Santos Cup at Tour Down Under
Stage 1 - Wells sprints to victory
Kimberley Wells (Specialized Securitor) proved why she is the Australian Criterium champion. Wells outsprinted Rochelle Gilmore (Wiggle Honda) and in the chase for third, former winner Kenny MacPherson (Liv-Giant) won the video judge decision.
In one of the most attacking opening races in the women's series, the attacks started in the first lap. Under tough conditions, the women rolled out in 28 degrees. A small group led by Isabella King (Jayco AIS) and Brittany Lindores (Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega) tried to get away but they were quickly chased by Rebecca Werner (Specialized Securitor) the 2012 winner of the over series.
Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega were probably the most aggressive team. They launched another attack as the race came together after 3 laps of racing. This time is was former Australian road and time trial champion Carla Ryan who attacked. She was joined by Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco-AIS), Nicole Whitburn (Liv-Giant) and Wells herself.
The group managed a 10 second gap before the silver medalist from the Australian road race, Joanne Hogan (Jayco Apollo VIS) moved to the front and closed the gap. After five laps the peloton were all together again. MacPherson launched an attack, She was joined by Sarah Roy (Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega), Amy Bradley (Specialized Securitor). King closed the gap and the race was back together again.
BCS Specialized Skoda's, Lauretta Hanson launched an attack and managed to gain a 5 second lead before Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega's Jasmin Hurikino closed the gap. King attacked again. This time is was Hogan who closed the gap.
After 9 laps of the 1.7km course the race was all together again. On the small decent at the back of the course, Carla Ryan (Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega) attacked. She was joined by team mate Roy, Whitburn and Hogan.
Specialized Securitor's Amy Bradley closed the gap and the bunch were all together again.
It was Roy who attacked again as the race came back together. She was chased by Rebecca Werner (Specialized Securitor), Hanson, Amy Cure (Jayco-AIS), closely marked by Emma Mackie (Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega).
Roy held a 50m advantage for two laps before all three of the Jayco-AIS riders, Ankudinoff, Cure and King moved to the front to close the race down. Werner tried to attack again but no one was getting away.
Hurikino (Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega) tried to attack again but could not get away. With 3 laps to go, the main sprinters were moving to the front. Gilmore, who had not put her face in the wind until this point was evident at towards the front. Lindores attacked again. She managed to get an 8 second lead before the Jayco-AIS team closed the gap again.
With 2 laps to go, the peloton were all together. Ankudinoff, Cure and King were all on the front, Wells and Gilmore were on their wheels with Whitburn and MacPherson.
At the bell the pace was high. With 300m to go the peloton opened up. Wells was the first to show. She dragged raced to the line beating Gilmore on the line. MacPherson was awarded third after a review of the video.
Wells (Specialized Securitor) dominated the drag sprint to the line, “It
is nice not to see anyone for a long time and then Rochelle [Gilmore] was
coming up pretty fast, but I knew I had a bit more in me to give it another
dig and fortunately that paid off today,” said Wells.
great form, it is a shame the Australian champion isn’t able to take the
jersey overseas, but it looks like things are looking up for Wells, with
offers flooding in, Wells added, “Everyone has to have their start
somewhere. Since the nationals crit win, I have been approached by a few
teams who are keen to get me overseas even at this late stage in the game so
you never know. They are fantastic opportunities that I need to consider and
think about what I want and make a decision.”
is keen to ensure she gets the right start, salary and opportunity,
something that is well deserved and for this talented rider one that should
come her way soon.
Ankudinoff (Jayco AIS) had a tough 2012 mentally and physically but is back
fit and fighting in 2013, “I am in good form. I put last year behind me. I
finished off really good on the road at the end of the year and I am looking
forward to good year. We have a good team hear with Bella [King] and Amy
[Cure], plus the National champion and Rochelle Gilmore so it should be a
good race,” said Ankudinoff.
and her team mates have been at Track camp preparing for the World
Championships in Belarus next month, adding, “This race just continues our
preparation. A win would be nice but for us it is about getting that top end
Ryan (Crino Cycles Casa-Bottaga) is coming into good form after a good
nationals campaign, “I am really excited. I haven’t raced here for six
years. I am excited about racing here and continuing my good form and seeing
how that goes. Criteriums are not my thing but you never know what can
happen. There are not so many stronger teams here. Really only Specialized
Securitor with Kimberley Wells, so that will make things very tough. Other
than that, no Orica GreenEDGE, so that should work in our favour,” said
we would like to see a break. The AIS have come with a strong team, fresh
out of track camp so maybe we can get something moving,” added Ryan.
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