Jayco Bay Series 2012
Geelong, Portarlington & Williamstown, Victoria, Australia January 1- 4
The 2012 Jayco Bay Series begins on January 1 - the squeeze is created by Australian road Nationals which run on the first full weekend in January from Thursday until Tuesday. There are four races in the 2012 Bay Series, running Sunday through to Wednesday. As has been the case in recent years, the first races are in Geelong, then on to Portarlington, the final race will be held in the (Melbourne) bayside town of Williamstown.
Rochelle Gilmore returns in 2012 with a team to defend her 2011, 2010 and 2002 titles on January 1st. If successful, she will match Anna Wilson with a total of four titles. (Wilson won her fourth in 2001 under her married name, Millward; we incorrectly stated here previously that Gilmore and Wilson have both won a total of three times each). Gilmore's is a strong team, she has brought in former World Champion, Nicole Cooke and former Bay Series Champion (and former Australian criterium Champion) Kirsty Broun, to ride with her, alongside longstanding lieutenants Peta Mullens and Myfanwy Galloway. Gilmore has hinted that she is aiming for form at the beginning of the European season in the Ladies Tour of Qatar (February), rather than now, so if true, Broun may be the rider to watch in the BikeExchange.com team
Recently retired from competition, twice winner of the Bay Series, Kate Bates, returns to manage the team she last took victory with - Pitcher Partners. Annette Edmondson is an experienced representative for Australia on the track and is currently honing her speed on the track in Tasmania. She rides well in the omnium and could be a surprise to some of the 'roadies' over the four days.
The highly anticipated new GreenEDGE team will be led by Shara Gillow, who is perhaps more suited to the National Championships a week later than the 'Bay Crits'. With her, though, are the previous winner at Portarlington, Tiffany Cromwell and a veteran of many Bay Series, Amanda Spratt. The new crop of recruits to the Jayco-AIS team are also on the start list, most notably, Grace Sulzberger and Alex Carle, who may want to give a strong show for the Australian selectors with the European season looming.
Race 1 - Ritchie Boulevard, Geelong 18:00 hrs, 50 minutes January 1
The first race will be in the late afternoon on Sunday at Ritchie Boulevard. This is the (in)famous 'hot dog' circuit. A tight, fast 500m loop which draws large crowds, who sit above the action in the natural ampitheatre on the grass banks above what is usually a car park. Crashes often occur when riders slide-out on the first corner and are common in the closing laps on the second / final corner. A series of single rider or small breakaways usually take place during the race. A sprint from the small group or a bunch sprint are likely, although Alexis Rhodes memorably won here a few years ago in a solo breakaway to also take the Australian criterium title in the warm, evening light. The weather forecast is for a 36'C, sunny day with light wind.
Race 2 - Eastern Park, Geelong 13:40 hrs, 45 minutes January 2
On Monday, the race moves up the hill to the nearby Eastern Park gardens. There will be plenty of spectators under the trees, in the shade. The forecast is for another warm day, around 34'C, with sun and light wind again. This circuit is longer, with a very short, quick corner and climb just after the start, through a technical-ish descending corner to the wide, bayside road and then a leg-sapping climb of a couple of hundred metres up to the start / finish straight. Breakaways tend to dominate this circuit, although they also tend to be brought back, so a small group or bunch sprint could be expected.
Race 3 - The Esplanade, Portarlington 13:40 hrs, 45 minutes January 3
For Tuesday, everyone heads further away from Melbourne and Geelong, around Port Philip Bay, to Portarlington. Frequently a controversial course due to the adverse camber on the final, downhill corner, in 2012 this course will be run in the opposite direction. The start / finish will be in the same place - at the top of a rise on The Esplanade. From the start, the right turn into Fisher Street will be tight, but uphill before continuing to climb up through the right turn and along Newcombe Street. The race then descends Newcombe Street and Harding Street and through the wide, but tight and fast corner back on to the much narrower The Esplanade for the 200 metres (approx) back to the finish. The forecast possibility of rain showers and the relative narrowness of The Esplanade could lead to a fast, strung-out race with riders attacking constantly throughout. A small group may form at the front, but it is unlikely that a solo breakaway (like that of Tiffany Cromwell in 2011) will succeed.
Race 4 - Williamstown 13:40 hrs, 45 minutes January 4
The final race in 2012 will be on the rectangular course in Williamstown. The start finish is in Nelson Place. The roundabout and corner onto Cole Street usually provide some fireworks; in the early part of the race, touches of wheels (or problems with ironwork and road markings if its wet) in the bunch cause some crashes. Later on, occasionally a rider will 'overcook' their exit from the main part of the roundabout and slide towards the barriers in the latter part of the corner. The uphill of Cole Street is where stragglers through the corner are dropped. There is an opportunity to chase back on to the bunch along Cecil Street, but its hard because the front of the peloton will already be turning left onto the downhill of Thompson Street and thinking about position in the (usual) long line for the turn onto Nelson Place and the start / finish line. A solo or small group breakaway is usually brought back in the closing couple of laps on this circuit before a bunch sprint for the final race glory.
Want to contact WomensCycling.net?
The WomensCycling.net email address is NewsResults [at] Womenscycling.net
To contact the webmaster, the address is : Webmaster [at] Womenscycling.net
Type this address into the "To" line of a new email message in your email programme. Replace [at] with @
WomensCycling.net 2004 - 2012©