Jayco Bay Series
Docklands, 45 minutes
the final day of the Jayco Bay Classic Series, it was the overall leader
Kate Bates (Pitcher Partners) who won on the circuit in Docklands to wrap
up the title, one which she had not held since 2003. Taking second on this
final day and second overall was Belinda Goss (Volvo) who tried everything
during the race to bridge the 3 point margin she was adrift at the
beginning of the day. Third was Nikki Egyed (Rapido Cycles) who tried
again to get away during the race as she had over the last 4 days. Pitcher
Partners were not going to lose the yellow jersey for Bates today.
the start of the race Bates needed only to mark the young Tasmanian, Goss,
and she was able to capitalise on the hard work from her team mates to
take Pitcher Partners fourth win of the five race series. The team also
secured the team competition win for their very happy sponsors.
the rain that fell in Docklands and warnings from the Commissaire that he
may need to stop the race early if it got dangerous, the women did not
hold back. Right from the start, Natalie Bates (Pitcher Partners) led the
bunch out, marked closely by the NZ team rider Tamara Boyd. If there was
an award for effort with no big reward, then it would have to go to the NZ
Team in this series. They chased down breaks, attacked and participated in
the sprints but in the end it was only Rosara Joseph who managed a top
three place in the sprint competition.
NZ team were fielding their development squad during this series; those
hoping to go the Beijing Olympics in 2008. They were constantly in the mix
but did not have enough to achieve the wins due to the strong Australian
young team-mate of Bates, Amanda Spratt, showed some of the most
aggression today. She attacked a number of times, as has been her habit at
Docklands in previous years, forcing Goss’ team mate Bianca Rogers and
Goss to chase her back. Goss could not afford a break to go if she had any
chance of securing the Series win.
was the New Zealander’ Joseph who took the first of the intermediate
sprints to secure her second place overall in the Volvo Sprint competition
followed by Nicole Whitburn (Hitachi) and Tess Downing (Portfolio
Partners), who is stepping up this year from the junior ranks.
Kate Bates attacked and it was Bianca Rogers who marked the move again.
The Pitcher Partners team were very tactical in the final race. Attack
after attack was sent up the road, with all riders: Olivia Gollan, Rhodes,
Natalie Bates and Amanda Spratt having ‘a go’. With 10 laps to go, it
was Amanda Spratt who attacked again. Emma Rickards (Jayco VIS) marked
this move and on her tail was the New Zealander Jo Kiesanowski (Portfolio
Partners). The three riders held the lead to the second sprint before
being caught by the bunch.
6 laps to go, Sally Cowman (NSW IS) tried to get away, Rogers again
covered the move to protect her team mate, Goss, who was on her wheel -
marked still by Kate Bates. Naomi Williams (NSWIS) tried to attack again
but this was covered by the NZ and Pitcher Partner teams.
Gollan moved to the front to push the pace towards the final laps, the
peleton, driven by Kate Mercer (Hitachi), attacked as soon as Gollan was
caught but she could not sustain the pace. At the bell it was Naomi
Williams that led them across the line marked by Rhodes and Goss.
Unfortunately there was a minor crash on the final corner and Rhodes and
Williams went down. Kate Bates showed her class as they wound up the
sprint and took a comfortable win ahead of Goss and Egyed.
both elated and disappointed with her win today. Elated with the win and
her team performance but disappointed that she had raced quite negatively
today having to be the one that had to sit on Belinda’s wheel all day.
“I just had to sit and wait until the end but that could not have
been possible without my team mates. It was a bit dicey out there with the
rain, everyone was being a bit cautious, including Belinda Goss and this
played into my hands.” Talking about her win, “It does
give me a lot of confidence going into the road season. Five days of
racing this competitive and so early in the season has to be good. We have
a whole year ahead and plenty more races.”
how she felt after the win and the end of five days of racing Kate added.
“When I started so well I thought that I might pay for it at the
end of the week but I am just starting to feel better and better which
gives me a lot of confidence for the coming months.”
team performance has been key to Kate’s win, “How good are they? The
Pitcher Partner sponsors have been here the last couple of days and they
are ‘stoked’ not only because we are winning but because the
representation out there is just amazing. Everyone really put their hand
up in the race to make it difficult for the other teams.”
Kate has changed her training strategy this year and focused on base fitness and endurance, although she obviously still has some speed in her legs too. The stamina is particularly important, as she heads out to Europe to join T-Mobile for a training camp and planning sessions for the long season. She will be looking at the one day World Cups, including the early season classic which starts the European World Cups, the Tour of Flanders.
hard today to get away but was unfortunate to crash on the last bend.
Having ridden strongly over the last 5 days, Williams was asked what her
strategy was coming into this series.
“I have been off the bike for while, well not off the bike totally, I was
racing overseas in 2003 with the AIS, but I had a back injury and I ended
up coming home. I have not been back since, that put me out for a couple
of years and since coming back I have been racing for Felt Mountain Bike
thought I would try the Bay Criteriums this year as I am heading back
overseas to race to see if I have still got it. The Bay ‘Crits’ have
been more of a training thing to see how I was going, particularly with
this caliber of field. I did not know how I would go. I am preparing for
both the road and mountain bike nationals over the coming weeks, so I will
see how I perform there. I would like to thank my sponsors Felt Bikes and
Hutchinson tyres for their support for both disciplines.”
Sara Carrigan talking to WCN before the race was “relaxed” about the fact that she had the sprint jersey wrapped up before the race started. “It’s been a hard week, particularly with the weather yesterday in Geelong [on Saturday] but I am pleased with the win” Carrigan said.
Results - Top 10
Overall Classification Top 10
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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