Road World Cup 2008
Round 1 - Geelong
24 February 2008, 120km
Mattis (Webcor Builders Cycling Team) made a quick decision to join the
attack of Emma Rickards (Cervélo-Lifeforce Pro cycling team) and it paid
dividends as she sprinted for victory for her first ever World Cup win.
pair managed to get a break of over 6 minutes 5 seconds on the peloton before the
chasing bunch reacted all too late, only managing to close the gap to 1
minute 8 seconds at the finish.
weather was kind to the riders at this year’s Geelong World Cup event.
Eighty five riders started the 120 kilometre event raced over eight laps of
a picturesque 14.9km circuit out and back from Waterfront Geelong and the
pace was high from the gun. The starters rolled out under windy but clear
conditions and an early attack from a group of eight riders forced the bunch
to string out and try to close the gap. The group contained riders from the
Australian Institute of Sport, Victorian Institute of Sport, Team High Road
and Cervélo-Lifeforce and sensing the danger the peloton reacted and closed
the break down.
the bunch crossed the finish line for the first time and headed back out to
the back of the course another attack went. A group of eight formed again
and this time they were quickly joined by another six riders. The twelve
riders included a mix of teams but included a number of very dangerous
riders that could contend the overall. Natalie Bates (Menikini Selle
Italia), Karin Thürig (Cervélo-Lifeforce) Erinne Willock (Webcor), Carmen
McNellie (USA), Katie Mactier (VIS), Belinda Goss (VIS) Suzanne De Goede (Équipe
Nürnberger Versicherung) and Linda Villumsen Serup (Team High Road).
The chasing peloton allowed them to get a 35 second gap before Team
High Road decided that it was too dangerous and sent Alexis Rhodes, Chantal
Beltman and Judith Arndt to the front to bring the leaders back.
break was caught quickly but a counter attack from Emma Rickards (Cervélo-Lifeforce)
caught the bunch napping, Katheryn Mattis (Webcor) reacted when Chrissy
Ruiter (USA), who was a lone chaser for a few kilometres, was caught.
The pair quickly stretched out their lead and with two laps to go, the lead had stretched out to 6 minutes 5 seconds. A lack of a cohesive chase meant that the two leaders had a clear run to the finish and the peloton was forced to fight for it out for a bunch sprint. There was never any doubt who would take third, Ina Teutenberg (Team High Road) was well supported by Oenone Wood in the lead out and secured third place.
Mattis (Webcor Builders Cycling Team) is best known by her maiden
name, Curi and this seemed to cause a little confusion in the bunch about
her talent. “I think I caused
some confusion today, Emma is obviously well known but not me. We only got
an invite for here two weeks ago so this is an awesome win for the team.”
said Mattis. “It is a great way to kick off a
year and I am still speechless. I had a good year last year and finished it
off with a third place in the Tour of Ardech and rode well at Worlds. I had
confidence going into the off season. I did a lot of great training and
going into this year I felt confident about my fitness but when you are
competing against world class athletes you never know what is going to
happen. It was the roll of the dice when I saw Emma [Rickards] go follow
her, I would never have guest that we would have been out there until the
end for me to win this. Going into the last Km we were going slow and almost
track standing but I was a little concerned about the charging peloton and I
think we had about 2 minutes at that stage. I have not been in a match
sprint position before so I tried to be patient and jumped with 200m to go
and managed to hold her off” added Mattis. The American was asked
how this win rated in her career. “This
is definitely the top win for me, in 2005 I won the US National
Championships and at the time that was the best result. For me I don’t
think of myself as a one day racer I love stage racing but this is
definitely the best win of my career.”
Rickard crossed the line, slamming her fist on the handlebar, obviously
thinking of what could have been, but after some time to reflect the
Australian was gracious in her defeat. “It is a great day for me and my
team I think I bashed the handlebars because I knew that I could win this
race. When you are that close your perspective changes a bit. Afterwards
when you think about it you have to say ‘hey it’s a world cup and in
your home country and you're on the podium and that is a great
"I wanted that jersey so much” said
Rickards “When you are so close and it is
down to first or second you want to win but to be on the podium is so
special for me. Our team had a great race today, we were hoping for it to go
into a small group because we knew we could not win a bunch sprint with the
riders we have here but we had a strong team.”
was asked to talk through the last few kilometres of the race. “Katheryn [Mattis] attacked me on the climb and I
was able to close the gap quite easily and stay with her and I was surprised
by her attack and said ‘let’s take it to the finish and not risk getting
caught’. With 1km to go Katheryn was on the front and she moved across to
force me through, I had confidence that I was a good sprinter and thought I
could win but she [Mattis] was so strong and she is a great sprinter too. I
think with a tail wind and she is a bit bigger than me she had the edge” added
team car was giving race directions, Rickards was asked what was said “Manel
behind me in the team car and he said just keep the pace high and keep the
momentum going, not to panic and just to keep going ahead. I just had to put
my head down and go ahead, I tried to get behind her a few times but it
didn’t quite work, she was just too strong in the end.”
Teutenberg (Team High Road) sprinted for third place and was a
little frustrated but not disappointed with her teams efforts today. “We gave it all today and other
teams said they would help us but they didn’t. A number of other teams had
4 or more strong riders but they did not put in 100% to close the gaps.
Oenone [Wood] and the rest of the team did an amazing job for me today and
in the end we got third. We expected more, but it did not
happen.” Talking about
the final result “I
am a little frustrated, if there had been a share of the work we could have
brought the break back” added Teutenberg.
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