Hometown hero Nettie Edmondson (Wiggle High5) delighted the crowds gathered around Rymill Park in Adelaide on Sunday as she sprinted to victory on the second stage of the Santos Women's Tour. Edmondson's last lead-out rider, Chloe Hosking, gave a powerful pull and hung on for second. The all-Australian podium was rounded out by Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS).
"It was amazing," said Edmondson in a post-race interview with race announcer David McKenzie. "I was just talking to Lizzie then, and she said the only way they could beat us was to hit us early."
"[Orica-AIS] got us in the back corner. Luckily Chloe Hosking, my last lead-out girl, was switched on. She got straight on the wheel, and it all worked out for us."
Edmondson's win came from a decimated bunch. A crash on the penultimate lap of the 12-lap, 20.4-kilometre race caused the peloton to split to bits. Race leader Katrin Garfoot appeared to be in difficultly with two laps left but managed to fight back before the finish to cross the line in seventh place, one second back, to hang onto the blue leader's jersey.
The women's race served as an appetizer to the Down Under Classic, finishing an hour before the start of the men's pre-Tour Down Under race. Edmondson expressed gratitude for the crowds that gathered early to watch the Santos Women's Tour.
"Thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting the women," said an over-joyed Edmondson. "This is really, really cool."
How the race unfolded
The second stage of the Santos Women's Tour covered only 20-kilometres. A short stage made for a fast race – even before the late race crash split the field.
Edmondson's Wiggle High5 squad was one of four squads most prominently featured on the front during the 28-minute effort. Garfoot's Orica-AIS teammates, Cylance Cycling and High5 Dream Team all took turns at the head of affairs.
Both Minda Murray (Rush) and Lynne Clark (Boss Racing Team) took their chances in solo breakaway moves. Both attempts were short-lived.
A straightforward sprint looked inevitable until a crash on lap ten caused chaos and splits. A strung out peloton snaked its away across the finish line for two laps left to race with more than half the peloton scrambling in its wake.
Edmondson was unfazed by the chaos behind here. Her teammates were in complete control.
"I could sit back and let my teammates do all the work," said Edmondson. "They came back and found me when they needed me, and yeah, I didn't have to do much. I just had to hold onto the wheel and sprint."
Edmondson's sprint was so powerful and the response so swift that the top four gapped the remainder of the field. A group of eight led home by Lauren Kitchen (Hitec Products) finished on one second. The next group of eight was on four seconds. And so the splits continued all the way down the results.
The Santos Women's Tour continues on Monday with the Lyndoch Circuit. Garfoot will start the 100.8-kilometre road stage in the Barossa Valley in the blue leader’s jersey tied on time with Kitchen in second and Shelley Olds (Cylance Cycling) in third.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Annette Edmondson (Wiggle High5)||0:28:18|
|2||Chloe Hosking (Wiggle High5)|
|3||Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS)|
|4||Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)|
|5||Lauren Kitchen (HiTec Products)|
|6||Tiffany Cromwell (Sasi)|
|7||Katrin Garfoot (Orica-AIS)|
|8||Shelley Olds (Cylance Pro Cycling)|
|9||Danielle King (Wiggle High5)|
|10||Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS)|