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Cycling Australia Road National Championships 2013

Date range:
January 9-13, 2013

January 12, Elite/Under 23 women's road race: Geelong Rd, Buninyong - Geelong Rd, Buninyong 107km

Elvin wins for Orica-AIS in dramatic final of women's road race

By:
Alex Malone
Published:
January 12, 2013, 5:36 GMT,
Updated:
December 16, 2013, 22:32 GMT

Hogan and Ryan hold off the chase for podium spots

Gracie Elvin (ACT) has taken a second national title for Orica-AIS this week after winning the sprint in a dramatic finish to the elite women's road race. A bronze medal winner in the criterium, Elvin bridged to a late-race group on the final lap before winning the drag-race to the line after 106.6km of racing. The silver medal went to Joanne Hogan (Vic) who was relegated to the second spot despite charging towards Elvin in the final 10 metres. Carla Ryan (Qld) followed shortly behind to pick up the bronze.

The 24-year-old Elvin stepped up to the women's professional team in 2013 having spent the 2012 season with the Jayco-AIS program and was in a state of disbelief standing after receiving the national champion's jersey. The former mountain biker won the Oceania road championship last year and has continued to show rapid progression into the senior ranks.

"It has't sunk in yet," said Elvin after capturing her first elite road title. "To wear the Orica colours across the line in first is just the best feeling ever.

"We had pretty much come to a stand-still with 500 to go and I think my nerve got the better of me so I just went for it. I just hoped for the best that I would cross the line first. I was confident but kept pedaling right to the end."

In the under-23 race, held in conjunction with the elite, it was Emily Roper (Qld) who too the title. Roper was the best placed under-23 in 14th place with London mountain bike Olympian Rebecca Henderson (ACT) and Janelle Crooks (Qld) in second and third respectively.  

How it unfolded

The women must have been inspired by the winning ride in the men's under-23 race as the early move went clear on the first climb up to Buninyong. The opening attack included Lucy Coldwell (Vic), Lisa Jacobs (Vic), Rebecca Werner (SA) riding for Specialized-Securitor and Jessie Maclean (ACT) from the Orica-AIS squad.

With Orica-AIS represented in the break with Maclean the group quickly gained time on the first of two big laps. The gap hovered around the two-minute mark at the completion of the first lap.

Coldwell took maximum points at the top of Buninyong on the second lap with Jacobs and Maclean happy to let the Victorian cross the line in first.

With so many of the favourites sitting easy in the bunch Coldwell decided to up the pace once again up the Midland Highway toward the Buninyong climb. Maclean was the only rider from the breakaway who was able to follow Coldwell as she again took maximum points at the top of the KOM.

Former national time trial champion Bridie O'Donnell (Vic) attemped to bridge to the leading group gained a small gap over the main field. However, it wasn't until last year's silver medal winner Tiffany Cromwell decided to bridge to the leading duo that things really heated up.

Up ahead Maclean had been instructed to sit and wait for her teammate, leaving Coldwell to do all the pace-making. With three laps remaining the leading two had just 30 seconds from the Cromwell group.

Meanwhile Kimberley Wells (ACT), having won the criterium title on Thursday found the climb all too much. The rider who has dominated the sprints over the past couple of months was more than two minutes behind the main bunch. Her ambition of winning a second national title may have to wait until next year.

Another Australian former champion Ruth Corset (Qld) was the next to move from the peloton on the Buninyong climb. Over the top she had powered past the Cromwell group and overtaken the leading two of Coldwell and Maclean.

Corset, mother of two, who won the road title in 2010 was clearly on a mission heading into two laps to go. She had blasted to the front and was not waiting for anyone to join here.

Coming through the start/finish line Corset had been caught and was now under the control of Orica-AIS. The winner of the Australian road race championship would come from this 18-rider group with the remaining riders in smaller groups following in arears.

Maclean had obviously paid for her efforts in the early breakaway and was seen sitting at the back of the third group on the road with just two laps to go.

All the pre-race favourites were in the dwindling bunch. Gracie Elvin (ACT), Peta Mullens (Vic), Cromwell, Lauren Kitchen (NSW), Carlee Taylor (SA), Emily Roper (Qld), Rebecca Henderson (ACT), Jenelle Crooks (QLD), Joanne Hogan (Vic), Miranda Griffiths (Vic), Grace Sulzberger (Tas), last year's winner Amanda Spratt (NSW), Rachel Neylan (SA), Shara Gillow (Qld) and Carla Ryan (Qld) were all amongst the group as they hit the most critical part of the race.

Ryan, Hogan and Griffiths were not intent on sitting back to allow GreenEdge the control and took off up the toughest section of the climb. Elvin attempted to bridge to the front three and was putting everything into making contact.

At the bell lap it was four riders who entered the final climb up Buninyong with the chasing bunch were 1:19 behing. With Orica-AIS represented in the move the remaining three teammates to Elvin would be waiting until hitting the steepest section of the climb before making any moves.

Through the feed zone, located near the bottom of the climb the gap had dropped to just over minute. With less than 10km to race it would be now or never for the main peloton to make a move.

