Jayco Bay Classic Series 2010
Race 2 - Gilmore makes it two in a row
Geelong Botanical Gardens, short circuit
Rochelle Gilmore, (Honda), rode a controlled race and pulled out a sprint from 220m to take race 2, ahead of Belinda Goss (Pitcher Partners) and Chloe Hosking (MB Cycles).
In a relatively contained race, any attack, was closed down by Honda, AIS and MB Cycles teams, in an attempt to protect the position of their lead riders. The new course in the series, was an unknown to the riders. It was a tight, 1.8km switch back right handed course, that ran through the Botanical Gardens, then down along the waterfront before it rose to the 600m to the finish line back in the gardens.
Despite, being a more technical than race 1, the wind had dropped and no one rider was able to capitalise on any attacks. As the first of the sprints approached, the Honda team, attempted to control the run to the line for Gilmore. They almost achieved their goal, had it not been for the power of Jenny MacPherson (Race). MacPherson, who had crashed badly in race 1, used all of her nearly six foot stature to pip Gilmore on the line. Gilmore's team mate Peta Mullens just crossed for third.
Zoe Apple (Mazda), attempted to get away immediately after the sprint on the back of the course as it approached the climb to the start/finish line. she gained a small advantage before, Nicole Whitburn (Prime Estate) and Peta Mullens moved to the front to chase her back.
With 20 minutes of racing remaining, Tess Downing (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) attacked from the front of the bunch. Goss (Pitcher Partners) went with her, as did, Lauren Kitchen (Jayco AIS) and Melissa Hoskins (Plan B Racing). This time, it was the current Australian Criterium champion Kirsty Broun, who moved to the front to chase the group back.
At the next sprint, the second placed rider in the Sprint competition, Ashlee Ankudinoff, (Jayco VIS/NSWIS), attacked at the back of the course and held on for maximum points, just ahead of MacPherson and Mullens. Gilmore missed out as did Broun (Jayco AIS), who had a mechanical problem.
At the bell, MacPherson, launched a massive attack and forced the bunch to react. It took the bunch until the bottom of the course, to catch MacPherson.
At the bottom of the short climb to the finish, the bunch was together. a big attack form Gilmore from 220m out, nearly cost her the finish. the judges had to go to the video to judge between Gilmore and Goss. Hosking, who was the quickest to react to the burst of speed from Gilmore, sprinted for third.
Gilmore and Team Honda have all three competitions wrapped up at the half way stage of the series.
Rochelle Gilmore (Honda) pulled off another win and retains the leader’s jersey going into race 3, the fast hot dog course at Ritchie Boulevard. “It feels good to be racing and winning in the Honda colours. It has been great to have so much support to be able to bring such a string team here. The closed down a lot of the attacks today,” said Gilmore.
Reflecting on her sprint, Gilmore added, “200m out is a long way for me without a head wind. With a head wind, it was a long way for me. That could have been a big mistake for me. I was just talking to Sean [Eadie] about that. I have been doing a lot of work on my sprinting. I can get away with a long sprint here but I will not be able to do that in Europe. I will need more support right to 150m to go,” added Gilmore.
Belinda Goss (Pitcher Partners) missed day one of the event, choosing to recover for a day from the seven days of the Tasmanian carnivals before flying in to Melbourne. With fresh legs, Goss took the race to the line and almost beat Rochelle Gilmore on the line. “It was tight there at the end, I wasn’t quite sure whether I had won or not, but almost there but not quite,” said Goss.
“I don’t regret not starting yesterday. Coming off seven days of racing is tough. I needed to rest before boarding a flight. My focus is track nationals so this event is great for building up that extra leg speed. I am riding the Australian Crits too,” added Goss.
Chloe Hosking (MB Cycles) tried hard to catch Gilmore and Goss in the sprint but could not quite get there. “That was a really hard sprint to judge. There was a sharp little climb before the right hand bend and I wasn’t quite sure how to take it. It was slow going into it, it put me a bit off guard and I got jumped by Rochelle [Gilmore] and Belinda [Goss]. I will learn from that. Hopefully I can come out tomorrow and get my first win. I am looking forward to tomorrow; it is a sprinters course although you can see surprises. Megan Dunn won her first Bay Crit doing that. We will have to try to keep the race under control with the team,” said Hosking.
Jenny MacPherson (Race) was caught up in the crash in the later stages of race 1 and suffered grazes to much of her body. Despite this, she fought back to feature in the two sprints and almost pulled off a solo attack at the end of race 1. “I was disappointed yesterday. I didn’t do any intermediate sprints yesterday, as I was saving myself for the finish. I got caught in the crash on the last lap and today I came out wanting to show myself a bit more,” said MacPherson.
Looking to the next race, MacPherson added, “I am feeling unsure about tomorrow’s circuit, there are lots of sprinting out of corners and lots changing of speed which we haven’t had in the last two courses. However, with someone of height, having to sprint every lap and get my long legs working will make it tough.”
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