Cykel Events Women's Grand Prix (2012) - Round 3
SKCC/giant extend lead
The team from SKCC/giant have extended their lead for the overall teams prize in the Womens Grand Prix. With a full team of five, they opted not to make a move on the intermediate sprints with their best placed Grace Phang in fifth and out of the points. Instead their teamwork saw them finish the race high in the points, and take a near unassailable lead in the race for the overall title.
Hawthorn CC GOLD have now slipped to third place, 120 points SKCC/Giant, while Total Rush have moved into 3rd place, picking up 230 points for the day, and are now 65 points behind.
In the absence of CycleCover Leader’s jersey wearer, Nicole Whitburn (LIV), and Kate Finegan (BCS), Carly Williams (RSH) and Amy Bradley (RSH) made their assault of the individual title. Kate Mullarkey (HGD) was sitting in 4th position before Round 3, however her 16th place in the division 1 race saw her slip down the ladder. Williams now holds the jersey on 176 points, followed by Bradley (170 points) while Whitburn holds on to 3rd place (148). Finegan (146) and Mullarkey (144) round out the top five.
Early arrivals to Mayfair Park caught a glimpse of the beauty in this part of the world, as a family of kangaroos were spied bounding across the course on their way to a picnic lunch. Once the prologue got underway however, they were no where to be seen. And neither was the forcast rain, and the blustery conditions helped the course remain clear of the wet stuff. The sun shone for much of the day bringing difficult conditions for riders witht he combination of wind, and a rapidly rising temperature.
Commentator-cum-part-time but retired cyclist, Bec Domange (RSH) took to the course as the first woman out of the starting gates, and posted a blistering hot time of 2:35.414. This time stood at the top of the table for much of the prologue, until the final six out of the gate whittled over seven seconds off Domange’s best. In the end, it came to Hawthorn CC GOLD’s Meg Marsh to set the fastest two-lap time of 2:28.055, more than two seconds better than the runner-up, Clare Dallat (TBS), and team mate and round #2 prologue winner, Liz Hall (HGD). Full prologue times can be found HERE
The division 2 crit had 23 riders on the start line, and the conditions took their toll with five riders failing to last out the 40 minute race. The bunch stayed well together for most of the way, with the occasional attempt to pull away from the field. The block head-wind however levelled out the peleton with no breaks sticking. The smart riders hid in the bunch, some protected by team mates, while others making good use of their best racing skills.
The Shane Kelly Cycle Room Intermediate sprint had Cycling-Inform’s Manuela Marasco pull out of mid-pack to take her full quota of five points, while Kerrie Baumgartner (BWK), Nonie Carr (BWK) and Olivia Verey (RED) took the minor points.
The calculators came out early for Hawthorn CC GOLD, with two riders failing to make the cut for division 1. Tea Westendorff and Georgie Heydon both failed to collect points in the divison 2 intermediate sprint making life difficult for them to put harder for the top position overall.
Only five laps after the sprint, Monique Hanley (HYP) took the bull by the horns and gave the break a crack. No-one went with Monique who had over eight seconds on the bunch at one stage, and widely she retreated back into the bunch for some protection from the wind. Joanne Lumsden (SMC) and Nik McNamara (BCS) also pushed hard to string out the bunch.
As the final laps approached, the teamwork of Hawthorn CC GOLD attempted to work for Westendorff who sa far has podiumed twice in the Series. Baumgartner, Joanna Wall (TBS) and Shantelle Maurer (BCS) hid in the top six or seven for the final three laps before launching into their final downhill sprint.
It was Baumgartner who seemed to take the best line through the final corner and powered through to the line, ahead of Maurer, Wall, and Marasco, with SMCC’s Carolyn Phillips rounding out the top five.
The complete results can be found HERE.
With division 1 underway, the attempts to break were constant. First, off the start was Toni Abbisogni (RED) whose first break after 7 laps stretched to nine seconds at one point. Toni was hauled back intothe bunch by all the big teams. Only a few laps later, the break attempted again. This time four riders, of whom Abbisogni was one got the break. Joined by Clare Morgan (SKG), Cait Fraser (BCS) and Clare Dallat (TBS), the quartet stretched the bunch to just three seconds, with some riders posting their fastest laps of the day in the chase.
The bunch settled once again, seeming to wait for the Shane Kelly Cycle Room intermediate sprint. And with everyone together, the sprint was a line call. The MyLaps timing system seperated eventual winner, Chloe McIntosh (TBS) and runner-up Domange by just 8-thousanths of a second. Total Rush’s Amy Bradley and Carly Williams collected the minor placings, holding SKCC Giant out of the early points, and nudging Total Rush up the table colelcting 12 points from a possible 22.
Just two laps later, the antagonists were at it again. Fraser, Heidi Buntrock (SKG), Bradley, Lauretta Hanson (RED) and McIntosh gained 29 seconds. Hawthorn CC GOLD missed the break, and didn’t quite have the firepower to chase it down, leaving a lead of nearly forty seconds to the break. This was eventually whittled down 33 seconds, with McIntosh, Fraser and Bradley charging to the line across the road, and finishing in that order. Buntrock and Hanson rounded out the top 5 in the same time.
Clare Morgan win the bunch sprint for the best of the rest.
By winning the bunch sprint and the criterium, Chloe McIntosh collected full points for round 3, just as Nic Whitburn had done in round 1. However the high placed finishes for all five representatives from SKCC GIant saw them extend their lead on the field in the overall title. They also took the highest aggregate team for the day.
Meanwhile, big movers up the leaderboard were Total Rush who leap-frogged Hawthorn CC GOLD to now stand 2nd in the title race, and 75 points behind the girls in blue.
Round 4 celebrates International Women’s Day on March 3rd at National Blvd, Campbellfield. Hosted by Coburg Cycling Club, this round is sure to see a great finale to the series. ENTRIES CLOSE on FEB 29th. Click HERE to enter.
Thanks must go to the sponsors. Coates Hire put on an extraordinary day, The City of Greater Bendigo closed out roads to protect all the cyclists from interuption and hazards. Thanks also go to The Sufferfest, MyLaps Sports Timing, Share Kelly Cycle Room, Liv/giant, Cycle Cover & Macquarie.
Thanks also to the volunteers from Bendigo & District Cycling Club, Spencers Cafe for serving refreshments throughout the day. To Chief Commissaire, Doug Armstrong, and Timekeeper, Pete Davidson, as well as assistance from Dean Murphy of Spencers RACE team.
Cykel Women’s Grand Prix Round 4 – Celebrating International Women’s Day
National Blvd, Campbellfield
11:00am Sat March 3, 2012
Entries close 7pm Wed Feb 29th