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Australian National Road Championships 2009



WCN quicklink >>    Road Race - Ryan double     Time Trial - Ryan wins     Road Race Preview    

                               Broun takes second criterium title




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Road Race

Buninyong, 102km (10 laps of a circuit)

Race Writeup

Queensland ’s Carla Ryan did the double to claim the Australian Road Race title. Ryan's victory was only the second time that an Australian woman had achieved the double [Oenone Wood in 2004]. Ryan won in style, over 40 seconds ahead of a chasing bunch of four riders which included some of the pre-race favourites, Vicki Whitlaw (ACT), Nikki Butterfield (QLD/Webcor) and Sharon Laws (GBR). In the sprint for second and third, Corset beat Butterfield ahead of Vicky Whitelaw (ACT) and Sharon Laws (GBR).  

Elite Women’s Road Race was in run under contrasting conditions compared to the time trial earlier in the week. It was hot and the riders had a slight breeze for most of the today. It wasn’t until the later part of the race that the winds picked up a little but it remained warm. The race time was 3 hours 3 minutes 37 Seconds in an average of 33.33km/hr. this years race had an international feel, with Olympic and World Bronze medalist, Judith Arndt (Team Columbia Women) who is in Australia preparing for the 2009 season, Sharon Laws (GBR) was part of the successful British team at the Olympics, Rachel Heal (GBR) also training in Australia to prepare for her professional season in the US. Two Americans professioanls also took part: Kate Ross and Jane Despas. 

With only 8km of racing covered, Rachel Heal (GRB) attacked and managed to get a 15 second gap on the bunch. She did not last long however, by time she reached the top of the climb for the second time the bunch were all together.

After 26km of racing the bunch had split with the main field down to approximately 45 riders out of the 69 starters. On the fourth time up the climb, Rebecca Locke (VIC) attacked and gained an 18 second advantage. Kirsty Broun (QLD/MB Cycles) drove the front of the bunch to close the gap and Locke was back in the bunch. The speed of Broun split the bunch again and 20 riders remained at the head of the race. This group split at the head and five riders cleared the front of the bunch. This group included Rebecca Locke (VIC), Tiffany Cromwell (SA), Ruth Corset (QLD), Kirsty Broun (QLD) Alexis Rhodes (SA/Webcor). They did not last long however as the bunch closed up again. The front group slowed and allowed the chasers to come back and a group of 42 riders formed.

An attack from Butterfield split the bunch and a group of 18 riders formed. This was the decisive move of the race and included a number of riders but notably; Butterfield, Cromwell, Rhodes, Whitelaw, Broun, Ryan, Sarah Kent (WA), Rachel Neylan (SA) and Judith Arndt. Ryan tried to attack the group. A lead group formed and on the decent of the Mt Buninyong, Rhodes attacked and managed to gain a maximum gap of 1 minute 1 second. Rhodes may have stayed away if it wasn’t for the changing conditions. The wind picked up and made it hard for a lone rider to stay away.

With three laps to go Kent attacked from the front of the chasers but could not close the gap on Rhodes . On the down hill section, the gap to Rhodes closed to 16 seconds and by the run in to the bunch were all together. Rhodes tried to get away again but she was quickly chased by the bunch. Ryan tried to attack on the climb at the start of two laps to go and stretched the legs of her compatriots. This attack split the bunch leaving, Whitelaw, Ryan, Butterfield, Laws, Corset and the under 23 rider Shara Gillow (QLD). This group quickly formed a cohesive lead and had 40 seconds on the chasers.

At the bell, the leaders were 38 seconds ahead of the chase group of 18 riders led across the line by Cromwell. The front group slowed a little allowing the chase group to make touch. Ryan, sensing the danger immediately counter attacked and opened up a lead of 250m exceptionally fast. Using he time trialing skills, Ryan increased her tempo and by the top of the climb she had a 45 second advantage. At the front of the chasers, the original break reformed and Whitelaw, Laws, Butterfield and Corset created a gap on the remaining peloton.

At 1km to go Ryan held a 40 second lead and she carried this to the finish. The four chasers opened up the sprint 300m from the line and it was Ruth Corset who crossed first ahead of Nikki Butterfield. Kirsty Broun won the bunch sprint 1 minute 24 seconds behind Ryan.

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Post Race Comments

Carla Ryan (Cervelo Test Team) was over the moon to win the title and complete the double. “I had a great day out there today. I had to conserve a bit out there it was a long hard race and that hill doesn’t get any easier. Everyone is in the same boat I guess, it got tiring with each lap but I just got stronger. It worked to my advantage in the end” said Ryan. When asked if she was concerned about the attack from Alexis Rhodes, Ryan said, “I knew that could be a threat. I know she is strong, she had a phenomenal time trial, to be within half a second to beating me, I knew that it was a possibility if she got away that she could win. I thought that it was a bit early to attack, I just had to be patient and wait a little longer.” Ryan attacked the bunch on the final hill and talked through the final stages of the race. ”I actually attacked on the second last lap, I could see that the girls were tiring so I got a little bit of a gap when I did that, but then they got back on. As the second group were catching us on the last lap I knew I had to go otherwise I would have to beat them in a sprint. So I just kept going and didn’t look back. I am so happy. I have never won a road race, so to win Nationals and now take both jerseys to Europe I am very happy with that,” added Ryan. Ryan even had time to smile into the camera on the run into the finish. “I heard I had 40 seconds so I sat up a bit and had some fun” Ryan said.  

