Jayco Bay Series 2012
Race 2 - Loren Rowney wins in Total Rush
Geelong Eastern Park
Loren Rowney (Total Rush /Hyster) rode to victory ahead of Amanda Spratt (GreenEdge) after the pair escaped with 5 laps to go. In the chase from the bunch Melissa Hoskins (GrenEdge) outsprinted overnight leader Chloe Hosking (Total Rush). Hosking remain in the overall lead ahead of Hoskins by one point. 2011 winner Rochelle Gilmore sits in third place overall on 14 points after a 5th place on Race 2.
The race was also shorted by 5 minutes as a result of the temperatures that touched 45 degrees on the road and 38 degrees in the onshore breeze. Riders were dropping like flies, with only 17 of the 54 riders completing the race. Even with the tough conditions, the pace at which the women started race 2 in Geelong Eastern Park was incredible. Kate Finegan (Spencers Race) attacked after two laps of the 1.3 km circuit. It was not long however before the teams of the race leaders organised themselves and closed the gap.
The peloton was together for the first of the sprint which was won by Kirsty Broun (BikeExchange). Hosking was second and Shara Gillow (GreenEdge) was third.
After 25 minutes of racing, Jessie Maclean (GreenEdge) attacked alone. She was out on her own for four laps and held a 11 second lead ahead of two chasers, Chloe McConville (Jayco VIS) and Rowena Fry (Jayco-AIS). Behind them the GreenEdge team controlled the race with three riders at the front of the punch at 18 seconds.
With 6 laps to go the gap to Maclean was closing. Behind McConville and Fry the bunch had split and a nmber of riders were bridging across. Sue Forsyth (Pitcher Partners) and Spratt were closing fast on the three leaders. Rowney and Grace Sulzberger (Jayco AIS) were close behind them.
By the time Sprint 2 arrived, Maclean had almost been caught by all of the chasers. The bunch was led by Myfanwy Galloway (Bike Exchange) with Hosking on her wheel.
As the leaders rounded the top bend before starting five laps to go, Spratt and Rowney were clear of the chasing five riders. Only 17 riders were left in the main bunch.
At three to go, Rowney and Spratt were lapping the course in 2 minutes 57 seconds and held a 38 second lead over the chasing group. The main bunch were at 1 minute.
As the leaders reached two laps to go, the gap was down to 40 seconds to the lone chaser Fry and the 45 seconds to the bunch.
Nicole Cooke (BikeExchange) was the only rider left to support Gilmore and she tried hard to close the gap but found it hard with the front of the race controlled by GreenEdge.
The two leaders reached the bell lap with a 30 second lead. The chase was down to 15 riders controlled by GreenEdge. Hosking was sitting in fourth wheel, safe in the knowledge that shewas still in astron position to hold onto her overall lead.
Spratt started the sprint way too early. Rowney sat on her wheel until 100m to go and pulled out of the slipstream to win easily. In the chase for points, Melissa Hoskins out-sprinted Hosking and Gilmore to move within one point of Hosking overall.
Loren Rowney (Total Rush/Hyster) was extremely happy with her win not just for Total Rush but also forher new professional team Specialized-lululemon. The 23 year old Queenslander enjoyed the hot temperatures. "It was amazing to be on the team, although it hasn't been this hot in Queensland, so it is a bit of a shock to the system," said Rowney.
"I race well in the heat and I was looking forward to today. I knew I had an advantage as the race progressed," she added.
"For the first 20 minutes, Chloe said to relax, it's hot, make sure you conserve and then just attack, attack," the 23-year-old explained. "But I was a bit active at the start and after going off the front a little bit, I came back to the bunch and Jessie went. I didn't panic, I knew I could catch my breath and bridge across (to the front group) and that's what I did."
Rowney was too good for her opposition, outsprinting Spratt in the finishing straight. "I did the turn all the way down the back, but obviously there's a slight cross tailwind," she explained of the tactics being played out over the final lap of the 1.8 kilometre circuit.
"So I was just tempoing it down the back, I actually led it out over the top of the hill and she went, I knew she went too early. I knew I've got a better kick, so I went with about 150m to go."
With Total Rush/Hyster making it two from two at the Bay Criteriums, Rowney was asked if she was surprised by how successful the team had been, "Isn't that the case, the little Aussie Battlers taking it out to the big teams. We came here to ride well and win." Rowney was very excited about racing on the same team as Hosking in her first year as a professional rider, "It is amazing racing here with Chloe. She is an amazing rider and a great mentor. Our team Specialised-Lululemon is just amazing, the girls are fantastic and I think we are going to have an amazing season."
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