It was a winning start for the Orica-AIS team as Katrin Garfoot won the opening stage of the Santos Women’s Tour and went onto secure the overall title upon its conclusion in Adelaide’s Victoria Park on Tuesday. In addition, she won by no margin as the top four GC riders finished with the same time.
“The team just worked so hard together this week,” Garfoot said in a team release. “Without them, I couldn’t have done anything like that. I’m not a sprinter but I just followed the good wheels and they got me to where I needed to be and then just tried to do my best.”
Garfoot led the race from start to finish even while the top four in the overall classification held the same time heading into the finale, an accomplishment she attributed to teamwork.
“It’s all up to them that I’m wearing the jersey today,” she said.
Garfoot finish third in the finale criterium, behind winner Kimberly Wells (High5 Dream Team) and Annette Edmondson (Wiggle High5). She also placed second in stage 3 behind her own teammate and stage winner Lizzie Williams, and she was seventh in stage 2.
“I was nervous at the beginning, not just at the end,” she said after the stage 4 criterium. “I was confident I could sprint after the last two days, I just wasn’t sure how I could sprint in a bunch with so many strong sprinters rubbing shoulders and pushing each other around like dominos. It strung out towards the back end, which probably suited me.
Garfoot ended up winning the title ahead of Shelley Olds (Cylance), Lauren Kitchen (Hitec Products) and Dani King (Wiggle High5), all with the same time. Garfoot was the only rider in the top four to have won a stage.
She also won the time trial at the Australian Road Championships on January 7, while Amanda Spratt won the road title.