In the media interviews Ryan added “I was a bit nervous going into today, I didn’t know what to expect,” said Ryan. “Today I felt really strong and the other girls were tiring and I had to make my move and back myself really. “When I (first) attacked, they came back , (but) I felt confident and strong that I could have another go on the next lap,” said Ryan, “I knew I was riding strong from the time trial.”

Ruth Corset (QLD) attacked the main bunch to bridge across to the break when it went. At 31 Corset is one of the oldest riders in the bunch but was still able to take it to the youngsters. Having only entered cycling three years ago, former triathlete Corset who rode with US based team Jazz-Apple was surprised by her silver medal. “I have worked hard for it and can’t wait to go back and tell my family, “ said the mother of two. “I would like to go to the worlds this year and maybe even the Commonwealth Gamesm but I am taking it one step at a time.”

Nikki Butterfield (Webcor) created the early break and was strong all day. Despite not being at her fittest due to taking time out to get married in late 2008, Butterfield, the silver medallist two years ago, also contested the women’s road race in 2008 World championships in Varese, Italy last September. “I think, I rode better in the worlds in Varese but I am happy with this result and looking forward to the rest of the season,” said Butterfield. “Carla really deserves it and it is good to see a Queenslander on the top step of the dais.” Butterfield was asked if team support played a part in today’s race, in particular the attacks from Alexis Rhodes. “The attacks from Alexis certainly helped today to make an impact on the race. I would have loved for her to stay away. She is such a nice person and losing is fine when it is to such a lovely person, but it wasn’t to be,” added Butterfield.

Vicki Whitelaw (ACT) was one of the pre-race favourites and was disappointed with her week. After having a puncture in the Time Trial, Whitelaw could not match the pace of Ryan and Corset and Butterfield in the sprint. “When Carla went away I had to re-think my race plan and four other strong girls were racing for second. We worked awesome together, that was the pact and then it was ok, down to the sprint line it was all up from there. I just can’t seem to get to the podium, I have not had much look this week” said Whitelaw.   
Whitelaw heads off to New Zealand with the Australian national team next and hope that her form continues for the rest of the year.

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Position Name State/Country Time * U23
Gold Carla Ryan QLD/Cervelo Test Team 03:03.37
Silver Ruth Corset QLD +0.40
Bronze Nikki Butterfield QLD
4 Vicki Whitelaw ACT
5 Sharon Laws GBR
6 Kirsty Broun QLD +1.24
7 Peta Mullens * VIC Gold U23
8 Sarah Kent * WA Silver U23
9 Tiffany Cromwell * SA Bronze U23
10 Carlee Taylor * SA
11 Shara Gillows* QLD
12 Judith Arndt GER
13 Kathryn Watt VIC
14 Myfanwy Galloway* ACT
15 Rachel Neylan SA
16 Angela McClure VIC
17 Simone Grounds QLD +1.41
18 Joanne Hogan VIC
19 Amber Halliday SA
20 Myra Moller VIC +2.31
21 Katherine O'Shea VIC +3.41
22 Emma Mackie QLD
23 Lisa Jacobs VIC
24 Lauren Kitchen* NSW +8.04
25 Jemma O'Brien NSW
26 Jenny McPherson VIC +11.05
27 Gracie Elvin* ACT +11.25
28 Zoe Appel* QLD
29 Chloe McConville VIC +11.42
30 Marilyn McDonald VIC +13.17
DNF Alexis Rhodes SA
DNF Jane Despas USA
DNF Kate Ross USA
DNF Rachel Heal GBR
DNF Kerry Knowler ACT
DNF Megan Ross ACT
DNF Bronwyn Ryan ACT
DNF Rowene Fry MTB
DNF Jodie Willett MTB
DNF Kate Finegan NSW
DNF Sue Forsyth NSW
DNF Rochelle Gilmore NSW
DNF Danielle Goddard NSW
DNF Amber Jenkins NSW
DNF Tanya Newton NSW
DNF Sarah Roy NSW
DNF Liz Young QLD
DNF Kate Warren TAS
DNF Delphine Astier VIC
DNF Radele Berriman VIC
DNF Rebecca Domage VIC
DNF Rebecca Locke VIC
DNF Rachel Rayner VIC
DNF Maryam Rogers VIC
DNF Fiona Spargo VIC
DNF Simone Spykers VIC
DNF Clare Vlahopoulos VIC
DNF Nicole Whitburn VIC
DNF Claire McClean WA
DNF Sally Robbins WA
DNF Davina Summers WA
DNF Nicole Kelly QLD
DNF Chloe Hosking* ACT
DNF Veronica Dudderidge* ACT
DNF Rebecca Thyne* NT
DNF Tahlia Paskin* QLD
DNF Beth Canny* VIC
DNF Lisa Friend* VIC
DNF Chloe McIntosh* VIC
DNS Bridie O'Donnell VIC
DNS Stephanie McGrath VIC
DNS Kristen Bell* ACT


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