Mum Corset takes out national title

Emotional O'Donnell holds off Arndt for second

Ruth Corset (Tibco) broke away with just over a lap remaining to claim a solo victory in the Australian Women’s Road Championship race. Corset kept her head down all the way to the finish, not celebrating until well after she had crossed the finish line for one final time.

“I wanted this more than anything, it’s been my goal for a while and I’m just so glad, so glad that I got it finally,” said Corset. “It was quite hot so it was very, very hard conditions. I’m from Townsville and it’s quite humid there, so I’m not as used to the dry heat.

“The last few laps I was just throwing up and couldn’t hold anything down,” she added. “The last lap was just so hard my legs were cramping but I just gritted my teeth and went for it.”

Behind her Bridie O’Donnell attacked breakaway mates Judith Arndt and Rachel Neylan until her fellow Australian was dropped off the back. As O’Donnell powered down the home straight, Germany’s Arndt showed her class by not challenging her in a two-up sprint, instead sitting on and allowing O’Donnell to claim silver.

“This is really the reward of my hard work and all the hard work of the great people that I have helping me out,” said O’Donnell. “I think that’s been my other problem in the past, I can’t hold my nerves long enough so I want to go and I don’t wait for the race to unfold. Today my biggest job was to let the race unfold. I had no teammates here to I just wanted to see who would do the work, try to hold my nerve then be as aggressive as possible."

O’Donnell described the efforts of Arndt not to play a roll in the race outcome over the final laps as being behaviour of a consummate professional. “To her credit, when I caught up to her and Rachel she then sat behind the two of us,” said O’Donnell. “When I attacked Rachel, she sat behind Rachel, she didn’t interfere with any of that. Then when, and this is my understanding, when she could see that Rachel was not going to bridge across to me she then followed my move.”

A seven strong breakaway on the opening lap made it look as if the women’s race would be aggressive from the outset. All that changed however when Arndt stormed from the field, dragging out a large margin of over 2:10 minutes over the peloton.

Arndt was riding tempo up the Buninyong climb, making it look as though the race was hers to take if she wanted it. While some riders had dropped out the rear of the peloton, including Shara Gillow due to a mechanical, it wasn’t until the fifth lap that racing recommenced in earnest.

As the pace was increased a group of around 13 riders slipped away from the front of the peloton in pursuit of Arndt. They included Vicki Whitelaw, O’Donnell, Lisa Jacobs, Sarah Roy, Louise Kerr, Corset, Tiffany Cromwell, Loren Rowney, Megan Dunn, Angela McClure and Peta Mullens.

Neylan attacked the chase group with just over three laps remaining and successfully bridged to Arndt over the following three kilometres. Neylan’s move forced the national jersey contenders to react and with the laps winding down Emma Mackie set-up an attack for her Tibco teammate, Corset, to counter.

Corset joined Arndt and Neylan as they entered the second last lap. Two kilometres later, as the chase group hit the Buninyong climb for the penultimate time, O’Donnell stepped on the accelerator and joined the leaders.

Corset made her move as the race entered it’s final lap, her strength too much for O’Donnell or Neylan to match. While O’Donnell was hurting she could hear Neylan's laboured breathing, so started attacking her compatriot in order to secure a position amongst the medals.

O’Donnell, who claimed two silver medals at this year’s national titles, was emotional when congratulating Corset on her victory. “I must say that I’m really so thrilled that Ruth won,” said O’Donnell. “She’s a wonderful woman, a really classy bike rider. I really respect her and I’m really happy for her and her family that all this hard work has paid off. It’s fantastic for her.” 

Sprint sensation Megan Dunn showed she’s not just a fast finisher by winning the Under-23 women’s national title. Tiffany Cromwell added another silver medal to her collection after finishing runner-up in the division, having done much of the work chasing down Arndt. Queensland’s Loren Rowney finished in third place.


