Former Olympic rower Amber Halliday has taken out the Mars Australian Women’s Time Trial title just 12 months after making her debut in the sport. Halliday posted a blistering time over the 28 kilometre course, breaking the 41 minute mark with a 40:57.1.
Halliday’s first competitive cycling race was the previous year’s time trial event. Today’s race was only Halliday’s sixth International Cycling Union ranked event, with the rider finishing fourth at last year’s Oceania Championship race, sixth at the Tour of Cong Ming Time Trial and winning the Tour of New Zealand.
“I was pretty much always going to retire after Beijing and I’ve always enjoyed riding my bike, it’s a big part of cross training for rowing, and I started to enjoy it a little bit too much towards the end of my rowing career,” she said. “
Bridie O’Donnell claimed second place just 4.3 seconds behind Halliday. While disappointed at not winning the title, the Oceania Time Trial Champion was delighted with the time she set over the course.
“Look, I’m really happy, I had an absolutely fantastic day,” said O’Donnell. “Nothing went wrong. I was actually just so excited to get to the line in good form.
“I’m disappointed I didn’t win, I wanted the jersey obviously,” she added. “To be beaten by four seconds, in a way that’s kind of a relief that I wasn’t miles away from the win. Amber’s been training specifically the way I have and then there’s a big gap to third place, so that’s satisfying too.”
Another contender for the title, Alexis Rhodes, withdrew from the race after just three kilometres. Rhodes was fined $100 by officials for unseemly behaviour when she threw her bike after flatting two tyres within the space of 50 metres.
“I may have had a bit of a dummy spit… there was a bit of bike throwing and bit of tantrum but I’m over it now,” said Rhodes.
South Australia’s Carly Light held off Vicki Whitelaw comfortably to secure the bronze medal.
Tomic on top in Under 23
West Australia’s Josephine Tomic put a niggling hip injury behind her to take a second Under 23 time trial championship victory. Making the victory all the more special for Tomic was the fact her decision to compete in the event was a late one.
“I love time trials, I’ve been doing time trials for quite a while,” she said. “Whenever I get on the start line, even if I haven’t had the best preparation, I just want to do my best and try to come away with the win. It’s a big relief.”
Tomic powered home ahead of South Australian Tiffany Cromwell, who admitted a day earlier she was unsure how she would fair in the race. Cromwell’s second place is a boost for the rider who lost her first ride with a European professional team when it collapsed last month.
“There were beautiful conditions out there today, I just didn’t have the pure power to match some of the stronger girls,” admitted Cromwell. “Apparently I started really strong but then lost time on some of the flatter sections. I’m very happy with today, it’s a great way to start the year.”
Australian Capital Territory rider Alexandra Carle claimed third in the Under 23 division.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Amber Halliday (SA)||0:40:57|
|2||Bridie O'Donnell (VIC)||0:00:04|
|3||Carly Light (SA)||0:01:02|
|4||Vicki Whitelaw (ACT)||0:01:27|
|5||Josephine Tomic (WA)||0:01:31|
|6||Shara Gillow (QLD)||0:01:41|
|7||Rachel Neylan (SA)||0:01:57|
|8||Tiffany Cromwell (SA)||0:02:18|
|9||Alexandra Carle (ACT)||0:02:31|
|10||Sarah Kent (WA)||0:02:41|
|11||Lisa Jacobs (VIC)||0:02:54|
|12||Simone Grounds (QLD)|
|13||Louise Kerr (QLD)||0:02:58|
|14||Rebecca Doolan (ACT)||0:02:59|
|15||Sarah Roy (NSW)||0:03:14|
|16||Bronwyn Ryan (ACT)||0:03:18|
|17||Nicole Whitburn (VIC)||0:03:19|
|18||Loren Rowney (QLD)||0:03:46|
|19||Stephanie Frawley (SA)||0:03:50|
|20||Rebecca Domange (VIC)||0:03:55|
|21||Tracey Gaudry (ACT)||0:04:07|
|22||Carlee Taylor (SA)||0:04:13|
|23||Kerry Knowler (ACT)||0:04:16|
|24||Rebecca Halliday (WA)|
|25||Zoe Appel (QLD)||0:04:27|
|26||Irene Digenis (VIC)||0:04:31|
|27||Myfanwy Galloway (ACT)||0:04:51|
|28||India McLean (NSW)||0:04:54|
|29||Melissa Hoskins (WA)|
|30||Anna Kauffmann (WA)||0:05:23|
|31||Rachel Rayner (VIC)||0:05:34|
|32||Sophie Ootes (SA)||0:06:12|
|33||Ingrid Trotter (VIC)||0:06:22|
|34||Sally Robbins (QLD)||0:06:33|
|35||Tamlyn Mathiske (QLD)||0:06:53|
|36||Susan Powell (ACT)||0:07:21|
|37||Vanessa Essam (ACT)||0:07:47|
|38||Carmen Gould (VIC)||0:08:22|
|39||Judith Cahill (VIC)||0:10:08|
|40||Stacey Cole (VIC)||0:11:17|
|DNF||Alexis Rhodes (SA)|