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Jayco Bay Classic Series  2011

 

 

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Race 2 - Cromwell solo victory, Gilmore retains overall

Portarlington

Race Writeup

Gilmore and Team Honda have all three competitions wrapped up at the half way stage of the series.

Tiffany Cromwell (Honda) soloed to victory 28 seconds clear of team mates Lauren Kitchen and Alex Carle (Jayco AIS).

On the tough Portarlington circuit, the women’s event was again the victim of an early crash. A small adverse camber on the corner before the finish caused a number of riders to loose control and hit the deck at the front of the peloton. Most managed to get up un-damaged, albeit a couple had cracked frames (Chloe Hoskings and Kirsty Broun), the worst off was the Tasmanian Belinda Goss. She hit the bitumen hard and cracked her left collarbone. Series leader Rochelle Gilmore (Honda), Lauren Kitchen managed to bunny hop over the crash and rejoin the race as it came back around.

The women went on the attack at the start of lap 3. Cromwell attacked on the finish straight and was quickly followed by Shara Gillow (Jayco AIS) and Jess Maclean (Virgin Blue). Gillow and Maclean could not hold onto the speed of Cromwell on the climb at the back of the course through the narrow pave section and dropped back to the chase group. Alex Carle (Jayco AIS) jumped to bridge the gap and joined Cromwell as she approached the start/finish line.

The pair quickly covered the 1km circuit gaining an 8 second advantage over the chasers. The speed of the chase splintered the bunch leaving 13 of the 51 starters to chase the two leaders.

At the first of the two sprints, Cromwell crossed the line ahead of Carle. They remained 11 seconds off the front for 5 more laps. In the chase, Kitchen had attacked from the front and became a lone chaser.  She was joined by Katherine O’Shea (Vetta Pasta) but Kitchen was a little too fast and they split up and became two lone chasers.

Within two more laps, Kitchen had managed to close the gap to the leaders. The three stayed together until for two more laps until the second sprint. Cromwell attacked to secure maximum points and her position in the overall sprint leader’s jersey. Kitchen and Carle were unable to react to the attack. Cromwell quickly gained a 7 second advantage and she held onto the lead right to the finish line.

Carle lost touch with Kitchen and the gap to Cromwell increased. In the chase for places behind the leaders, Emma Mackie (Virgin Blue) and O’Shea held a gap on the bunch. A big effort from Naomi Williams (Prime Realestate) was not enough to close the gap to the leaders who had increased their lead to maximum 1 minute 25 seconds.

At the bell, Cromwell was within 22 seconds of catching the main group who had just started two to go. Kitchen was 28 seconds behind, with Carle a further 22 seconds back. Just behind her and chasing hard was Mackie. The Queenslander tried hard to close the gap to Carle and almost made the top three. On the line Mackie was half a bike length behind Carle. Carle was unaware of Mackie closing in, until she passed the team tent at 100m to go. She dug deep and sprinted hard to the line.  

Rochelle Gilmore won the bunch sprint ahead of Kirsty Broun to maintain her control of the overall leaders jersey.

Post Race Comments

Tiffany Cromwell (Honda) was really happy with her first win at te Jayco Bay Criteriums after seven years of taking part, “I had the legs today felt really good, we were expecting a break away because of the course. I had the opportunity and just went for it, I got a little bit worried when the two Jayco girls got together. I knew I was stronger than Alex [Carle] because she was struggling a little bit when we were together. When Lauren [Kitchen] was there, I know she can sprint and I can't so as soon as I had that gap I just went for it,” Cromwell said.

“The Honda dream team is a seriously talented team. We’ve got a Commonwealth Games gold medallist, a world championships gold medallist, Australian team representatives. We’ve got so many different cards we can play, everybody gets an opportunity which makes it a big guessing game for all other teams.”

“I knew my biggest danger was having Lauren Kitchen there, I have raced against her in the past and she is such a strong sprinter, so I had to get rid of her,” said Cromwell who likes the Portarlington circuit having previously won the best young rider category in the Tour of Geelong on the testing course.

Lauren Kitchen (Jayco AIS) was really happy to be on the podium. Having bridge the gap to the leaders Kitchen just did not have the legs to go with Cromwell at the end. "It was a really good race for us today. Not having a pure sprinter in the squad meant we had to cover any break and we did a great job doing that. WE set out to split the field and we did, All credit to Tiffany, she was just too strong for me today. We are happy with second and third for the Jayco AIS team and want to build on that over the next few days," said Kitchen.