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruth Corset (QLD)3:10:09 
2Bridie O'Donnell (VIC)0:00:18 
3Judith Arndt (Ger)  
4Rachel Neylan (SA)0:00:42 
5Vicki Whitelaw (ACT)0:01:08 
6Amanda Spratt (NSW)0:01:57 
7Megan Dunn (NSW)  
8Joanne Hogan (VIC)  
9Amber Halliday (SA)0:02:00 
10Tiffany Cromwell (SA)  
11Lisa Jacobs (VIC)0:02:39 
12Alexis Rhodes (SA)0:03:20 
13Laura Luxford (QLD)0:03:33 
14Sarah Roy (NSW)0:04:07 
15Loren Rowney (QLD)  
16Emma Mackie (NSW)0:05:12 
17Rebecca Locke (VIC)0:06:06 
18Peta Mullens (VIC)  
19Angela Mcclure (SA)0:09:09 
20Stephanie Mcgrath (VIC)  
21Laura Meadley (ACT)0:09:52 
22Irene Digenis (VIC)0:10:02 
23Louise Kerr (QLD)0:10:38 
24Alexandra Carle (ACT)0:11:31 
25Shara Gillow (QLD)0:14:08 
26Rebecca Domange (VIC)0:15:35 
27Kendelle Hodges (VIC)0:15:44 
28Simone Grounds (QLD)0:16:35 
29Sarah-Jeanne Fraser (WA)0:17:48 
DNFSally Robbins (QLD)  
DNFIndia Mclean (NSW)  
DNFRebecca Halliday (WA)  
DNFAnna Kauffmann (WA)  
DNFFelicity Wilson (VIC)  
DNFRachel Rayner (VIC)  
DNFClare Dallat (VIC)  
DNFRadele Berriman (VIC)  
DNFLeigh-Anne Dynon (VIC)  
DNFKate Finegan (NSW)  
DNFElizabeth Georgouras (SA)  
DNFVictoria Luxton (VIC)  
DNFTracey Gaudry (ACT)  
DNFSarah Kent (WA)  
DNFMelissa Hoskins (WA)  
DNFBeth Canny (VIC)  
DNFRebecca Henderson (ACT)  
DNFChloe Hosking (ACT)  
DNFJasmin Hurikino (QLD)  
DNFCarly Mccoombe (VIC)  
DNFRebecca Werner (SA)  
DNFBronwyn Ryan (ACT)  
DNFJessie Maclean (ACT)  
DNFKerry Knowler (ACT)  
DNFNicole Whitburn (VIC)  
DNFCarly Light (SA)  
DNFMerissa Cunningham (QLD)  
DNFSue Forsyth (NSW)  
DNFRochelle Gilmore (NSW)  
DNFNatalie Langer (QLD)  
DNFJenny Macpherson (VIC)  
DNFChloe Mcconville (VIC)  
DNFJodie Willett (MTB)  
DNFLiz Young (QLD)  
DNFBelinda Goss (VIC)  
DNFJosephine Tomic (WA)  
DNFZoe Appel (QLD)  
DNFCarlee Taylor (SA)  
DNFMyfanwy Galloway (ACT)  
DNFAshlee Ankudinoff (NSW)  
DNFLauren Kitchen (NSW)  
DNFChloe Mcintosh (VIC)  
DNSKathryn Watt (VIC)  
DNSImogen Vize (NSW)  
DNSJoanna Somerville (NSW)  
DNSAmy Bradley (VIC)  
DNSKirsty Broun (QLD)  
DNSDavina Summers (WA)  
DNSSara Vidakovich (HUN)  
Under 23
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Megan Dunn (NSW)  
2Tiffany Cromwell (SA)  
3Loren Rowney (QLD)  
4Peta Mullens (VIC)  
5Angela Mcclure (SA)  
6Alexandra Carle (ACT)  
7Kendelle Hodges (VIC)  
DNFSarah Kent (WA)  
DNFMelissa Hoskins (WA)  
DNFBeth Canny (VIC)  
DNFRebecca Henderson (ACT)  
DNFChloe Hosking (ACT)  
DNFJasmin Hurikino (QLD)  
DNFCarly Mccoombe (VIC)  
DNFRebecca Werner (SA)  
DNFJosephine Tomic (WA)  
DNFZoe Appel (QLD)  
DNFCarlee Taylor (SA)  
DNFMyfanwy Galloway (ACT)  
DNFAshlee Ankudinoff (NSW)  
DNFLauren Kitchen (NSW)  
DNFChloe Mcintosh (VIC)  
DNSSara Vidakovich (HUN)  


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