Australian National Road Championships 2008
Criterium National Championships, Australia 2008
Criterium Championship incorporated in South Bank Grand Prix, Queensland, 2nd December
Kirsty Broun upset a quality field at the Portfolio Partners South Bank Criterium this morning from little known Carly Hibberd of Noosa and current Oceania Road Champion Rochelle Gilmore. The event doubled as the national criterium championships, contested over a 900m circuit for 30 minutes plus 3 sprint laps.
The biggest womens field ever had gathered to contest the event, run for just the second time in the events 8 year history.
Early showers dampened the course and ensured the initial laps were measured and controlled.
The field contained some well-credentialed cyclists including 2004 Olympic road race gold medallist Sara Carrigan, current Oceania Road Race champion Rochelle Gilmore and defending champion Alexis Rhodes, who was hoping to grab a third successive title.
A few early breaks were covered but disaster struck just 8 minutes into the race with 6 girls, including Rhodes coming down on the corner. It took a lap for the group to reform but it was then that Hibberd made her break from the group.
When Carly jumped I yelled to the rest of the girls to chase, I thought theyd jump on my wheel but no one responded, said Broun.
The 28 year old was then caught in no mans land and decided to chance it and crossed to jump on Hibberds wheel. The pair then worked beautifully together to increase their lead over the last part of the race.
We made a pact to work together then see what would happen in the final sprint laps, said Broun.
With one lap to go after some cat and mouse tactics in the second last lap Broun sprinted clear of Hibberd to claim her first national title as a senior.
Gilmore led the chasing group down the straight and her current good form secured her third place.
Defending champion Alexis Rhodes finished back in the bunch, unable to grab a third successive title but rode aggressively to maintain contact with the lead, Carrigan finished mid pack and a little off the pace.
Broun, originally from Devonport, Tasmania relocated to Bundaberg after being offered a position as a solicitor and paid tribute to her riding partners for the win.
The guys in Bundy are fantastic and push me, I owe a lot of this win to them, said Broun after the race.
An unheralded win by Broun is just reward for the past 18 months of training after an 8 year break from cycling while she finished her law degree.
Broun will now contest the Christmas Carnival in Tasmania, the 'Bay Crits' Series and Nationals (RR / TT) in January.
Gilmore later commented that there was some confusion in the bunch as to whether those riders were away.
I was actually yelling at the crowd to ask if they were away, so it was a bit frustrating in the end."
Results - Top 7
1 Kirsty Broun
2 Carly Hibberd
3 Rochelle Gilmore
4 Jessica Berry
5 Courtney Le Lay
6 Sara Carrigan
7 Bridget Evans
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