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January 1, Ritchie Boulevard Criterium:

Wells leads Specialized-Securitor to win over numerical might of Orica-AIS

By:
Jane Aubrey
Published:
January 1, 2013, 09:18,
Updated:
January 1, 2013, 12:56

Ewan proves 2012 was no fluke with victory in Geelong

Kimberley Wells (Specialized-Securitor) wins the women's race

Kimberley Wells (Specialized-Securitor) wins the women's race

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Her form had been an indicator that perhaps she was in with a shot this week, but Kimberley Wells (Specialized-Securitor) caused somewhat of an upset by claiming the win from her highly-fancied rivals in race one of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic on New Year's Day in Geelong.

Wells got the better of defending champion Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) in the final metres of the hotdog criterium, with three-time series winner Rochelle Gilmore (Wiggle-Honda) trailing in third.

The women's field is one of the strongest assembled in years and the way the race played out, with no one able to get much of an advantage of the field, was an indicator both of that strength and the boost that the competition has got via the Australian National Road Series. According to Gilmore, the three-race series in 2013, as opposed to four and five in previous years, means that there is little time to waste.

"Wells, 27, was involved in the most serious crashes of the race, with the race neutralised shortly after the first sprint but it was no impediment to her progression.

"You certainly had to have your wits about you," Wells admitted following her victory. "We were bouncing all over the place and I was involved in one of the crashes - I smashed my ankle into the fence - but that just gave me enough adrenaline to just jump in there and use the GreenEdge girls to my advantage. Let's face it; they're a really strong team. I still had my girls out there just attacking and attacking on the front... It was pretty exciting for us."

Orica-AIS had seven women on the start line with Loes Gunnewijk, Jessie Maclean, Amanda Spratt and Shara Gillow joining Hoskins as a team, while Tiffany Cromwell and Gracie Elvin were individual entrants. As a group, they dominated the race, spending plenty of time at the front of the peloton driving the pace but their efforts could only deliver Hoskins to second place.

Wells, 2011 winner of the Tour de Femme, admitted that she felt like an "imposter" against some of the women in the field but was glad to have any doubts melt away once the racing began. Heading into the season opener, Wells had looked strong at the NSW Grand Prix Series and the Noosa Criterium but the result on Tuesday evening could prove influential.

"Coming into today I was feeling really nervous because it's a real step up in the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic... It makes you nervous seeing all that green and blue in the front."

It was the same form that had caught the eye of Hoskins who knew that Wells was a potential threat. Hoskins had been unsure of her form heading into the first big event of the season, but was relieved to have the support of her teammates which allowed her to "sit in" and bide her time.

"You're damned if you do and damned if you don't," Hoskins told Cyclingnews. "If you can't finish it off you can't finish it off regardless of how many teammates you've got."

The race was also a landmark for Rochelle Gilmore's new Wiggle Honda outfit, their first. Gilmore was another of the big names unsure of what was in the tank but the Australian was relieved to come up with a podium, first time out of the blocks.

"I'm definitely proud of what we achieved today, we were in the mix," Gilmore told Cyclingnews. "You could probably say that I let them down today just at the finish. I came in third and I think that's hugely due to last-minute getting the team prepared and playing the double role of manager and rider. In saying that I definitely think that as I get older the second and third days will be my strongest days."

Wells holds a two-point advantage over Hoskins heading into race two on Wednesday in Portarlington, with the latter hopeful of finding her "goat legs" to tackle the traditionally tough circuit.

Ewan proves 2012 was no fluke

In the men's event, 18-year-old Caleb Ewan (Bikebug) chased down what looked to be a successful breakaway from Tom Scully (Grays online / NZ Jerry Stock) and Jens Mouris (Orica-GreenEdge) on the final bend to show that he is once again ready for the challenge against some of the older, more experienced heads of the peloton. Ewan won two of the four events in the 2012 series, to finished just one point overall behind eventual winner, Allan Davis, in his breakthrough showing.

Greg Henderson (Degani Bakery Cafe) dominated the opening 20 minutes of the race, soloing ahead of the field in a bid to try and replicate his 2012 victory on the fast circuit, before eventually being reeled in. The Kiwi had a second surge to ensure he took the second sprint of the evening but with the pressure off for the few seconds after Henderson crossed the line, his compatriot Tom Scully took the opportunity to gun for the race lead. It was short-lived but just the opening salvo from Scully who would try again later.

Orica GreenEdge's Mitch Docker claimed the photo finish over Ewan's teammate Jack Edwards in the third sprint - a partial reward for the mountain of effort both Luke Durbridge and Mouris were doing on the front of the bunch. With that over and done with, it was Scully's turn to put the after burners on once again, but this time, Mouris would be in pursuit.

