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Australian Road Championships 2012

 

 

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Criterium - Alexis Rhodes wins for GreenEDGE and makes it 4 times

Ballarat, Victoria, 33 km

 

Race Writeup

Alexis Rhodes (GreenEDGE) added a fourth criterium title to her wins in 2004, 2006 and 2007 after breaking clear of the bunch with 12 laps remaining in the 30 lap (33km) event raced in windy, cool conditions on the Sturt Street circuit of Ballarat's CBD. In the chase for silver, Melissa Hoskins (GreenEDGE) just managed to hold off, Annette Edmondson (SAIS). Hoskins wins the U23 championship with Edmondson second and 2011 Criterium champion Lauren Kitchen riding in her new Rabobank Professional team kit was placed in third after finishing 6th overall.. 

In a much anticipated show of the GreenEDGE strength, the team certainly dominated the entire race. Despite attempts from Joanne Hogan (Jayco-VIS), Chloe Hoskings (Specialised Lululemon) and Grace Sultzberger (Jayco-AIS) tobreak up the race, it was Rhodes who managed to get the gap. She attacked on the decent to the tight turn before the start finish line just after the half way point of the race, With the help of her team mates, Tiffany Cromwell, Jessie Maclean, Hoskins and Rowena Fry no one was able to close the gap to Rhodes. With 7 laps to go Rhodes was holding a 13 second lead. Chloe Hosking tried to bridge the gap but again she has held back by GreenEDGE. 

At 3 laps to go, Rhodes was holding a 12 second lead. Gracie Elvin (Jayco-AIS) tried to bridge across but she was marked again by Cromwell. 

In the end Rhodes finished strongly and had time to enjoy the win. It was a fabulous return for Rhodes, she has been off her bike for just over 6 months due to surgery on a blocked iliac artery [artery that run from hip to leg]. The criterium is her first race back. 

Post Race Comments

Alexis Rhodes (GreenEDGE) said that "the win ranks as my best in the criterium."

Reflecting on her defence of the road race on Saturday, Rhodes added, "they would face plenty of strong opposition. One hour criteriums are a little different to a three-hour road race but I've been training really hard the last couple of months and I've got a really good team," said Rhodes.

"If I don't win on Saturday, I really hope one of my team-mates do," Rhodes said. "Hopefully we can really dictate the race like we did tonight, but there are probably other people who have a lot of other ideas as well."

"I had a lot of scar tissue there, so they had to open my stomach up, clean my artery out and make a little graft and sew it back together again," said Rhodes whose surgeon was the same man who operated on fellow cyclist Stuart O'Grady for the same complaint.  

She has been training solidly for the last couple of months, but then came the uncertainty over her professional future when Garmin folded. "It was all decided before Christmas, but everything was still getting finalised," she said. "I'm just really fortunate that GreenEDGE could find space for me, because otherwise I'd be in a bit of trouble. I had a couple weeks of sleepless nights," added Rhodes

Rhodes says her major goal for 2012 is to earn Olympic selection.

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Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result

Position Name Team Time/Gap
1 Alexis Rhodes GreenEDGE-AIS 49.32
2 Melissa Hoskins GreenEDGE-AIS 7
3 Annette Edmondson South Australia 7
4 Belinda  Goss Nutrixxion 7
5 Peta Mullens BikeExchange 7
6 Lauren Kitchen Rabobank 7
7 Kirsty Broun BikeExchange 7
8 Gracie Elvin Jayco-AIS 7
9 Rebecca Werner South Australia 7
10 Joanne Hogan Jayco-VIS 7

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Sprint Top 10 - click here to see full Sprint

Position Name Team Points
1 Tiffany Cromwell GreenEDGE-AIS 15
2 Alexis Rhodes GreenEDGE-AIS 12
3 Joanne Hogan Jayco-VIS 6
4 Grace Sulzberger Jayco-AIS 6
5 Jessie Maclean GreenEDGE-AIS 4
6 Sinead Noonan Jayco-VIS 4
7 Chloe Hosking Specialised Lulelemon 4
8 Kimberly Wells ACT 3
9 Peta Mullens BikeExchange 2
10 Rebecca Wiasak ACT 2

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Photos   Click on any image to enlarge >>

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