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Race 4

Geelong Botanical Gardens, 45 minutes

 

Race Writeup

The fourth and probably the toughest day due to weather conditions was set to be one of the most exciting so far in the series. After stage 3 Kate Bates (Pitcher Partners) had on a one point margin on the Tasmanian Belinda Goss (Volvo).

The peloton took it easy round the first three quarters of the course, negotiating the back half of the course where severe winds buffeted the course. As they entered the home straight it was NSW IS rider Belinda Dipose who went on the attack. This did not last however, as the bunch entered lap 3, Olympic Champion Carrigan was stretching her legs and the forcing the bunch to chase hard. The Olivia Gollan (Pitcher Partners) was on hand though to ensure that no one was going to get away today unless her team was going to allow it.

It was Nikki Egyed team mate to Carrigan that went on the attack again though and managed to hold a small margin of 10 seconds for a couple of laps. That was until Gollan again led the chase for her team, obviously pushing herself to the edge, she closed the gap to 6 seconds.

Gollan could not last though and it was Carrigan who again positioned herself well and moved to the front, managing to block any attacks allowing Egyed to increase her lead to 13 seconds. It was time for Rhodes, looking fresh from her win the day before to take up the chase. Her power split the bunch. She quickly managed to bring Egyed back into the bunch but this effort from Rhodes created a split in the peloton and a select group of riders formed. The group included Goss and team mate Bates and a number of the NZ team.

Bianca Rogers (Volvo) attacked taking with her a number of key riders. By lap 13 there was a small group of riders away. This did not include Rogers but did include Carrigan. It was the NZ rider Hyland who worked hard to bring the group back together. Joseph immediately attacked again, taking Carrigan with her. The managed to gain a small advantage, but it was the Pitcher Partners Natalie Bates who chased them down. On her tail was Naomi Williams (NSW IS) and Jo Kiesanowski (Portfolio Partners) who unfortunately brought what was left of the peloton with her.

It was the NZ team again who attacked this time Toni Bradshaw was the one to go. It could have been anyone if the Kiwi riders as they had 5 left in the bunch. It was Carrigan who again chased down the attack. With 8 laps to go Joseph decided to attack again, this time it was only Rhodes that could go with her. Within two laps Rhodes had managed to drop Joseph and was set to repeat the win from the day before.

After 35 minutes of racing Rhodes was looking extremely strong with 3 laps to go she had opened up a 16 second gap. Joseph was caught by Naomi Williams and Carrigan. The three managed to claw back some of Rhodes lead and at the bell they were 12 seconds down. They could not make up the gap though and Rhodes cruised to victory, have a quick glance over her should before starting her celebrations to the finish.

Kate Bates beat Goss to the line; this means Bates will wear the yellow jersey in the final day in Docklands in the centre of Melbourne

 

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Post Race Comments

Alex Rhodes was all smiles after her second win while she chatted to her mum after the race.

"Two from two is great, I donít normally back up but so to come out today and win in similar fashion is quite nice. "

Talking through the last three laps, what goes through your head when you are away so convincingly? ďI am just concentrating on the techniques trying to not pedal too big a gear as I have a tendency to do that, Wazza [Warren Macdonald] and I have been working hard on that as itís a bit of a fault of mine. I just try to keep a good even rhythm to maintain what I have done and not get caught.Ē It was essential to watch any attacks today, especially where Goss and Egyed were involved. Hopefully it will be someone elseís turn tomorrow as all 5 of us have been working hard and someone else deserves the win.