The pair would open up a gap which maxed out at seven seconds before Ewan's three-time Australian Criterium Champion teammate, Jonathan Cantwell started pulling the strings ensuring the teenager was in the right spot to make his move.

"Five laps out I didn't think we could bring them back, there wasn't really a big organised chase, just the Drapac guy [Robbie Hucker] sitting on the front and I knew once he blew there were two GreenEdge guys and I knew they wouldn't chase... Jonny got on the front and drilled it," Ewan explained.

It was enough to bridge the gap and as the bell lap sounded, Ewan put the hammer down and was soon on Mouris' back wheel. The Dutchman was falling foul of his breakaway companion for not sharing the workload

"I was never really sure if we were going to make it," Mouris told Cyclingnews. Big in stature, Mouris has a habit of getting away in criteriums and has once again spent his pre-season in Australia racing the New South Wales Grand Prix and the weekly series at Heffron Park in Sydney.

"I gambled on the last lap and didn't take any turns any more, I just tried to hit it into the last corner," he shrugged.

While that battle ensued, Ewan made contact on the final corner accelerating into open space to comfortably take the win. Having just ben agonisingly short of the overall series victory art his first attempt last season, Ewan wrestled with the pros and cons of a three-race series this time around.

"Getting the yellow jersey now I think it will be a bit easier to keep it until stage three [rather] than stage four," he said. "I really like the Bay Crits and it's a shame they cut it back to three but it's probably better for me."

Results - Elite men

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Bikebug 1:00:21  
2 Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge    
3 Thomas Scully (Aus) Grays Online    
4 Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team    
5 Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café    
6 Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional    
7 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
8 Simon Yates (GBr) Great Britain National Team 0:00:03  
9 Brenton Jones (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys    
10 Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys 0:00:06  
11 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Bikebug    
12 Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts    
13 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:10  
14 Shannon Johnson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
15 Rico Rogers (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
16 Samuel Witmitz (Aus) Team SASI    
17 James Boal (Aus) Target - Trek Racing    
18 Josh Atkins (NZl) Grays Online    
19 Michael Northey (NZl) Grays Online    
20 James Oram (NZl) Grays Online    
21 Vaughan Bowman (Aus) Target - Trek Racing 0:00:16  
22 Blair Windsor (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts 0:00:22  
23 Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT 0:00:26  
24 Robert-Jon Mccarthy (Aus) Team SASI 0:00:29  
25 Harry Carpenter (Aus) Team SASI    
26 Scott Law (Aus) GPM /Data #3 0:00:35  
DNF Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
DNF Alex Edmondson (Aus) Orica GreenEdge    
DNF Stuart Grimsey (NZl) Grays Online    
DNF Alastair Slater (GBr) Great Britain National Team    
DNF Samuel Lowe (GBr) Great Britain National Team    
DNF Christopher Latham (GBr) Great Britain National Team    
DNF Richard Handley (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT    
DNF Aaron Buggle (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT    
DNF Luke Grivell-Mellor (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT    
DNF Felix English (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT    
DNF Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys    
DNF Tom Robinson (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys    
DNF Jack Beckinsale (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys    
DNF Luke Davison (Aus) Drapac Professional    
DNF Robbie Hucker (Aus) Drapac Professional    
DNF John Walker (Aus) Drapac Professional    
DNF Malcolm Rudolph (Aus) Drapac Professional    
DNF Alex Wohler (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts    
DNF Jesse Kerrison (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts    
DNF Peter Loft (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts    
DNF Dean Windsor (Aus) Degani Bakery Café    
DNF Koen De Kort (Aus) Degani Bakery Café    
DNF Peter English (Aus) Degani Bakery Café    
DNF Ryan Macanally (Aus) Degani Bakery Café    
DNF Joseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #3    
DNF Joshua Taylor (Aus) GPM /Data #3    
DNF Julian Hamill (Aus) GPM /Data #3    
DNF Caleb Jones (Aus) GPM /Data #3    
DNF James Butler (Aus) Target - Trek Racing    
DNF Dean Sanfilippo (Aus) Target - Trek Racing    
DNF Nicholas D'ambrosio (Aus) Target - Trek Racing    
DNF George Tansley (Aus) Team SASI    
DNF Russell Gill (Aus) Team SASI    
DNF Jayden Copp (Aus) Pro Team Downunder    
DNF Sean Whitfield (Aus) Pro Team Downunder    
DNF Jake Klajnblat (Aus) Pro Team Downunder    
DNF Alexander Smyth (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
DNF Dean Heathcote (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
DNF Craig Johnson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
DNF Jack Edwards (Aus) Bikebug    
DNF Richard Lang (Aus) Bikebug    
DNF James Mowatt (Aus) Bikebug    
Intermediate Sprint 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café 3  pts
2 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 2  
3 Joseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #3 1  
Intermediate Sprint 2
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café 3  pts
2 Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team 2  
3 Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts 1  
Intermediate Sprint 3
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 3  pts
2 Jack Edwards (Aus) Bikebug 2  
3 Vaughan Bowman (Aus) Target - Trek Racing 1  
General Classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Bikebug 12  pts
2 Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge 10  
3 Thomas Scully (Aus) Grays Online 8  
4 Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team 7  
5 Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café 6  
6 Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional 5  
7 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 4  
8 Simon Yates (GBr) Great Britain National Team 3  
9 Brenton Jones (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys 2  
10 Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys 1  
Sprint Ace Competition
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café 6  pts
2 Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 5  
3 Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team 2  
4 Jack Edwards (Aus) Bikebug 2  
5 Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts 1  
6 Vaughan Bowman (Aus) Target - Trek Racing 1  
7 Joseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #3 1  
Teams Classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Orica Greenedge 14  pts
2 Bikebug 12  
3 Great Britain National Team 10  
4 Grays Online 8  
5 Degani Bakery Café 6  
6 Drapac Professional 5  
7 Huon Salmon - Genesys 3  

Results - Elite women

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kimberley Wells (Aus) Specialized Securitor 0:45:54  
2 Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS    
3 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Wiggle Honda    
4 Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor    
5 Nicole Whitburn (Aus) Liv / Giant    
6 Peta Mullens (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek    
7 Sarah Roy (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega 0:00:04  
8 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS 0:00:05  
9 Jenny Macpherson (Aus) Liv / Giant 0:00:06  
10 Kirsty Glover (Aus) 0:00:08  
11 Taryn Heather (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women    
12 Naomi Williams (Aus) Liv / Giant    
13 Chloe Mcconville (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women    
14 Gracie Elvin (Aus)    
15 Carla Ryan (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega    
16 Jenni King (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek    
17 Grace Sulzberger (Aus)    
18 Amy Bradley (Aus) Specialized Securitor    
19 Judith Louise Betts (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega    
20 Miranda Griffiths (Aus)    
21 Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda 0:00:13  
22 Hayley Jones (Aus) 0:00:15  
23 Lucy Coldwell (Aus)    
24 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) 0:00:18  
25 Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AIS 0:00:21  
26 Jessica Mundy (Aus) Wiggle Honda 0:00:25  
27 Anna Bianca Schnitzmeier (Ger) Wiggle Honda    
28 Jessie Maclean (Aus) Orica - AIS 0:00:50  
29 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - AIS 0:00:56  
30 Emily Collins (Aus) Wiggle Honda    
DNF Kendelle Hodges (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women    
DNF Jessica Allen (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women    
DNF Emma Bilston (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women    
DNF Gayle Brownlee (Aus) Liv / Giant    
DNF Claire Morgan (Aus) Liv / Giant    
DNF Emma Mackie (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega    
DNF Brittany Lindores (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega    
DNF Rebecca Henderson (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek    
DNF Holly Harris (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek    
DNF Rebecca Werner (Aus) Specialized Securitor    
DNF Carla Franson (Aus) Specialized Securitor    
DNF Sophie Williamson (NZl) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
DNF Sequoia Cooper (NZl) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
DNF Grace Phang (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
DNF Josie Simpson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
DNF Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing    
DNF Leonie Burford (Aus)    
DNF Lara Batkin (Aus)    
DNF Holly Hawtin (Aus)    
DNF Ruby Greig-Hurtig (Aus)    
DNF Nina Greig-Towers (Aus)    
DNF Stephanie Ives (Aus)    
Intermediate Sprint 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS 3  pts
2 Gracie Elvin 2  
3 Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AIS 1  
Intermediate Sprint 2
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor 3  pts
2 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) 2  
3 Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS 1  
General Classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kimberley Wells (Aus) Specialized Securitor 12  pts
2 Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS 10  
3 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Wiggle Honda 8  
4 Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor 7  
5 Nicole Whitburn (Aus) Liv / Giant 6  
6 Peta Mullens (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek 5  
7 Sarah Roy (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega 4  
8 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS 3  
9 Jenny Macpherson (Aus) Liv / Giant 2  
10 Kirsty Glover (Aus) 1  
Sprint Ace Competition
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor 3  pts
2 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS 3  
3 Gracie Elvin (Aus) 2  
4 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) 2  
5 Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS 1  
6 Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AIS 1  
Teams Classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Specialized Securitor 19  pts
2 Orica - AIS 13  
3 Liv / Giant 8  
4 Wiggle Honda 8  
5 Anytime Fitness Trek 5  
6 Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega 4  

For more about this week's racing see Cycling News HD