Rebecca Wiasak successfully defended her criterium title in the elite/under-23 women's race at the Australian Road National Championships in Ballarat, Victoria, on Friday evening, beating Mitchelton-Scott's Sarah Roy and 20-year-old Ruby Roseman-Gannon in a bunch sprint.
After a relatively gentle start to the 40-lap, 44-kilometre-long race, it was Tibco-SVB's Brodie Chapman who got things moving, opening the floodgates to a flurry of attacks, with Chapman remaining active throughout the race.
Mitchelton-Scott's Amanda Spratt and teammate Roy made regular surges at the front of the race, and they showed themselves to be the strongest team in the race when Roy got across to an attack by Spratt with 14 laps to go, with Peta Mullens (Roxsolt Attaquer) and Matilda Raynolds (Specialized Women's Racing) quick to join them, followed by Raynolds' teammate Ashlee Ankudinoff and defending champion Wiasak.
The break was reeled back in with 11 laps left to race of the 1.1km circuit in central Ballarat, when Chapman again went on the attack, joined by Mullens and Jess Allen (Mitchelton-Scott).
The trio had maintained a small gap with nine laps left, with Spratt bringing the bunch back towards them, causing Allen and Mullens to jump again, and they still had a gap with six laps to go.
Mullens and Spratt continued to stay active as things came back together in the closing laps, but as the bell rang to indicate the final lap, it was all together, and a bunch sprint appeared to be on the cards.
Wiasak led into the final corner, and jumped for the line, holding off the bunch and in fact creating a small gap, winning ahead of Roy and Roseman-Gannon, with Raynolds taking fourth and Trek-Segafredo's Lauratta Hanson rounding out the top five.
"I was a marked rider, but I was thrilled to be able to mark all the moves," Wiasak told SBS after her victory. "It was pretty windy out there, but it worked for me to go early from the last corner and to win the bunch sprint, and take the title for a second year."
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Rebecca Wiasak (Aus)||1:11:50|
|2||Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott||0:00:01|
|3||Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Aus)|
|4||Matilda Raynolds (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|5||Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Trek Segafredo|
|6||Natalie Redmond (Aus)|
|7||Ashlee Ankudinoff (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|8||Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon//SRAM Racing|
|9||Georgia Whitehouse (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade|
|10||Emily Watts (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade|
|11||Grounds Simone (Aus)|
|12||Anya Louw (Aus) TIS Womens Racing Team|
|13||Kirsty Deacon (Aus) KOM Financial Advice Racing Team|
|14||Annelise Jefferies (Aus) KOM Financial Advice Racing Team|
|15||Veronica Lebedev (Aus) Gusto StepFWD KOM powered by Suzuki|
|16||Elizabeth Stannard (Aus) Gusto StepFWD KOM powered by Suzuki||0:00:06|
|17||Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||0:00:08|
|18||Brodie Chapman (Aus) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|
|19||Sarah Gigante (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer|
|20||Josie Talbot (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer|
|21||Anna Booth (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade||0:00:10|
|22||Jessica Allen (Aus) Mitchelton Scott||0:00:11|
|23||Taryn Heather (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing||0:00:15|
|24||Holly Harris (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|25||Emma Viotto (Aus)||0:00:18|
|26||Peta Mullens (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer||0:00:24|
|DNF||Nicola Macdonald (Aus) Gusto StepFWD KOM powered by Suzuki|
|DNF||Jessica Mundy (Aus) Gusto StepFWD KOM powered by Suzuki|
|DNF||Jemma Eastwood (Aus) Gusto StepFWD KOM powered by Suzuki|
|DNF||Ella Bloor (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|DNF||Briony Mattocks (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|DNF||Jennifer Darmody (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade|
|DNF||Emma Chilton (Aus) Roxsolt Attaquer|
|DNF||Nicole Frain (Aus) TIS Womens Racing Team|
|DNF||Bridget Bremner (Aus) Vie13KOM|
|DNF||Minda Murray (Aus) Rush Women's Team|
|DNF||Jordyn Hassett (Aus)|
|DNF||Kerry Jonker (Aus)|
|DNF||Maddison Taylor (Aus)|
|DNF||Chloe Heffernan (Aus)|
|DNF||Eloise Vaughan (Aus)|
|DNF||Jessie Sawyer (Aus)|
|DNF||Emily Mascaro (Aus)|
|DNS||Shannon Malseed (Aus) Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank|