the moves.

A few riders struggled with the pace and started to drift off the back a little as the bunch approached the end of the third lap. Toni Bradshaw (NZ Team) tried to push the pace again but she was closely marked by Jenny Macpherson (Jayco VIS). As the peloton approached the first of the sprint laps it was Katie Mactier (Portfolio Partners) who found early from to take the first 3 points, Spratt and Kate Bates were close behind to secure valuable points.

As the laps ticked by Nikki Egyed (Rapido Cycles) tried to pick up the pace but she was closely marked by Rosara Joseph (NZ Team). Joseph is better known for her form in Mountainbike, having taken a bronze in the Commonwealth Games. Again though, the major teams were not going to let a break form. Alexis Rhodes, Olivia Gollan and both Bates sisters were ever present along side Sara Carrigan. As they approach the second sprint, Nikki Egyed led out Carrigan and almost made it a one-two but Mactier spoiled the team effort. Mactier, however, went into the tight roundabout (270 degree) turn after the start finish too fast and crashed on the bend. She was allowed to take a lap out and walked back to the start area to wait for the bunch to come back around.

Mactier crashed at the same point a few laps later and retired from this race in the series. Under Series rules, she may start again in Race 2 and will be holding the Green Sprinters jersey, also involved in that crash were Jenny Macpherson and Sally Cowman (NSW IS).

As the peloton reached the final stages, the Pitcher Partners team stamped their mark on the race. At the bell Belinda Goss (Volvo) attempted to get clear but she was marked closely by Jo Kiesanowski (Portfolio Partners) and Nikki Egyed (Rapido Cycles). The first four riders over the line were Gollan, Rhodes, K Bates and N Bates. In the roundabout corner, there was another accident; Rhodes crashed, forcing the peloton to split round her.

By the time the peloton reached the back section of the course Kate Bates managed to get clear and take the first victory in style.

The race moves to Portarlington tomorrow which always delivers an interesting finish. In 2006 there was a dead heat between Katie Mactier and Oenone Wood.


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Post Race Comments

Kate Bates

After winning the first stage in a commanding fashion Bates, riding for Pitcher Partners, was pleased with her form so early in the season. “You come into these races really not knowing how you are going against the other riders so it’s always hard 

Are you pleased with the team? “Yes its great to ride with such awesome team mates and even better when you are friends” 

Does it make a difference to your tactics, given your friendships, does it mean that everyone is willing to work for each other? “Yes I think it does, we have a great relationship and are all prepared to work hard to win.”

Do you enjoy this series? “Yes absolutely it’s a great, the Pitcher Partners team support is wonderful, you just have to turn up and ride your bike, and everything is taken care of


Katie Brown, who was commentating on the women’s race, with the legendary Phil Liggett.

Do you enjoy commentating? “Yes, its good fun, although overwhelming sometimes with Phil, he is great but I am not quite sure how to follow him at times.” Did you not want to ride this series? “My physiotherapist felt it was too soon, I need a couple more weeks.”

You are returning to racing this year after recovering from you injuries sustained in Germany in 2005. How is your recovery going? “Well I had three choices after the accident, retire, ride with pain and never reach my full potential or have more surgery which involved a cartilage graft. I had that 12 weeks ago and it went really well. I am back to solid training 

What are you plans for this year? “I have a training camp in Spain in a few weeks, I was asked to join a Dutch team this year Vrienden van het Platteland, I feel much honoured.  My goal is to start steady and build up during the season. One of my main goals, though, is that I want to ride the Giro d’Italia with the Australian National Team. It is exciting to think about being back in Europe again racing although I am nervous.”


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Results - Top 10 

Position Name Team Points
1 Kate Bates Pitcher Partners 12
2 Belinda Goss Volvo 10
3 Nikki Egyed Rapido Cycles 8
4 Jo Kiesanowski Portfolio Partners 7
5 Sky-Lee Armstrong NSW IS 6
6 Sara Carrigan Rapido Cycles 5
7 Toni Bradshaw NZ Team 4
8 Michelle Hyland NZ Team 3
9 Emma Rickards Jayco VIS 2
10 Emma Mackie Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia 1


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Sprints Competition 

Position Name Team Points
1 Katie Mactier Portfolio Partners 5
2 Sara Carrigan Rapido Cycles 3
3 Amanda Spratt Pitcher Partners 2
4 Kate Bates Pitcher Partners 1
4 Nikki Egyed Rapido Cycles 1


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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>


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