Rhodes takes women's title

U23 glory for Taylor

Alexis Rhodes stormed to a memorable victory in Buninyong this afternoon. The 26-year-old was crowned the Australian National Women's Champion after beating team-mate, Carla Ryan and Victorian Jo Hogan in a small sprint to the line.

"I'm stoked. I honestly never thought it would happen," a jubilant Rhodes said after the race. "To win the national road championship and wear the jersey in Europe is something you dream about," she added.

An early breakaway dominated the race featuring Joanne Hogan, Tiffany Cromwell, Vicki Whitelaw, Alexis Rhodes, Amanda Spratt, Annabel Luxford and Carlee Taylor. They enjoyed a maximum advantage of just over three minutes.

At the halfway mark of the race, their advantage dropped to two minutes as Judith Arndt and Carla Ryan tried to bridge across and managed to join the leaders with thirty kilometres to run. It was from there that riders started dropping off one by one.

Ryan, Whitelaw, Arndt, Cromwell, Taylor, Hogan and Rhodes were the leading group on the penultimate lap. On the final lap Whitelaw and Cromwell lost contact and Ryan, Arndt, Hogan and Taylor were the leaders over the climb for the last time. Despite Rhodes getting dropped, she fought back to join the leaders and in the sprint to the line, took a brilliant victory.

It was a special win from Rhodes after a roller-coaster last five years. She contemplated retirement at the end of 2010, but bounced back strongly to take the biggest win of her career.

"I came over the last lap and Judith put me in the gutter. I'm not half the bike rider she is and I got dropped. Luckily for me Judith, Carla and Jo started looking at each other and I was able to get back on again. I was patient and knew it was a fast finish. I managed to get the win."

"I'm surprised. Normally I can't climb to save myself, but today I decided I was in with a shot and just buried myself."

2009 National champion, Carla Ryan was thrilled for her team-mate.

"Crossing that finish line and seeing Alex on the other side of me wearing our new Garmin-Cervello clothes, it's very special for the team and also Alexis – winning her first national championship, especially after the things that has happened to her in the past and she's still got an amazing future. I'm just really happy for her," she said.

Both Ryan and Rhodes will be flying out to Spain tonight to attend a Garmin-Cervelo training camp.

Taylor was crowned the queen of the mountains and Whitelaw the sprint champion.

Carlee Taylor claims under-23 glory

Carlee Taylor finished strongly securing the under-23 title. Part of the early break, she battled valiantly and held on for the win, finishing the race in seventh position. 18-year-old Sinead Noonen was second, 20-year-old Lauren Kitchen third.

Taylor has signed a contract with Tibco and will wear the national jersey in her first year as a professional.

"I'm pretty happy. This is my last year as an under-23 and to come away with a win is a good feeling," the 21-year-old said.

"I thought the conditions today would suit an early breakaway and it ended up being the winning move and it was a good decision. I didn't quite have the legs to go with the move today, but to come away with an under-23 win, I'm very happy."



