Jayco Bay Classic Series 2010
Stage 3 - Helen Kelly lunges to victory, "Happy" Gilmore secures overall
Geelong, Ritchie Boulevard Hot Dog circuit
Helen Kelly (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) used her nearly six foot stature, to win the third race in the 2010 Jayco Bay Classic series. Kelly just beat Emma Mackie (Race) and Tiffany Cromwell (Honda) to the line after the three maintained a break on the rest of the field for most of the 45 minute Hot Dog circuit race.
It was an initial attack from Naomi Williams (Degani) who splintered the bunch. She could not maintain her speed but it allowed Cromwell and Kelly to initiate a break after 8 laps of the 600m course. The pair stayed away for 22 minutes of racing before Mackie gave it everything and managed to jump away from the chasing bunch to join the leaders.
In the chase, Belinda Goss (Pitcher Partners), Amanda Spratt (Jayco AIS) and the team of second place overall, Chloe Hosking, MB cycles, tried hard to chase the leaders but the team of Honda and Jayco VIS/NSWIS did their job to control the bunch.
The gap to the leaders went out to a maximum 22 seconds gap at the half way stage of the race. Shara Gillow (Jayco AIS) was the only rider to make any gap on the chasers to get to the leaders. Again though, it was the Honda team who worked to close the gap.
In the sprint competition, Cromwell took maximum points in both sprints. In the first, Rochelle Gilmore (Honda) ensured she gained a valuable point towards the sprint competition, just beating Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) to the line to get third. In the second sprint, Cromwell was first, Kelly crossed ahead of Mackie, the leaders choosing not to contest the sprints to ensure they were able to maintain their lead.
In the remaining 15 minutes of racing, Goss tried to make it across the gap, again it was Josie Tomic and Peta Mullens (Honda) who closed the gap.
The extreme pace of the race dwindled the chasing bunch to 28 riders. The three leaders, with Cromwell doing a large proportion of the work, kept a fast tempo to ensure they could make it to the finish without being caught.
With three laps to go, any chance of closing the gap had gone and the main contenders, Goss and Hosking, caught behind a small crash. Hosking managed to chase back to ensure she could contest the top 10 placings.
Despite an attack from Cromwell with 400m to go, she could not hold it to the line, Kelly and Mackie just caught her in the final metre. It was a tough call to make, the judges had to use two video cameras and photographic evidence to make the call on the line. At 5cm to go, Mackie would have had the win, but the last ditch effort to throw the bike to the line from Kelly, gave her the win.
Rochelle Gilmore and her Honda team were overjoyed. Gilmore had done enough to give her the overall without racing tomorrow. Gilmore will just need to finish at Williamstown to take home the jersey. In the teams competition, Honda have a 23 point lead over the Jayco VIS/NSWIS team, it will be tough to prise that award from them. The sprint competition is still up fro grabs. Gilmore still leads with 8 points, with team mate Cromwell in second place (7 points), with Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) and Jenny Macpherson (Race) with 6 and 5 points respectively..
Helen Kelly (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) won her first ever Bay Classic race in a style not known for the pursuiter. “As you know I am not known for my sprinting,” said Kelly with a big smile on her face. “I felt I had a lot left in my legs at the end but I got pushed to the barrier a little and just go for it on the inside. I knew I had it on the line. I knew it was close, but felt confident I had won,” added Kelly.
Emma Mackie (Race) took some time with the judges to review the video, although convinced she had the win, she conceded that she was second, “I am happy but a little disappointed. I really thought I had the win. It was so close, I thought I had it on the line and tried to convince some people to agree with me. I had the speed on the outside. I had backed myself for the sprint but that is how it goes,” said Mackie.
Tiffany Cromwell (Honda) had one of the best races of her life. Despite not winning, “I knew I was with two strong girls and Emma [Mackie] was the stronger sprinter of the two of them. I therefore had to think about my options. I decided to attack on the back straight. I nearly lost it on the top bend and had to gather myself for the sprint. I nearly made it, it was close in the finish,” said Cromwell.
Rochelle Gilmore (Honda) was “Happy” Gilmore after race 3 in the 2010 Bay Classic series. She secured valuable points finishing fourth on the fast ‘hot dog’ course and gained an additional one point in the sprint competition. “It was a really satisfying race, even given Tiffany [Cromwell] didn’t win. We wanted someone else to have a chance to win and Tiff gave it her all. We played it very smart, winner the overall is our main aim and we had four riders in the top 10 to extend our lead. We are very happy going into the last day,” said Gilmore.
Naomi Williams (Team Degani) initiated the first attack to string out the bunch and despite not being able to maintain it, enabled the eventual winner to get away, “I am in the hurt box right now,” said Williams after the race. “It has been a while since I have raced and doing the ‘hot dog’ circuit. It was certainly a bit much for the old lungs. It was great to get the race going. It has been a bit negative for the last two days with the teams controlling it for their sprinters. I just wanted to give it a go so that it didn’t come down to a mass sprint,” added Williams.
Megan Dunn (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) has had a relatively quiet Bay Classic, “This is all about experience for me. I am learning so much with every race. We have some of the best riders in the world here, from road and track. I am just learning with every race and just having fun and you can’t get a better place to do that, than here in Geelong,” said Dunn. Asked if she felt any pressure having been the youngest ever winner of the event two years ago, “Every bike race is very different. I am just trying to ensure I give it everything in every bike race, it isn’t important for me to win everything. I can’t think, well I won this at 16, I should be able to win this again. It will come eventually,” added Dunn.
Dunn is a talent for the future with a passion for the road and track. With the changes in the Olympic programme, she sees her immediate future in a state of flux, “There are a number of riders competing for the events, I am not a strong pursuiter, so the Omnium doesn’t really fit me. Then I am fighting for the Points race with Belinda Goss. The decision is difficult, youth verse experience. I am riding the Beijing track world cup, so hopefully I can show myself as a possibility for Copenhagen,” reflected Dunn.
Tess Downing (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) worked hard to protect the race lead of team mate Helen Kelly, “That was a fast and furious race. I love the ‘hot dog’ circuit. It is really challenging and we were fortunate to have a team mate in the break. Everything worked out well for us. The main teams were able to control the race. I just tried to keep to the front,” said Downing.
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