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Race 5

Ritchie Boulevard, Geelong

 

Race Writeup

Kirsty Broun (MB Cycles) despite crashing twice won the overall title at the 20th edition of the Bay Cycling Classic. Broun was in the best position on the final lap, thanks to the effort of her team mate Gina Grain, who led from the front with one to go to give Broun a superb lead out. Broun crossed the line ahead of Rochelle Gilmore (NSWIS) with Chloe Hoskins (Mazda).    

The 600m hot-dog circuit produced a fast and furious race, testing the bike handling skills of all of the riders. Right from the gun the attacks started. Nikki Butterfield (Skilled) was the first to stretch her legs, stringing the field out the length of the back straight. Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSWIS) and team mate Sky-lee Armstrong counter attacked. Butterfield reacted and the three gained a 20m advantage over the chased. It did not last long, Butterfield slid off on the top corner due to a slight dusting on sand on the surface. Despite being brushed this was not the only crash of the race.  

Minutes later another crash on the same corner involving a number of riders caused the race to be neutralised temporarily. MB Cycles team moved to the front to take control of the pace and strung out the bunch and created a split. The women lapped the course in 56 seconds and as a result splintered the bunch. A lead group of 11 riders formed but this was closed up again by another crash on the top corner. Thankfully everyone got up and were able to rejoin the race.

A lead group of 25 riders were left in the race at this point and lapped one more time before the sprint lap was called. Peta Mullens was driving from the front and gained a small advantage. She did not get far however, Grain was on the front with her team in her wake. Gilmore was not too far away too. Mullens crossed first to take maximum points and Gilmore just beat Broun for 2 valuable points. With the additional points Gilmore secured the overall sprint jersey for the series.  

The speed of Mullens let her down on the top bend as she over cooked the turn and slid her self over. Broun joined her on the deck and Gilmore just managed to steer clear. The race slowed as riders eased their pace taking more caution on the turns. Josie Tomic (Plan B) decided to pick it up again and her pace whittled the lead group down to 25 riders. Tomic’s team mate Melissa Hoskins too over to keep the pace high but she found it hard and eased up.

This gave Emma Mackie (Pitcher Partners) the opportunity to attack and she took advantage. She quickly gained a 10 second advantage. Mackie lasted 3 laps out front before Lauren Kitchen (NSWIS) moved to the front and gradually pulled Mackie back. Mullens went to the front again and a split formed. Mullens, Mackie, Kitchen, Broun, Butterfield and Tomic hit the front.

Mullens gained a small advantage on her own just as the second sprint whistle was blown. She crossed the line first ahead of Mackie and Kitchen. Mullens gained a 9 second advantage over the chasers who were down to 18 riders remaining. Butterfield launched a chase and she was joined by team mate Tiffany Cromwell, who had attacked off the front of the bunch. Hoskins was on her wheel followed by Broun who jumped too, but she hit the deck again on the top bend. A number of riders went down again but they were quick to get up.

With eight minutes remaining Mullens was reeled in by Tomic on the front of the bunch. The lead group was down to 14 riders.

Kitchen attacked again but Grain was quick to chase. With 4 to go, Butterfield attacked, this time it was Broun who closed the gap herself. At the bell, Grain moved to the front to set up Broun for the final sprint. Grain pulled off with 100m to go and Broun buried herself to win. Gilmore tried hard to come off Broun’s wheel but could not managed to get round. Hoskins was a clear third ahead of Tomic.

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Post Race Comments

Kirsty Broun (MB Cycles) was excited to have won the overall title. Despite crashing twice Broun picked herself up to sprint home for the win. I am so happy; it is fantastic to bring home the yellow jersey and the overall team award too. I owe this all to the team of MB Cycles if it wasn’t for them I would not be down here racing this series and I am very thankful for the support they have given me and the team. Gina gave me a great lead out with one lap to go and it all comes down to team work. I could not have hoped for a better start to the year. My focus has been the road race and training for that so the National Title and this title are a real bonus. Hopefully by Saturday I will have good legs to do the longer distance” said Broun.  

