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Jayco Bay Series Classics

 

 

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Stage 3

Geelong Botancial Gardens, short circuit

 

Race Writeup

Rowena Fry (Tasmania Institute of Sport) caught the bunch napping for a split second on the final rise to the finish to take a surprise win in race 3, at the Botanical Gardens. Using her mountain bike skills Fry attacked on the climb and was so fast the chasing bunch could not catch her.  

A crash at a critical stage of the race caused it to be stopped for over 12 minutes while medical attention was given to those included. Megan Dunn (NSWIS) had crashed on the bend after the start/finish line and two other riders were unable to avoid her. Gina Grain (MB Cycles) did an incredible, complete flip over Dunn’s bike and narrowly missed Dunn on the landing and was joined by Kate Finegan (Degani) who could not avoid the riders rapidly changing direction. Jenny McPherson (GForce/Body Torque) turned herself into a ballerina, some how managing to stop with one leg in the air. Grain rejoined the race but Dunn who suffered a broken collar bone and Finegan who had suspected concussion an possible back injuries were too badly injured to start.  

The race was fast paced and it was not long before the pace splintered the bunch. Attack after attack off the front meant that the top placed riders had to rely on their team mates to work hard for them to keep closing them.  

As the bunch crossed the start/finish line, it was Peta Mullens (Jayco VIS) who had managed to gain a small 6 second advantage after only 8 minutes of the 40 minutes race. It was on the next lap that Mullens was chased down by Belinda Goss (Pitcher Partners) and at the front of the chasers less and 1 second down was Sarah Kent (Plan B) working again for Josie Tomic as she had for the previous two races, race leader Kirsty Broun (MB Cycles) and Dunn, Grain, McPherson, Jessica Griffiths (Mazda),Tomic, Rochelle Gilmore (NSWIS) and Nikki Butterfield (Skilled) and Kate O’Shea (Jayco VIS).  

Mullens, Goss, Kent and Broun corned first and as Dunn crashed taking Grain out and nearly McPherson, the others managed to get round safely before Finegan, who cornered behind Griffiths paniced could not avoid the diverting riders and crashed. The eventual race leader avoided the crash and chased hard to get across to the lead group.  

By the time the leaders reached the start/finish area the commissaires had stopped the race. The riders had to wait for nearly 12 minutes before they were able to restart. The time clock continued to count down [due to timing commitments for TV] and restarted with 18 minutes of racing remaining. Despite a number of comments from the riders in the break, it was decided that although the break may have stayed away the group was not significant enough and therefore the race would start again as a bunch.  

It was obviously very frustrating for the riders in the break, but it was too hard to determine at the time which riders were at the front. At the point of the crash none of the sprint competition had taken place, therefore there was a decision to run the first almost immediately. Broun took the maximum points ahead of Gilmore and Tomic.

The race pace was extremely high and an attack by Nikki Butterfield (Skilled) stretched the bunch. Butterfield managed gain a small advantage before Tomic took up the chase from the front. With 9 minutes of racing left the second sprint whistle was sounded and Butterfield managed to hold on for 3 points just as the bunch caught her. Second place went to the sprint jersey leader Gilmore ahead of Davina Summers (Plan B).

Immediately Tiffany Cromwell (Skilled) counter attacked and Goss was the only one who managed to get across to her. With only 13 riders left at the front of the race it was the team of MB Cycles with Tahlia Paskin at the head who closed the gap to the break. Gilmore had done her job for the day and eased out of the race as the pace increased again.

At the bell Summers (Plan B) led the bunch across the line they stayed together until the bottom of the circuit. As they climbed to the final bend Fry attacked and held on to the front until the line. Mullens worked hard for second ahead of Broun.

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Post Race Comments

Rowena Ray (Tasmania Institute of Sport) was very surprised by her win. A mountain biker normally, Ray was using the Bay Classic racing as an opportunity to test her fitness after recovering from Glandular Fever. “I am a bit shocked with the win today, I was waiting for people to go round me, we were getting closer to the finish and not one came round. I think the photo will be pretty funny tomorrow. It will be complete shock” said Fay  

Peta Mullens (Jayco VIS ) made a decisive break just before the crash and was pleased to get up to the front in the sprint to take second. “I had a hard race out there today, after the crash we came back together and I was hurting, I tried to save myself a little for the sprint and I left my run too late so I only ended up in second place” said Mullens. Reflecting on the impact of the crash, Mullens added, “I would have preferred that they had not allowed the clock to run down but that’s racing and it was important to make sure the injured riders were ok.”    

