Bay Classic final stage showdown looms in Williamstown

The ultra flat and fast Williamstown circuit is set to deliver a thrilling finish for the 2012 Jayco Bay Series Cycling Classic on Wednesday afternoon with the overall lead yet to be wrapped up after three days of racing.

In the women's event, current yellow jersey holder, GreenEdge-AIS' Melissa Hoskins with 22 points has a slender one-point advantage over fellow speedster Chloe Hosking (Total Rush - Hyster). While Hoskings' teammate Loren Rowney has been consistent, Hoskins' advantage lies in the strength of her teammates with Amanda Spratt and Tiffany Cromwell, placed third and fourth respectively and also in top form.

"We've done everything we've come here for," Hoskins said of the race so far. "Tomorrow will be another big day, we've got to hold onto it."

Asked if she could hold on to her position, Hoskins was adamant. "For sure we've got the team to do it and we've proven it, we're the strongest team here by far."

Hoskins made sure she finished in front of Hosking on stage 3, perhaps to gain the mental edge required for the task at hand. Her seventh placing was enough to put her on the podium for the first time at the event.

"Even if I don't get an individual win, we've still got a team one and we're showing why we're a strong team," Hoskins said.

In the men's event, Mitchelton Wineries - Lowe Farms' Allan Davis has been in yellow following his runner-up -performance to Caleb Ewan (NSWIS) on stage 2 and has a four-point buffer to Anthony Giacoppo (BikeBug), with Ewan on 16, Bernie Sulzberger (Urban Hotels) on 15 and Chris Sutton (Urban Hotels) a further point behind and perhaps the most dangerous given the course.

"It's a bit tricky, you need to be right at the front on the last corner," Davis said about the square circuit. "You need to be on your toes no matter how far in front you are."

Given the difficulty of Tuesday in Portarlington and his ability to retain the overall lead, Davis felt somewhat assured heading into the final stage.

"This is probably the hardest 'crit' circuit in the world and I was pretty comfortable, so that makes me a little bit more confident tomorrow," he said. "But I will never count my chickens before they hatch, you have to always be on your toes and it's always safety in numbers."

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As a sports journalist and producer since 1997, Jane has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby league, motorsport, cricket, surfing, triathlon, rugby union, and golf for print, radio, television and online. However her enduring passion has been cycling.


Jane is a former Australian Editor of Cyclingnews from 2011 to 2013 and continues to freelance within the cycling industry.