Corset, Neylan, Cromwell, Gillow and Sulzberger made their final move in an attempt to reach the front before the finale.

Hogan lead the group near the top of the climb with Elvin sitting on the back.

Corset was pushing the pace in the second bunch with Neylan, Cromwell and Gillow all struggling the hold the former champion's wheel. The lead was still 40 seconds with around 8km remaining.

Coming into the finish Elvin had moved herself to the back of the group ensuring she would not be leading out into the headwind sprint. Hogan waited as long as possible before making her move while Elvin and her went head to head toward the line. In the final metres it was Elvin who just held on, taking Orica-AIS's second championship title for the week.

Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Gracie Elvin (ACT) 3:01:07  
2 Joanne Hogan (Vic)    
3 Carla Ryan (Qld)    
4 Miranda Griffiths (Vic)    
5 Ruth Corset (Qld) 0:00:18  
6 Shara Gillow (Qld)    
7 Tiffany Cromwell (SA)    
8 Rachel Neylan (SA)    
9 Grace Sulzberger (Tas) 0:00:20  
10 Peta Mullens (Vic) 0:01:19  
11 Lauren Kitchen (NSW)    
12 Katrin Garfoot (Qld)    
13 Amanda Spratt (NSW)    
14 Emily Roper (Qld)    
15 Rebecca Henderson (ACT) 0:02:15  
16 Samantha De Riter (Vic) 0:02:48  
17 Taryn Heather (Vic)    
18 Carlee Taylor (SA)    
19 Lisa Barry (NSW)    
20 Jenelle Crooks (Qld) 0:02:50  
21 Loren Rowney (Qld) 0:03:35  
22 Amy Bradley (Vic)    
23 Jessica Mundy (SA)    
24 Sarah Roy (NSW)    
25 Ellen Skerritt (Qld)    
26 Lucy Coldwell (Vic) 0:03:41  
27 Kate Finegan (Vic) 0:03:58  
28 Naomi Williams (Vic) 0:04:01  
29 Pippa Savage (Vic)    
30 Beth Duryea (Vic) 0:05:27  
31 Chloe Mcconville (Vic)    
32 Leonie Burford (WA)    
33 Lisa Hanley (Vic)    
34 Laura Meadley (ACT)    
35 Judith Louise Betts (Qld)    
36 Felicity Wardlaw (Vic)    
37 Cassandra Dodd (Qld)    
38 Clare Dallat (Vic) 0:06:01  
39 Rebecca Werner (SA) 0:06:43  
40 Tanya Freschi (SA) 0:09:10  
41 Lisa Keeling (ACT)    
42 Chloe Hosking (ACT)    
43 Kimberley Wells (ACT) 0:10:44  
44 Kristy Glover (Vic)    
45 Melina Bernecker (Vic)    
46 Victoria Luxton-Bain (Vic)    
47 Stephanie Ives (Vic)    
48 Jenni King (Vic) 0:10:47  
49 Crystal Wemyss (Vic) 0:11:19  
50 Sarah Riley (Vic) 0:13:37  
51 Nicole Whitburn (Vic)    
52 Brittany Lindores (Qld)    
53 Geraldine Blomfield-Brown (NSW)    
54 Kirsten Howard (NSW) 0:16:09  
DNF Bridie O'Donnell (Vic)    
DNF Jessie Maclean (ACT)    
DNF Lisa Jacobs (Vic)    
DNF Eliza Bergin (Vic)    
DNF Lucy Barker (SA)    
DNF Tegan Elferkh (ACT)    
DNF Claire Homsey (Vic)    
DNF Justyna Lubkowski (Vic)    
DNF Emma Mackie (NSW)    
DNF Chloe McIntosh (Vic)    
DNF Nikolina Orlic (Qld)    
DNF Alison Skinner (Vic)    
DNF Jessica Allen (Vic)    
DNF Hannah Geelan (SA)    
DNF Kendelle Hodges (Vic)    
DNF Kayla Salopek (NSW)    
DNF Mary Trumble (Vic)    
DNS Rochelle Gilmore (NSW)    
DNS Alexis Barnes (NSW)    
DNS Carley McKay (Vic)    
DNS Nicole McNamara (Vic)    
DNS Imogen Vize (NSW)    
Under-23 classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Emily Roper (Qld) 3:02:26  
2 Rebecca Henderson (ACT) 0:00:56  
3 Jenelle Crooks (Qld) 0:01:31  
4 Jessica Mundy (SA) 0:02:16  
5 Ellen Skerritt (Qld)    
6 Cassandra Dodd (Qld) 0:04:08  
DNF Jessica Allen (Vic)    
DNF Hannah Geelan (SA)    
DNF Kendelle Hodges (Vic)    
DNF Kayla Salopek (NSW)    
DNF Mary Trumble (Vic)    
Hill climb classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Lucy Coldwell (Vic) 9  pts
2 Joanne Hogan (Vic) 7  
3 Miranda Griffiths (Vic) 6  
4 Ruth Corset (Qld) 3  
5 Gracie Elvin (ACT) 2  
DNF Lisa Jacobs (Vic) 5  
DNF Jessie Maclean (Act) 4