#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexis Rhodes (Norwood C.C.)3:00:18 
2Carla Ryan (Lifecycle CC)  
3Joanne Hogan (St Kilda Cycling Club Inc)  
4Judith Arndt (Germany)  
5Vicki Whitelaw (Canberra Cycling Club)  
6Tiffany Cromwell (Norwood C.C.)  
7Carlee Taylor** (Norwood C.C.)0:00:55 
8Ruth Corset (Townsville Cycle Club)  
9Bridie O'Donnell (St Kilda Cycling Club Inc)0:01:51 
10Amanda Spratt (Penrith CC)  
11Annabel Luxford (Lifecycle Cycling Club)0:03:23 
12Taryn Heather (Mildura-Coomealla C.C.)0:03:44 
13Jessie MacLean (Canberra Cycling Club)0:06:45 
14Peta Mullens (Bendigo & District CC)  
15Trudy Van Der Straaten (Bicisport)  
16Gracie Elvin (Canberra Cycling Club)  
17Sinead Noonan** (Sturt Holdfast Marion C.C.)  
18Amber Halliday (Norwood C.C.)  
19Shara Gillow (Sunshine Coast CC)0:09:46 
20Samantha Hemsley (Canberra Cycling Club)0:11:06 
21Lauren Kitchen** (Port Macquarie Cycling Club)  
22Grace Sulzberger (West Tamar CC)  
23Katherine O'Shea (Dirt Riders)  
24Nikolina Orlic (Hamilton Pine River Wheelers)  
25India McLean (Northern Sydney CC)  
26Laura Meadley (Canberra Cycling Club)  
27Rebecca Wiasak (Canberra Cycling Club)  
28Angela McClure** (Norwood C.C.)  
29Caitlin Turner** (Peloton Sports Inc.)  
30Alexandra Carle** (Vikings Cycling Club ACT)  
31Laura Luxford (Lifecycle Cycling Club)  
32Clare Dallat (Carnegie Caulfield CC)0:12:41 
33Rebecca Locke (Coburg Cycling Club Inc)0:14:52 
DNFRowena Fry (MTBA)  
DNFHeather Logie (Canberra Cycling Club)  
DNFNicole Whitburn (Carnegie Caulfield CC)  
DNFStephanie Ives (Carnegie Caulfield CC)  
DNFKatherine Baker (Sunshine Coast CC)  
DNFRebecca Domange (Carnegie Caulfield CC)  
DNFDelphine Astier (Footscray Cycling Club Inc)  
DNFSarah Riley (Carnegie Caulfield CC)  
DNFMiranda Griffiths (St Kilda Cycling Club Inc)  
DNFLiz Leyden (Atomic Brooks Cycle Club)  
DNFChloe McConville (Carnegie Caulfield CC)  
DNFMaryam Rogers (St Kilda Cycling Club Inc)  
DNFImogen Smith (NRG Cycling)  
DNFEmma Smith** (Mersey Valley Devonport CC)  
DNFShanice Nitis** (Lifecycle CC)  
DNFKristy Glover** (Wellington Cycling Club)  
DNFKendelle Hodges** (Brunswick Cycling Club Inc)  
DNFChloe Hosking** (Canberra Cycling Club)  
DNFJasmin Hurikino** (Balmoral Cycle Club)  
DNFStephanie Sanchez** (Sutherland Shire CC)  
DNFZoe Watters (Lifecycle Cycling Club)  
DNFAmy Bradley (St Kilda Cycling Club Inc)  
DNFKirsty Broun (Lifecycle CC)  
DNFElizabeth Georgouras (Port Adelaide C.C.)  
DNFRochelle Gilmore (Bankstown Sports CC)  
DNFNatalie Langer (Balmoral Cycle Club)  
DNFIngrid Trotter (St Kilda Cycling Club Inc)  
DNFNaomi Williams (MTBA)  
DNFEmma Lawson** (Launceston City CC)  
DNFMyfanwy Galloway** (Canberra Cycling Club)  
DNFBelinda Mason** (Launceston City CC)  
DNFChloe McIntosh** (Ballarat/Sebastopol CC)  
DNFRebecca Werner** (Port Adelaide C.C.)  
DNFCarly Light (Port Adelaide C.C.)  
DNFBridget Officer (St Kilda Cycling Club Inc)  
DNFMegan Dunn** (Dubbo CC)  
DNFKimberley Yap (Malaysia)  
DNFCarly Williams (Carnegie Caulfield CC)  
DNFDavina Summers (South Perth Cycle Club)  
DNFKelly Bartlett (St Kilda CC)  
DNFKate Finegan (Hunter District CC)  
DNFJenni King (MTBA)  
DNFEmma Mackie (Balmoral Cycle Club)  
DNFNicole McNamara (Bendigo & District CC)  
DNFAmy Cure** (Mersey Valley Devonport CC)  
DNSVictoria Luxton (Carnegie Caulfield CC)  
DNSRachel Neylan (Norwood C.C.)  
DNSMonica Kelly** (Horsham Cycling Club Inc)  
DNSBrittany Lindores** (Gold Coast CATS Cycling Club)  

** Denotes U23 rider

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