Jayco Bay Series 2012
Race 3 - Gillow takes first GreenEDGE-AIS victory solo
Shara Gillow (GreenEDGE-AIS) claimed an important victory for the new team on the tough Port Arlington course. Grace Sultzberger (Jayco-AIS) was second ahead of Gillow’s team mate Tiffany Cromwell ,23 seconds behind Gillow.
In the chase for overall lead, Melissa Hoskins (GreenEDGE), outsprinted Annette Edmondson (Pitcher Partners) and Chloe Hosking (Total rush), to place herself in the lead overall by 1 point.
Any pre-race tactics had to be changed just before the race. The course that was promoted as being run in reverse of previous years due to safety concerns on the final bend. It ended up actually running the way it has always. A review by the commissaries decided that the new approach to the finish was also too dangerous.
Gillow made her winning move early in the race. Amanda Spratt went up the road with Sinead Noonan (Jayco-AIS) within the first five minutes of racing. When Spratt and Noonan were brought back, Gillow attacked.
The bunch stalled for a bit and allowed the duo to open up a gap. Fry began to struggle with the pace, and Gillow continued to work with her until it became apparent she would need to forge ahead alone to maintain the distance between herself and the field.
Gillow used her time trial ability and rode away from Fry to take a solo victory. Fry was caught and passed in the closing stages by Sultzberger and Cromwell. The consistent Amanda Spratt (GreenEDGE-AIS) led home the bunch for 4th ahead of Jessie Mclean and Sinead Noonan (Jayco-VIS).
Hoskins, proved she was sprinting well and took valuable points ahead of Hosking to move into the overall lead going into the final stage in Williamstown..
What was hoped to be a overall third straight win for Rochelle Gilmore (BikeExchange) seems to be diminishing. Gilmore pulled out of the race after 20 minutes of racing.
Shara Gillow (GreenEDGE) could not have been happier, “This is a pretty substantial moment,” said Gillow. “It’s the first win for GreenEDGE and Mel [Hoskins]moved into yellow. It’s an incredible result for the team. It’s been great to be here and be part of such a strong team. At the moment, the Aussies have a great team dynamic going.”
Reflecting on her attack Gillow added, “It happened pretty fast,” explained Gillow. “Rowena dropped off, and I just kept going.”
Melissa Hoskins (GreenEDGE) has chipped away over the last few days to try to get to the top and holds a one point advantage over Hosking, “We couldn’t have asked for anything better,” added Hoskins. “There’s the win and there’s yellow. This is the best we could have imagined. Personally, it’s a real confidence boost to mix it up with some of the top sprinters.”
“We’ve got the strongest team here,” she said. “I have no doubt tomorrow that we can win the stage and hang onto yellow.”
Dave MacPartland (Sport Director) was extremely pleased with the performance of his team and in particular Shara Gillow, “Shara attacked up the road straightaway once Amanda was brought back. The girls are very organised and strategic in these moves. They really back each other up and support one another on the road. Amanda was caught, and it opened up the opportunity for Shara to go. Rowena Fry (Jayco-AIS) followed the move.” MacPartland explained, “Tiffany managed to sneak away with Grace Sulzberger, and they swapped off working together the whole way around,” McPartland said. “They hovered around 15 seconds in front of the bunch. That was a little bit closer than I would have liked, and I wasn’t sure if they would hold off the field. Tiff ended up running second to Grace in the sprint at the finish.”
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