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German takes overall win, Rhodes the criterium
Rhodes completes a solid week for the GreenEdge-AIS team.
The equation was simple at the start of the day for GreenEdge-AIS. The team had two riders in the picture for the overall, Judith Arndt, who won on Monday, and Amanda Spratt. Nothing less than the victory would suffice and to do that they had to unseat a stubborn Rebecca Werner (Specialized Women SA).
Werner to her credit was admirable in her defense of the overall. Despite being out numbered 3-1 woman to woman she rode like a rider possessed – covering everything, riding smart, and making good use of her teammates.
But it was tough going from the start for Werner. GreenEdge-AIS threw rider after rider up the road, Rowena Fry, Jessie Maclean even Spratt herself all had digs which caused massive carnage. Chloe Hosking and Liz Phillipou were quickly casualties on the fast Unley circuit which made the going no easier.
It was GreenEdge-AIS attack after attack, and each lap the field reduced. Jayco-AIS were also there with Sinead Noonan one of the most active from her team. But even with Loren Rowney pulling out the ride of the day, a GreenEdge-AIS move finally stuck, this time with Australian criterium champion Alexis Rhodes.
Rhodes soloed to the finish, with a determined five laps off the front, but it was the race behind that became the focus. Arndt launched her "diesel" sprint from about 500 metres to go to take second, with an exhausted Werner too far back.
“Yeah I’m not much of a sprinter, so it’s like my only tactic,” smiled Rhodes at the finish. “We had confidence in Judith so we just had to work to try and set her up in any way we could. The stage was a bonus.”
Arndt meanwhile was caught unawares that she'd even taken the overall.
"I won, did I?" she asked at the end of the race. "It's great, I'm really happy to have taken it. We really wanted to win today and to actually get it is a perfect end to the week. Now we're off to Qatar."
1. Alexis Rhodes (Aus) GreenEdge-AIS
2. Judith Arndt (Ger) GreenEdge-AIS
3. Loren Rowney (Aus) Specialized SA
1. Judith Arndt (Ger) GreenEdge-AIS