 

Rochelle Gilmore (NSWIS) had said earlier in the week that she wanted to keep the jersey because she liked the design and in the first sprint of the day she secured it. “I am really happy to have kept the jersey. It wasn’t sown up until after the first sprint today so once that was over it was really down to how long I could last. I have not felt good over the last couple of days and I was at the doctors all morning. It was touch and go as to whether I would start today’s race but when I decided to start I gave it my all. It was a tough day and I fought hard just to get to the finish, so to run second was very pleasing.” added Gilmore. Gilmore reflected on the race and in particular the crashes she had just managed to avoid on a couple of occasions. “I think the crashes were caused byt the pressure that all the girls put on themselves to go so fast and to break the race up. A lot of girls were taking risks on the corner trying to make a break and obviously it is a really tight corner and you have to know how to take it. You are affected by the people in front of you and to the left and right. It doesn’t always go the way that you think it should. I was fortuntate that I was able to predict when they were going to happen in front of me and pull on the breaks each time. I think three times I was just right behind it and the fourth time I went down. I have a little knuckle injury but I will be ok” added Gilmore.

Gilmore heads to Beijing after Road Nationals to ride the next World Cup track event. In 2009 Gilmore will be riding with Lotto Belisol her plans are to stay with them over the next four years and to help them to build a development squad. Gilmore is a marketable commodity and the move to the Belgian team has also generated some additional sponsors that Gilmore is taking with her. Gilmore was keeping things close to her chest on this until the formal announcement.

 

Chloe Hoskins (Mazda) was third on the day and finished third overall. “I have been consistent all week and to finish in third place is really good. I came into this series just hoping to do well and improve on last year. I only finished two races last year so to finish all in the top five is really good and I am so pleased with that. Hopefully I can come back next year and win it outright” said Hoskins. NSWIS and team Mazda were being managed by Olivia Gollan. Hoskins was asked what she had learnt from Gollan and her vast experience. “Liv is amazing, she keeps your spirits high and with everyone and she has so much experience and she gives everyone a fair go and she is really just a good team manager and she understands what it takes to do well at this event. I don’t think we could have asked for a better Team Manager” added Hoskins.

 

Olivia Gollan (Team Manager NSWIS & Mazda) was the only manager who could really understand what the women go through over the five days having ridden the Bay Classic series nine times during her career. She chatted about the week and Australian women’s racing. ”It is very difficult on the other side of the fence. I have learnt a lot about the sport this week. It has been such an incredible experience to have this bunch of girls. There are some experience and some not so experienced and it is really challenging. It is a hard thing to do, You are motivator, sandwich maker. You are everything and it is really hard” said Gollan. Reflecting on the future of Australian cycling Gollan added “I was looking at the field tonight and I have raced the last 9 Bay Crits and the only person I think I had raced my first one with me was Rochelle Gilmore. There is a whole heap of new talent coming through and it is pretty exciting” added Gollan.

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Results - Top 10

Position Name Team Points
1 Kirsty Broun MB Cycles 12
2 Rochelle Gilmore NSWIS 10
3 Chloe Hoskins Mazda 8
4 Josie Tomic Plan B 7
5 Emma Mackie Pitcher Partners 6
6 Isabella King Urban Hotel/W.A 5
7 Gina Grain MB Cycles 4
8 Peta Mullens Jayco VIS 3
9 Nikki Butterfield (nee Egyed) Skilled 2
10 Rebecca Domange Degani/CBD Cycles 1

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Standings 

Position Name Team Points
1 Kirsty Broun MB Cycles 53
2 Josie Tomic Plan B 39
3 Chloe Hoskins Mazda 37
5 Peta Mullens Jayco VIS 31
4 Rochelle Gilmore NSWIS 30
6 Emma Mackie Pitcher Partners 19
9 Belinda Goss Pitcher Partners 18
7 Nikki Butterfield (nee Egyed) Skilled 15
11 Rowena Fry Tasmanial Institute of Sport 12
8 Isabella King Urban Hotel/W.A 9
12 Tiffany Cromwell Skilled 6
10 Lauren Kitchen NSWIS 6
13 Gina Grain MB Cycles 4
14 Megan Dunn NSWIS 3
15 Laura McCaughey Urban Hotel/W.A 2
16 Davina Summers Plan B 2
17 Rebecca Domange Degani/CBD Cycles 1
18 Rebecca Locke (Individual) 1
19 Melissa Hoskins Plan B 1
20 Jenny McPherson G Force/BodyTorque 1
21 Amy Cure Pitcher Partners 1

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