Mullens talked about the winner, Rowena Fry. “She is unknown to a lot of the other girls but I know she is a very strong mountain biker and she hit up the hill and caught us off guard when we were watching each other. She got a gap going into the corner and we just could not get her in the straight” added Mullens  

Kirsty Broun (MB Cycles) was very happy with third and holding onto the yellow jersey. She praised again  the team’s performance throughout the race. “It was tough out there again today, nasty hills and very technical turns and a few attacks that made it hard for me and my MB Cycles team mates. There was a group away when the crash happened and when they restarted the pace was on. We tried to keep the pace on and keep people at their limits to break it up again and allow a smaller bunch sprint that would hopefully have me in it and it did. It all came down to team work today, the girls pulled through. Without my team I don’t think I would still be in yellow today” said Broun. Looking ahead Broun added, “My legs feel great so I am looking forward to the final two day and hopefully we can hold onto the leaders jersey.”    

Rochelle Gilmore (NSWIS) was happy to retain the sprint jersey. Despite not finishing the race, Gilmore will start day 4 with a 5 point advantage over Broun. “I felt great again today unfortunately I could not hang in there at the end” said Gilmore.  

Josie Tomic (Plan B) finished sixth on the stage and retained her second place over all but was a little frustrated with the race today. “It was tough today and very frustrating just after the crash. Allowing the rest of the bunch to start at the same time as those in the break was tough but that is bike racing and you just deal with it and hope that it works in your favour. The final few laps were hard for me and for the team. I did not have anyone around me to help in the sprint. Sarah Kent and worked really hard in the early part of the race and Clare [McLean] who is in the LC1 category so she struggles, it was just me and Davina left in the end so it was very hard” said Tomic .  

Belinda Goss (Pitcher Partners) has improved day by day and had it not been for the crash, could possibly have been much higher at the end of the race. “It was unfortunate timing, I hope the girls are ok. It was a critical time in the race and things were just starting to splinter. I just hope they are ok” said Goss. Reflecting on the next stage Goss added, “Portarlington is a great course and it is another hard course. I am hoping to get out of the rut of 5th place and win one. I have been training hard and I had a good week in Tasmania last week. I am looking forward to hopefully getting a win. I know the form is there, it is just getting it right on the day.”  

Emma Mackie (Pitcher Partners) was a key support to Belinda Goss and finished in the top 10 in race 3, she commented on the race. “As the racing goes on, I seem to feel stronger and it is great because we also have Belinda in the team and she is an awesome sprinter. If I can help her to get a podium or even a win over the next couple of days that would be great. The Bay Crits is some of the hardest racing I do all year” said Mackie.

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Results

Position Name Team Points
1 Rowena Fry Tasmania Institute of Sport 12
2 Peta Mullens Jayco VIS 10
3 Kirsty Broun MB Cycles 8
4 Belinda Goss Pitcher Partners 7
5 Josie Tomic Plan B 6
6 Chloe Hoskins Mazda 5
7 Emma Mackie Pitcher Partners 4
8 Tiffany Cromwell Skilled 3
9 Lauren Kitchen NSWIS 2
10 Amy Cure Pitcher Partners 1

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Standings 

Position Name Team Points
1 Kirsty Broun MB Cycles 28
2 Josie Tomic Plan B 25
3 Peta Mullens Jayco VIS 22
5 Rochelle Gilmore NSWIS 20
4 Chloe Hoskins Mazda 19
6 Belinda Goss Pitcher Partners 18
9 Rowena Fry Tasmanial Institute of Sport 12
7 Emma Mackie Pitcher Partners 8
11 Nikki Butterfield (nee Egyed) Skilled 5
8 Isablla King Urban Hotel/W.A 4
12 Megan Dunn NSWIS 3
10 Tiffany Cromwell Skilled 3
13 Laura McCaughey Urban Hotel/W.A 2
14 Lauren Kitchen NSWIS 2
15 Melissa Hoskins Plan B 1
16 Jenny McPherson G Force/BodyTorque 1
17 Amy Cure Pitcher Partners 1

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