Brown out-paces class field to take series lead

Defending champ in fine form as he holds off Goss, McEwen

Graeme Brown (Urban Hotels) might have been feeling average early in the race, but the sprint that claimed him the opening stage of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic looked anything but. The defending champion proved too strong as he claimed victory over Matthew Goss (Team Degani Cycling Café) and Robbie McEwen (Mazda).

"I thought we were coming in for a ProTour stage win: you’ve got Greg Henderson leading out Robbie McEwen, so it’s a pretty classy field," said Brown, as the size of his accomplishment dawned on him. "I’m pretty - actually, I'm very happy to win that stage."

"I hit out a bit early, I knew that was my advantage in getting a jump," he added.
"It was a pretty solid race. I thought I could just sit at the back like I did last year until the sprint, but given the groups going I thought a few times that the moves had gone."

Riders were eager to get the shortened 50 minute race underway, with McEwen even providing his own starting commentary to Jack Bobridge while they waited for the gun. An accident in the women’s race prior to the men’s event forced a delay as organisers waited on the arrival of a replacement ambulance.

When action finally commenced it was clear that a quick race would ensue, with a fast pace set from the outset. James Langedyk (Jayco VIS) was quick to build the foundations of a break on the second lap, with the local rider quickly joined by Daniel Braunsteins (Team Degani Cycling Café) and Malcolm Rudolph (Jayco Skins).

The effort didn’t last as a surge to collect intermediate sprint points quickly followed, but it did set a precedent for what became an attacking race. Brown claimed the first sprint points on offer, with Patrick Drapac (Drapac Porsche) and Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) filling the placings.

What looked to be a definitive move appeared quickly after the first intermediate sprint, with a group of 10 moving off the front and taking a solid lead from a hard-chasing peloton. With names like Brett Lancaster (Jayco VIS), Baden Cooke (Skilled/Lowe Farms), Mitchell Docker (Urban Hotels), Blair Windsor (Budget Forklifts), Zakkari Dempster (Skilled/Lowe Farms) and Jackson Law (NSW IS) involved, the notion of a successful break was being considered by commentators and fans alike.

The bunch stayed away as Docker claimed the second intermediate sprint ahead of Law and Cooke. Its gap quickly deteriorated however after the sprint and soon it was grupetto compacto. Johnnie Walker (Team Degani Cycling Café) was the next to slip away, this time in a solo move, but with the third intermediate sprint approaching the sprinter’s interests shut down Walker’s hopes.

Rudolph won the third sprint from Kris Koke (Urban Hotels) and Dale Parker (SASI Team O’Grady). Budget Forklifts again tried its chances with a breakaway only to be denied, leaving Jordan Kerby (John Trevorrow Cycle/Chifley Hotel) to make the final ill-fated attack of the race.

As Brown launched his successful sprint Henderson said he was blocked while leading out McEwen. That didn’t seem to faze the Queenslander, however, with McEwen delighted to finish on the podium at his first race back following an injury plagued 2009.

"Third is a good result for my first race back," said McEwen. "I was actually suffering; I was in a bit of trouble, not having the race intensity. I’m just hoping
I can build on today’s result over the next couple of days and just increase my fitness."

Dream run continues for Gilmore

The Honda Dream Team celebrated its second victory from as many races after sprinter Rochelle Gilmore claimed the opening Jayco Bay Cycling Classic stage. Gilmore held off Chloe Hosking (MB Cycles) and defending series champion Kristy Broun (Jayco AIS) in the final sprint to claim the victory.

The victory was Gilmore’s second since Honda Dream Team’s creation in early December, with the Sydney rider taking her maiden victory at Cronulla Grand Prix last month. Aiding Gilmore’s string of results is a revised training program that’s aimed at allowing her to achieve her peak speed once more.

"We were really unsure whether the start of my training program would bring me out on top or if I’d be struggling to adapt, but it’s a good start," said Gilmore. "To win here today and know that I’m on track, I know I’m still not anywhere near the top, but it’s a very good start."

Honda showed its strength early in the race, chasing down a solo break away by Isabella King (Plan B Racing). With King and pursuer Naomi Williams (Team Degani) neutralised, Gilmore took the sprints classification lead as she won the first intermediate sprint ahead of team-mate Peta Mullens and Helen Kelly (Jayco VIS/NSWIS).

"It was a really big risk contesting the sprints, because all the other sprinters contest them and it does take a lot out of your legs," said Gilmore. "It was a bit of a gamble but at the same time I didn’t give 100 per cent for them, especially the second one when I pulled up short. The main focus was always the finish."

The peloton remained together over the remaining laps with the Honda Dream Team always present near the peloton’s head, as was Tess Downing (Jayco VIS/NSWIS).
Downing’s team-mate Ashlee Ankudinoff made the most of her work to power forward and claim the second intermediate sprint ahead of Gilmore and Downing with four laps remaining.

The Honda Dream Team set-up its win by placing Tiffany Cromwell, who had crashed earlier in the race, and Josephine Tomic in control of the peloton entering the last lap. The team’s organisation at the front of the peloton also ensured none of its riders were involved in the last-lap crash that claimed several riders, including Jenny MacPherson (Race) and Shannon McCurley (Jayco VIS/NSWIS).

After receiving treatment for a deep laceration by medical personnel, McCurely was transferred by ambulance to the local hospital. While her injuries were not considered serious, it’s believed she will not contest the remainder of the series.

Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Graeme Brown (Urban Hotels)  
2Matthew Goss (Team Degani Cycling Cafe)  
3Robbie McEwen (Mazda)  
4Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms)  
5Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers)  
6Rico Rodgers (Total Rush)  
7Leigh Howard (Jayco VIS)  
8Baden Cooke (Skilled/Lowe Farms)  
9Greg Henderson (Mazda)  
10Koen de Kort (O2 Networks)  
Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rochelle Gilmore (Honda Dream Team)  
2Chloe Hosking (MB Cycles)  
3Kirsty Broun (Jayco AIS)  
4Peta Mullens (Honda Dream Team)  
5Megan Dunn (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)  
6Isabella King (Plan B Racing)  
7Rowena Fry (Team Degani)  
8Nicole Whitburn  
9Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)  
10Liza Rachetto (Pitcher Partners)  
Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rochelle Gilmore (Honda Dream Team)  
2Peta Mullens (Honda Dream Team)  
3Helen Kelly (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)  
Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)  
2Rochelle Gilmore (Honda Dream Team)  
3Tess Downing (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)  
General Classification after Stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Graeme Brown (Urban Hotels)  
2Matthew Goss (Team Degani Cycling Cafe)  
3Robbie McEwen (Mazda)  
4Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms)  
5Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers)  
6Rico Rodgers (Total Rush)  
7Leigh Howard (Jayco VIS)  
8Baden Cooke (Skilled/Lowe Farms)  
9Greg Henderson (Mazda)  
10Koen de Kort (O2 Networks)  
Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rochelle Gilmore (Honda Dream Team)  
2Chloe Hosking (MB Cycles)  
3Kirsty Broun (Jayco AIS)  
4Peta Mullens (Honda Dream Team)  
5Megan Dunn (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)  
6Isabella King (Plan B Racing)  
7Rowena Fry (Team Degani)  
8Nicole Whitburn  
9Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)  
10Liza Rachetto (Pitcher Partners)  

 

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