Bay Series 2008
Geelong Area, Jan 2-6
Botanic Gardens, 40 minutes plus 2 laps
Megan Dunn (CBD/NSWIS),
at 16 years of age, became the youngest ever winner of the Jayco Bay
Criterium Series just one point ahead of her neatest rivals Belinda Goss
(Volvo) and Kate Bates (Pitcher Partners).
The final day
of the Jayco Bay Classic was set to be exciting and it lived up to
expectations. The weather had cooled to around 25 degrees and the wind had
picked up making the course challenging for the riders. It did not take
long for the pace to pick up and was it was Oenone Wood (Geelong Mazda)
who attempted to shake up the race first. With only 4 laps competed Wood
attacked and took Amanda Spratt (Pitcher Partners), Megan Dunn (CBD/NSWIS)
and Leonie Burford (NSWIS/Degani Café) with her. The break did not last
however as the Volvo team moved to the front and team leader Goss did a
huge turn on the front to bring them back. With 28 minutes completed
Olivia Gollan (NSWIS/Degani Café) went on the attack just as the whistle
was blown for the sprint points lap.
Gollan held on
for maximum points and second place in the sprint competition ahead of
Sara Carrigan (Rapido Cycles). In the chase for the two points, Josephine
Tomic (Pitcher Partners) secured second ahead of Wood and Dunn. There was
an immediate counter attack by Helen Kelly (Jayco/VIS) and this proved to
be the decisive move of the race. Dunn, Goss, Spratt, Bates, Carrigan and
Wood all went with her and the break formed. The group managed to get a 29
second gap on the chasing peloton. As the speed increased just prior to
the start/finish areas Spratt and Bates attacked the group but they could
not shake the yellow jersey of Dunn or the remaining group. The race had
split completely and the main peloton was 38 seconds down on the leading
group. Tiffany Cromwell (Richmond Cyclery/Promains) tried to launch an
attack on the decent at the back of the course but she could not manage to
bridge the gap to the leaders and went back into the peloton.
minutes of the 40 minutes remaining of main race, Carrigan attacked the
leading group and quickly powered into the lead. She also secured the
second and final sprint points on the next lap. Carrigan increased her
lead to 13 seconds over the chasing group and over 64 seconds ahead of the
With two laps
to go Bates attacked the chasing group but could not shake them off. At
the bell Carrigan had a clear lead of 23 seconds and could not be caught
by the chasing group. The race finishing positions determined whether Dunn
would hold onto yellow or not. If Dunn finished behind Goss and Bates and
in lower than 6th place in the chasing group sprint the lead
would pass to either Bates or Goss. As
the sprint approached, it was Bates who hit the front first, Goss was on
her wheel and holding on for fourth was Dunn. Dunn held onto yellow by one
point ahead of Goss and Bates.
was the clear winner of the sprinters jersey and Olivia Gollan and Sara
Carrigan secured second and third place respectively.
Partners were the dominant team, winning 24 points ahead of the nearest
Dunn (CBD/NSWIS) could
not believe she had won “It’s fantastic” Dunn said as she was told the news.
“I was just following my team manager’s
instructions to simply sit on the heels of her main dangers for the series
win Belinda Goss and Pitcher Partner’s Kate Bates”
admitted it had been a tough race.
“It was very tough. With the cross wind down the back, you didin’t get
a break. But being in the break had it’s advantages, you don’t have to
fight for position and you’re guaranteed a top six finish.”
“I’m in shock. I didn’t think I could hold on to the yellow
jersey. I can’t explain how
I feel,” an elated Dunn
said after the race.
“I came down here just to
learn off the girls. I’ve
learnt so much about team work and how to race, it’s been fantastic.
I’ve won seven national (junior) titles, but this is better than that.
To beat girls who have won Olympic gold medals and world championships is
who will go into Year 11 at Dubbo College this year, praised her local
cycling coach Gus Dawson who “has
coached me since I was three. I love him to death and can’t thank him
Carrigan (Rapido Cycles) said
“I am pleased to finally
reach the top spot on the podium” after
a solid week in preparation for the Australian titles. “I’ve
been a two-time winner of the Australian title so I’d like to make it
third time lucky,”
said the Olympic
champion who will race in the time trial and road race this week.
Bates (Pitcher Partner) was
proud to lead her team this week and was very grateful for the support of
Pitcher Partners. “It is always disappointing not
to win, simply because I think we could have won today. The break was not
good for us because it became a numbers game and they were not going to
let me go any where [referring to Goss and Dunn] and with Megan and
Belinda there it was ideal for Carrigan and she rode awesomely today. We
didn’t want to leave it open for someone to ride to well turn out that
way, we wanted a little more control but you win some you lose some, we
did do our best out there today and there are some things you can’t
control. Bates had a chuckle at Dunn’s youthful exuberance. “I sort of
laughed at her a little bit when she yelled at me at one point and said
‘let Oenone go, she doesn’t have any points’ and I thought
‘that’s alright for you, you don’t need anymore points.’ It’s
funny ‘cos it’s like watching me a couple of years ago and I almost
know exactly what she’s goings to do next!” added Bates.
Reflecting on her team Bates said “The one thing the Pitcher Partners team has is a really great spirit. I think we have shown through the whole week with three different riders on the podium at different times that it wasn’t just about me, it was really about all the girls have a go and getting them on the podium. I enjoy the team spirit and we all felt like we had given it our best out there. I don’t want to take anything away from Megan Dunn, I think she is a fantastic talent and she will really be one to watch in the future and I hope I am going to be around to see her grow into those legs.”
the support from Pitcher Partners Bates added “We really had something special
going here and is the third year that we have won the overall. I don’t
think that we would have achieved that with out the support of the sponsor
bringing us all together and supporting us so well, it has been
Goss (Volvo) reflected
on the race, “We did everything we could.” Goss
said. “All congratulations to Megan, she rode exceptionally well all week
and I couldn’t quite get over Kate so I ended up 2nd overall.
I just sort of hesitated a bit there in the last sprint and Kate got the
jump on me and it was all over. Second two years in a row – maybe next
Spratt (Pitcher Partners) supported
Bates in the break Spratt worked extremely hard to try to get her team the
win. “It was difficult for our team,
we really wanted to try to keep it together but the break went and when
Sara went we tried to get on the front to drive it but at the end of the
day she was too strong out there” said Spratt.
Lauren Kitchen (NSWIS/Degani
Café) was extremely happy with her sprinters jersey. “It
has been a great week and I am really happy with my performance” said
Results - Top 10
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