Jayco Bay Series 2012
Race 1 - Chloe Hosking dominates the sprint
Ritchie Boulevard, Geelong
Chloe Hosking (Total Rush-Hyster) took the first win of 2012 in the opening race of the Jayco Bay Criteriums. The fast paced Ritchie Boulevard hot dog circuit was bathed in sunlight and supported with massive crowds on the natural grandstand that the circuit offers. Hosking suffered a puncture with 12 laps to go while in a break. Rejoining the race at the front, the race was stopped as a result of a crash (Trudy Van der Straaten (Pitcher Partners) with 6 laps to go. A break of seven riders were away that included Hosking. When the race was restarted, the break was nullified and the bunch started together. Despite the restart, GreenEdge tried to get the win, with an attack from Tiffany Cromwell. Hosking gave chase and closed the gap to Cromwell.
Hosking sat on the wheel of Cromwell and despite controlling much of the race, debutants GreenEdge -AIS women, sent Melissa Hoskins, to chase and close the gap to Cromwell and Hosking. A last lap burst of Hosking could not be matched by Hoskins. She id manage to cross the line in second ahead of the 2011 overall winner Rochelle Gilmore (Bike Exchange). Gilmore's team, which included 2008 Olympic Road Race Champion Nicole Cooke rode a tactical race ensuring Gilmore was protected all race.
The GreenEdge-AIS dominated the race and the team certainly made their mark. Right from the start, Amanda Spratt, Jessie Maclean, Shara Gillow and Tiffany Cromwell were all positioned at the front of the race dictating the pace. Myfanwy Galloway covered all of the early GreenEdge moves for Gilmore.
In an attempt to shake the race up, Loren Rowney (Total Rush-Hyster) attacked. Spratt, Rebecca Henderson (Suzuki-Trek), Hosking, Jessie Mclean (GreenEdge) and Kirsty Broun (Bike Exchange) formed an small break. The leaders led by a small 5 second margin ahead of the chasing bunch. With 16 minutes of racing completed the race was back together.
GreenEdge refused to let this situation stay and MacLean attacked again. Peta Mullens (Bike Exchange) covered the move with Henderson, Hosking, Trudy Van der Straaten (Pitcher Partners) and Kate Finegan (Spencers Race). The race came back together again.
After 30 minutes of racing, Gillow turned on the power and attacked the front of the bunch. Mullens covered the move with Sinead Noonan (Jayco -AIS). Hosking closed the move with Sue Forsyth (Pitcher Partners) and Maclean. Hosking punctured and rejoined the lead group one lap later. Rowney bridged across the gap to the leaders. With 7 laps to go the leading group held a 13 second gap. Gilmore's sent Cooke and Broun to the front to close the gap to the leaders. With 6 laps to go the gap was down to 9 seconds.
Trudy Van der Straaten crashed on the tight top corner focing the commissaries to stop the race. When the race was restarted, the break was nullified and the bunch started together with 5 laps left to race. Despite the restart, GreenEdge tried to get the win, Cromwell attacked. Hosking gave chase and closed the gap to Cromwell with 3 laps to go. Hoskins, the designated sprinter for GreenEdge talked to Maclean, who moved to lead the chase to the two leaders. With one lap to go, Hosking looked strong but Cromwell was fading fast. The bunch were 5 seconds behind. By the time Hosking reached the final turn she was clear of Cromwell and had time to celebrate across the line. Hoskins won the sprint to the line ahead of
Chloe Hosking ((Total Rush-Hyster), who has continued her links with the former HTC Highroad team, signing for Specialized – lululemon in 2012, said "the win was an important step towards gaining selection for the London Olympic Games in July. I'm up for the challenge, I want to be at the Olympic Games and I've just got to keep doing the right moves to get there. Today is one of those steps," the 21 year-old said.
Hosking also admitted it had been hard in the lead up to the race with so much hype and focus surrounding the GreenEdge-AIS outfit in their debut appearance. "I was like 'am I racing?'... look, we came in as underdogs and I guess we've surprised a lot of people," Hosking explained with her Total Rush – Hyster team seemingly outnumbered with herself and Lauren Rowney as ‘key' riders in comparison to some of the other teams in the field. "I think hats off should go to the GreenEdge girls, they rode really awesome today and they made the race," she conceded. "I just did the right move at the right time," added Hosking.
Australian National Newspaper reporter, Sam Lane (The Age), was keen to keep the dialogue going regarding comments that were made by UCI President Pat McQuaid at last years World Road Race Championships and pushed Hosking for her views. McQuaid had stated that "Womens cycling had not developed enough for a minimum wage to be mandated." McQuaid's comments angered the media and professional women around the world.
Hosking, with the sweat of her effort still visible; her heart rate just settling from the race pace, showed her frustration and the exasperated 21 year old spurted, 'I love racing like that. I don't really like just sitting in and then sprinting. I don't think it's great for Australian racing, and for me it was really exciting to go out there and show what women's racing can be like. And I think today we really did that,'' she said.
Pressed about the pointed reflection, Hosking said: ''There has just been some really negative things said in the press lately about how women's racing is boring and how we don't deserve a minimum salary and all this sort of thing.
''And I think that today, I wasn't watching the race but I was in it, and it was one of the most exciting races I've done. And I race all year in Europe, in America, all over the world, and the one women's race that gets televised - the world championships - if that's enough to stereotype the whole of women's cycling, I think that's totally unfair.''
When it was put to Hosking that women's cycling lacked support from the top of the sport's administration, she said: ''What can be said? Pat McQuaid's a dick. 'To say at the biggest sporting event of women's cycling that we're not progressed enough to have a minimum salary, I mean, how do we progress if we all still have to work and we can't support ourselves?''
Melissa Hoskins (GreenEdge-AIS) was very pleased to have achieved a first podium for the new team, in its very first race. "I guess it came down to the point where we had to make a decision whether to go or not and I saw Tiff [Cromwell] was on her last legs so I made the call with Jessie, she's one of the best lead out girls that I've ever worked with," Hoskins explained. "She brought me my first win in Europe, I have a lot of trust in her and she's the one that started it. I just had to finish it off for me team because they'd done so well all day. We came out to win today, we wanted to show everyone that we aren't hiding behind the men. It isn't just the name we area team and we wanted to come out and show that we are talented. Chloe is a talented sprinter and probably one of the best sprinters in the world, she is a deserved winner."
Reflecting on her role in the team, Hoskins added, "This is my fourth Bay Crits and it was the first time have been the designated sprinter and not had to work for anyone. I gave it everything. It isn't easy when you have Rochelle Gilmore on your wheel. I am stoked with second," added Hoiskins
Rochelle Gilmore (BikeExchange was very relaxed after the first race, "I am feeling pretty good after today's race. Obviously not with the result. It isn't nice to come third. I stayed really relaxed. There was a lot happening in the latter stages of the race. With the crash and the restart then the attacks I did not know how I was going to go. I am only three week back after knee surgery. I wasn't sure how I was going I feel pretty good. I could have put it all on the line to close the gap to Chloe but I have been advised to take it easy. I was able to sit in. We made a lot of mistakes and didn't ride smart today. I think we can make some better decisions in the next race," said Gilmore.
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