Lisa Jacobs (Victoria) has put her early season misfortunes behind her to claim the biggest race of them all this afternoon over Rowena Fry (Tasmania). On a sunny afternoon at Cranwell Park in Melbourne, Jacobs went about rectifying her disappointment over missing the first two rounds of the Australian National Cyclo-Cross Series (NCXS) due to illness.
"I got sick at the start of the year and had to miss the first two rounds [of the NCXS] and once you miss the first two rounds you're no longer in the running for the rest of the series, so my coach and I put a plan together to try and nail nationals instead."
Achieving this was no mean feat for the full time lawyer who has also recently devoted some of her not so spare time to take on the role of Chair of the newly formed Cycling Australia Athletes Commission.
"I don't have that much time to train because I work full time with some other commitments but we just put a program together that worked"
Owing to heavy rain the previous day the course was bogged down with endless muddy stretches that tested rider's fitness as well as their finesse. One particularly difficult 15 percent hill tested riders as they were required to perform a u-turn at the bottom of this hill and then soon dismount in order to jump a barrier only halfway up.
Being Melbourne based, Jacobs came into the day believing herself to be at an advantage thanks to her course reconnaissance performed a week out from the title. Unfortunately for Jacobs her recon had been slightly off but fortunately it proved to be a moot point for the newly crowned Australian Champion
"I came out here last Sunday and I actually did the course in the opposite direction, so I thought we were coming up that hill in the other direction! So all I did was practice running up the hill. So I'm not so sure it helped that much!"
How it happened
In the elite women's race it was mountain bike specialist Katherine O'Shea (Victoria) who flew off the start line to an early lead but it took less than a lap for Lisa Jacobs (Victoria) to come to the fore.
As a road rider suited to hill climbing, Jacobs carried her slender frame up each rise as she increased her lead every lap, eventually stretching the gap to nearly two and a half minutes by the finish.
Behind Jacobs the current undefeated NCXS leader Rowena Fry looked strong and for a good part of the race had Jacobs within what appeared to be striking distance. Jacobs amassed a hefty portion of her winning advantage in the last 15 minutes of the race as Fry appeared to loose hope of continuing her unbeaten run. Melissa Anset and April McDonough (Victoria) headed a tight chase group for the final podium spot with Anset going on to eventually claim the bronze medal.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Lisa Jacobs (Vic)||0:42:35|
|2||Rowena Fry (Tas)||0:02:27|
|3||Melissa Anset (Vic)||0:02:55|
|4||April Mcdonough (Vic)||0:03:20|
|5||Tory Thomas (Vic)||0:03:40|
|6||Claire Aubrey (ACT)||0:04:52|
|7||Lindsay Gorrell (NSW)||0:05:11|
|8||Jenni King (Vic)||0:05:25|
|9||Carla Franson (SA)||0:06:36|
|10||Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Vic)||0:07:14|
|11||Katherine O'shea (Vic)||-1lap|
|12||Josie Simpson (Vic)|
|13||Karen Hill (Vic)|
|DNF||Sarah Holmes (SA)|
|DNF||Kate Finegan (Vic)|