The wind was exceptionally strong today Rhodes was asked if it affected the plan for the race. ďDefinitely, you were better on your own rather than in the bunch. I was almost doing a time-trial the whole race

Kate Bates looked tired as she crossed the line her job done for the day and her team securing her place in the Yellow jersey for the final day. Asked if it had been a team tactic for Alex to attack again today Bates said, ďWe wanted one of us to go because it takes the pressure off us to do any chasing. We had to work hard to protect the lead Natalie [Bates] had a few attempts but that did not happen. Alex went after that and it worked out well

Bates goes into the final day in Yellow here is her reflection on this. ďEvery day, you canít get more confident when you have team mates like I do. If by tomorrow our biggest annoyance is that we lost one stage to one of the other teams we canít complain

 

Belinda Goss played second fiddle to Bates again today asked how tough it was she commented ďIt was really had our there today, Pitcher Partners worked hard to secure the win. We tried hard Bianca did an awesome job out there today I could not have asked for anymore from her, we did not have enough people. Its going to be tough, I am 3 points down now

Emma Rickards tried hard again today but like many riders preparing for the European season was affected by the pace and the wind. ďIt was so windy today; you could never get a good sit [on a wheel]. It was on from the start. There were a lot of twitchy wheels because of the wind. It was almost a cross wind the whole way round. At least being strung out we avoided any incidents

The Jayco VIS team is supported by one of the major sponsors of the race Jayco Caravans. Asked if this puts added pressure on the team, Rickards added ďyes, Dave Saunders [coach] always like to push hard for the sponsors but some days itís not to be. We had a great run yesterday with Jenís attack and second place. It is hard, from my perspective I am still training for later in the year. We try hard to go out there for the sponsors but it doesnít always work

Peta Mullens did a lot of chasing today but she was happy with her ride given her placing yesterday and sore legs. Mullens is still recovering from an horrific accident which ended in major knee repairs, asked if she is inspired by Rhodes recovery and form Mullens said. ďYou canít help but be; she is pure inspiration, anyone that doesnít look up to her and her achievements doesnít deserve to be racing. If you look at today, It was a hard day today, the tussle between Bates and Goss ensured the pace was really high, so that made it very tough on everyone.Ē

Jenny Macpherson rode strongly again today, asked how her legs were holding up after the first 4 days she had this to day. ďThey are holding up really well, if feels better each day, it doesnít hurt so much coming out of the corners."

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Results - Top 10

Position Name Team Points
1 Alexis Rhodes Pitcher Partners 12
2 Kate Bates Pitcher Partners 10
3 Belinda Goss Volvo 8
4 Jenny Macpherson Jayco VIS 7
5 Tess Downing Portfolio Partners 6
6 Catherine Sell Portfolio Partners 5
7 Kate Mercer Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia 4
8 Naomi Williams NSW IS 3
9 Nikki Egyed Rapido Cycles 2
10 TBC

 

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Sprints Classification

Position Name Team Points
1 Sara Carrigan Rapido Cycles 10
2 Katie Mactier Portfolio Partners 5
3 Rosara Joseph NZ Team 4
3 Nikki Egyed Rapido Cycles 4
5 Rushlee Buchanan NZ Team 3
5 Alexis Rhodes Pitcher Partners 3
5 Natalie Bates Pitcher Partners 3

 

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Overall Classification Top 10 

Position Name Team Points
1 Kate Bates Pitcher Partners 40
2 Belinda Goss Volvo 37
3 Alexis Rhodes Pitcher Partners 24
3 Nikki Egyed Rapido Cycles 24
5 Jenny Macpherson Jayco VIS 17
6 Sara Carrigan Rapido Cycles 16
7 Jo Kiesonowski Portfolio Partners 14
8 Tess Downing Portfolio Partners 6
9 Rosara Joseph NZ Team 6
10 Sky-Lee Armstrong NSW IS 6
11 Catherine Sell Portfolio Partners 5
12 Natalie Bates Pitcher Partners 5
13 Toni Bradshaw NZ Team 4
14 Michelle Hyland NZ Team 4
15 Kate Mercer Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia 4
16 Peta Mullens Jayco VIS 3
17 Emma Rickards Jayco VIS 3
18 Emma Mackie Hitachi Construction Machinery Australia 3
19 Emma Colson Rapido Cycles 3
20 Naomi Williams NSW IS 3

 

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

 

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IMG_1251 IMG_1259  IMG_1263  

 

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