For the first time the Cancer Council Classic enjoyed a curtain raiser in the form of the Rendition Homes/Santos Women's Cup and it was HTC-Highroad rider Chloe Hosking raising hell with a powerful sprint to outgun the Honda Dream Team.
Competing on the same course as the ProTour riders would do later that day, Hosking prevailed in the sprint finish ahead of Rochelle Gilmore and local girl Annette Edmondson.
"Honda was really setting up the sprint for Rochelle but there was some confusion and with different girls trying to get on different wheels I benefited from the situation," said Hosking after her win. "They were all concentrated on the frantic finishing manoeuvres on the right side of the road and I decided to hit them on the left.
"It's a welcome sign of form after my week at the Jayco Bay Classic," she added. "It's definitely a good indication of what's in store in the lead up to the Tour of Qatar."
Hosking rode her first season for HTC-Columbia in 2010, grabbing several wins and signing for another year. She took a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi behind compatriot Gilmore, who took the overall title at the aforementioned Jayco Bay Cycling Classic.
"My sprint felt really strong - the training I have been doing recently has really helped in today's result, I think. There's been a focus on getting up to speed and keeping it there."
The 20-year-old sprinter will head to next month's Tour of Qatar as HTC-Highroad's fast finisher, acknowledging that her latest win was a morale booster ahead of the men's race last night, which was eventually won by teammate Matt Goss. "It was nice surprise for the team when they realised that they had a member of the women's team racing - and winning!" she explained.