Bay Series 2008
Geelong Area, Jan 2-6
Williamstown, 45 minutes plus 3 laps
sun shone down on the Williamstown circuit for the first race of the Bay
Series for 2008. The women’s field boasted some of the top Australian
riders and a handful of talented overseas competitors.
favourites for the event, the Pitcher Partners team, which included last
year’s series winner Kate Bates and three-time Australian Criterium
champion Alexis Rhodes, did not disappoint the crowds lining the streets.
pace was relatively steady for the first 12 minutes with the front of the
race being dominated by Tiffany Cromwell (Richmond Cyclery/Promains) and
Alexis Rhodes (Pitcher Partners) was working hard for their teams on the
the first of the two sprints, it was the Olympic Champion Sara Carrigan (Rapido
Cycles) who opened up the points score ahead of Peta Mullens (Jayco VIS) and
the bunch crossed the start/finish area with 25 minutes remaining of the 45
minute race, Megan Dunn (CBD/NSWIS Development Team) who attacked. She
managed to stretch the bunch out along the course with the pace of her
attack. Dunn managed to hold a very slim lead but it was Cromwell and
Mullens who managed to bring her back into the bunch.
the bunch came back together a former winner of the event, Oenone Wood
(Geelong Mazda) attacked with Lauren Kitchen NSWIS/DEGANI Café). The pair
only managed a small lead as the peloton tried to bring them back. Grace
Sulzberger (Swanston Hotel/Grand Mercure) worked hard at the front but
Rhodes and Carrigan managed to jump the gap.
number of minor spills disrupted the chasing peloton and a number of riders
found themselves well down. Mullens managed to jump to the leading four
risers and the group of five held a slim 8 second margin of the chasers. At
the second sprint Carrigan was followed across the line by Mullens and
Jones (Volvo) and Belinda Goss (Volvo) worked hard to bridge the gap to the
leaders and brought the rest of what was left of the peloton with them. As
the pace eased and only ten minutes of racing remaining it was Rhodes who
seized the opportunity to attack. She showed the crowd the amazing turn of
speed she has and very quickly opened up a 10 second gap. Kitchen worked
hard to try to bring her back but could not manage it. Wood, Chloe Hosking
and team make Teressa Cliff-Ryan moved to the front of the peloton but could
still not managed to bring Rhodes back.
9 laps remaining the lead was out to 21 seconds. Jayco VIS rider Emma
Rickards tried to pick up the pace on the front but could not close in on
Rhodes. Wood and Hosking moved to the front again but Rhodes’ team mate
Bates was on hand to control the bunch and stalled any attempts to catch
2 to go Leonie Burford (NSWIS/Degani Café) attacked the chasers and she
managed to get a small gap of 6 seconds but at the bell she was swallowed up
by the peloton trying to close in on Rhodes.
was a clear winner, while the bunch sprint was a very close affair between
Goss, Dunn and Bates.
took second and Dunn third. Defending Champion Kate Bates was fourth.
The sprint leader going into day two was Peta Mullens (Jayco/VIS)
Rhodes (Pitcher Partners) dominated the race and showed why she has
been a Criterium champion over the past three years. Winning in an 11 lap
break Rhodes was very happy with her stage one win. “After last year’s success we were all a bit nervous coming into
this year but obviously to come back with such a good team we are quite
happy. Familiarity is the key to our success we have Kate Bates, Amanda
Spratt and Tess Downing. Tess [Downing] unfortunately crashed today but we
know she has the goods and of course we have Josie Tomic, Junior World Champion. It was nice for me to get one on the
board if takes a little bit of pressure off the team. Tomorrow is a new day,
we want to retain the yellow jersey and hopefully we can get Kate [Bates] in
it, that would be my wish but we will see how we go” said Rhodes.
Rhodes was in
the main break of the day and discussed the point of her attack. “The break nearly got caught so
I went and my team did so great to control the bunch. The key to Bay
Criteriums is to be at the front it is a lot harder to be at the back”
Goss (Volvo) sprinted
for second and was very happy with how her team performed for her today. ”I
am glad the first one is over” said Goss. “I didn’t have a great race
today, my legs were struggling after the first lap but the Volvo girls did a
great job for me out there today. It is great to know you have a team you
can rely on, it is a great team environment” Goss added.
Wood (Geelong Mazda) was
a very happy with her first race of the year, particularly as she had not
raced since the World Championships in September. “I
was surprisingly happy with today, I haven’t done any Criterium or for
that matter any racing since worlds. For me it is a matter of getting my
race fitness up before nationals. If I have to do some chasing like today,
then it is good time trial training so perfect for me. Racing Bay Criteriums
before Nationals is perfect preparation” said Wood.
hard for Belinda Goss today and was very proud to be wearing the Australian
Criterium jersey to start the season in 2008. “It
is an honour to ride in the jersey and with such a high class field it makes
it very special.” Broun traveled back from Tasmania two days ago
where she have a very successful Tasmanian Carnival. WCN asked if she had
recovered well. “I feel pretty fresh, I had a couple of days off the bike and it is
great to be here for Volvo and Belinda Goss and hopefully get her on the
Results - Top 10
General Classification Top 10
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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