Alex Carle (Jayco AIS) is relatively new to cycling, another talent id opportunity across from Hockey. Carle had been racing in the USA with Verducci Racing for the last 12 months before being picked up by the Institute of Sport. She is enjoying her first Jayco Bay Criteriums and learning lots about racing.  Carle was relieved to hold onto third after a tough ride. "It was very tough at the end. I didn't even realise how close Emma [Mackie] was until my team started shouting at me in the finish straight. Tif [Cromwell] and I had worked really well together until the last attack and I just could not follow her,"  said Carle.

Emma Mackie (Virgin Blue) just missed out on third after a huge effort on the last lap to try to catch Alex Carle, "I thought I had her. I thought if I got her on the top of the last climb that I would get third but she had a bigger kick that I thought. We really wanted to make the race aggressive today and just missed the break when it went. We tried hard to close the gap but couldn't," said Mackie. 

Australian cyclist have the longest season of al cyclists. The expectation that they can be on good form in January for the start of the season and Nationals and perform well is challenging when they need to perform well for their professional team later in the year. Mackie is one of those riders. At home she rides for Virgin Blue but overseas she riders for the American professional team Tibco. "It is frustrating, you come here wanting to be in form and I am happy with my form today. My focus is Nationals and the rest of the season so it is difficult to peak here and again for your professional team at the real start of their season at the first world cup race in Italy in April. I had to be realistic about what I can do here and enjoy racing," added Mackie.  

Katherine O'Shea (Vetta Pasta) was left to hold up the pride of the team after her team leader Belinda Goss crashed out in the first lap. She finished 5th having chased hard to catch the leaders. "It was a great race for me. I have just come back from Mount Beauty doing a lot of kilometres on the mountain bike. To come here and race and get top 5 is quite exciting, it isn't quite a podium but it is close. It is great preparation for mountain bike nationals. Although I really do enjoy riding the road and plan to even try out the track. I like riding in bunches and I think that mountain bike skills help with the control in tight situations," said O'Shea. 

Reflecting on the lost of her team mate Goss, O'Shea added, "I was just at the front of the second bunch and managed to avoid the crash. It is really unfortunate for Belinda. After her second yesterday, we were ready to work hard for her today to get her up there again. I hope she recovers soon."

Rochelle Gilmore (Honda) finished in sixth place to retain the leader’s jersey - by five points from Cromwell.  "We’re doing a fantastic job, just exceeding all expectations and it was great to see young Tiffany pull it off under pressure. Because we certainly put the pressure on her before the race, we said there is no getting out of this one, you're the climber,” Gilmore said.

“She was our plan A and we didn’t really have a plan B, so it was great that she came through," Gilmore said. 

Discussing the crash at the start of the race, Gilmnore added, “To me that fall was predictable, I know this course very well, I have raced it a lot of times, there are a lot of nervous people on the first lap, coming down that hill on the first lap the speed was way to  fast, so I let the wheel go a bit and left a little bit of a gap but five or six riders in front of me came down, I bounced off onto the grass but I didn't actually come off the bike, just got a little bit of air over the road but got myself back together. “It's really unfortunate that it happens on the first lap, it's only natural everybody is really nervous and goes as fast as they can to get a really good position on a technical circuit."

 

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Results - click here to see full result

Position Name Team Points
1 Tiffany Cromwell Honda Dream Team 12
2 Lauren Kitchen Jayco AIS 10
3 Alex  Carle Jayco AIS 8
4 Emma Mackie Virgin Blue 7
5 Katherine O'Shea Vetta Pasta 6
6 Rochelle Gilmore Honda Dream Team 5
7 Kirsty Broun Virgin Blue 4
8 Judith Arndt HTC Highroad 3
9 Peta  Mullens Honda Dream Team 2
10 Nicole Whitburn Prime Realestate 1

 

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Standings - click here to see full result

Position Name Team Points
1 Rochelle Gilmore Honda Dream Team

17

2 Tiffany Cromwell Honda Dream Team

12

3 Lauren Kitchen Jayco AIS

10

4 Belinda Goss Vetta Pasta

10

5 Kirsty Broun Virgin Blue

10

6 Nicole Whitburn Prime Realestate

10

7 Peta Mullens Honda Dream Team

9

8 Alex Carle Jayco AIS

8

9 Emma Mackie Virgin Blue

8

10 Judith Arndt HTC Highroad

8

 

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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