Georgia Baker wins women's criterium at Santos Festival of Cycling

Georgia Baker continued the BikeExchange-Jayco run of success at the Santos Festival of Cycling, taking out the women's criterium that brought the women's racing to a close. 

Josie Talbot (Sydney Uni Staminade) took a close-run second in the final criterium, while it another day on the podium for Maeve Plouffe (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast), who added third place to her stage 2 victory and third on the GC standings, which were decided on the final road stage to Lobethal before the criterium. 

“It was actually a real honour to be able to pull it off for the team tonight and I am super excited. It’s my first win in a little while so it’s pretty special,” said Baker. 

“Tonight was really hectic. You could see there were a few crashes out on the course so I hope everyone is okay that came down. It is just really fast and really quick and you’ve always got to be concentrating and it is really important to stay in the top half of the bunch and try and avoid those crashes. 

"I had some great teammates who made my job really easy to be out of the hectic bunch so it was really good to be able to pull it off for them today.”

The mid-week evening crit was run on a 1.35km circuit in the heart of Adelaide, providing a typically warm 45 minutes and 1 lap finale to four days of racing as evening temperatures held over 30°C . 

The laps of the streets of Adelaide came after three stages on the road of the South Australian countryside where Baker helped teammate, Ruby Roseman-Gannon, sweep up the overall victory in the Santos Festival of Cycling. The men's racing began on the same circuit just half an hour after the women's race finished.

How it unfolded

At the Trek Night Riders criterium, Lauretta Hanson may have been racing for Team Westpac but she was quick to put her Trek-Segafredo jersey and bike out on display at the front, with the rider who started her career in criterium racing taking out the first intermediate sprint on lap 5. 

There were some crashes early on, with one including stage 1 winner Emily Watts (Knights of Suburbia). She ripped through the shoulder of her jersey in the crash, but rejoined regardless.

The second intermediate sprint on lap 10 was taken out by the 17-year-old Belinda Bailey (StepFWD Soomom), who had only just celebrated her birthday on the final stage of racing out on the road Tuesday. After that, Peta Mullens (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) took off, and there were a number of riders quick to jump on her wheel, including the attentive Ruby Roseman-Gannon (BikeExchange-Jayco) and climber Carlee Taylor (Inform TMX MAKE). However the race was all back together before the 15 lap sprint, taken out by Hayley Jones (Giant Racing).

As the minutes ticked down, the attacks started to get more serious. 

Australian champion Nicole Frain (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) went on the move and Matilda Raynolds (Inform TMX MAKE) was quick to follow, but the bunch had no intention of letting such a dangerous move go this late. With the 45 minutes up, BikeExchange-Jayco guest rider Amber Pate was on the front keeping the pace high for her teammates. 

As the sprint neared, it was clear that it was Baker’s turn to make a mark for the Australian-registered WorldTeam, capitalising on the strength she’d shown in the sprint lead-outs for Roseman-Gannon during the road stages. 

It was a clear victory for the rider who has, up until recently, been focused on the track. It was, however, a close-run battle for second, with Talbot just beating Plouffe in the throw to the line. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Georgia Baker (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 0:46:52
2Josie Talbot (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
3Maeve Plouffe (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
4Ruby Roseman-gannon (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
5Loretta Hanson (Aus) Team Westpac
6Lucinda Stewart (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
7Hayley Jones (Aus) Giant Racing Team
8Matilda Raynolds (Aus) Inform TMX Make
9Nicola Macdonald (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
10Jessa Francis (Aus) Women's Racing Project
11Lucie Fityus (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
12Nicole Frain (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
13Georgie Howe (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
14Sophie Malowiecki (Aus) Giant Racing Team
15Georgia Whitehouse (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
16Sophie Edwards (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
17Sharni Morley (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
18Alisha Wells (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
19Emma Pratt (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
20Haylee Fuller (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
21Darcie Richards (Aus) VA Pro Racing
22Jessica Pratt (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
23Matilda Field (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
24Isabelle Carres (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
25Danielle de Francesco (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:00:06
26Sophie Marr (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
27Courtney Sherwell (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
28Belinda Bailey (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
29Nicole Wilson (Aus) VA Pro Racing
30Alexandra Manly (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
31Grace Brown (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
32Amelia Watkinson (Aus) Individual Riders
33Nicole Oh (Aus) Individual Riders
34Ella Bloor (Aus) Inform TMX Make
35Katie Banerjee (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
36Alana Forster (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team 0:00:10
37Carlee Taylor (Aus) Inform TMX Make
38Dharlia Haines (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
39Elizabeth Young (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
40Kerry Jonker (RSA) Team Westpac
41Gina Ricardo (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's 0:00:13
42Chelsea Holmes (Aus) Inform TMX Make
43Saffron Button (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
44Megan Armitage (Irl) Team Westpac
45Ruth Corset (Aus) VA Pro Racing
46Claire Battle (Aus) Giant Racing Team
47Jennifer Darmody (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
48Rose Vassel (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
49Hannah Seeliger (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation 0:00:17
50Justine Barrow (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM 0:00:20
51Rachel Wales (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:00:23
52Amber Pate (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
53Peta Mullens (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
54Jacqui Slack (GBr) Individual Riders 0:00:41
55Amanda Spratt (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 0:01:11
DNFHolly Lubcke (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
DNFImogen Alton (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
DNFKelly Fettes (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
DNFNicole Mitsigeorgis (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
DNFMackenzie Coupland (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
DNFEmma Viotto (Aus) Giant Racing Team
DNFLauren Thomas (Aus) Giant Racing Team
DNFBree Playel (Aus) VA Pro Racing
DNFCaitlin Corset (Aus) VA Pro Racing
DNFKate Bonner (Aus) VA Pro Racing
DNFCassandra Dodd (Aus) Women's Racing Project
DNFMia Hayden (Aus) Women's Racing Project
DNFLaura Chancellor (Aus) Women's Racing Project
DNFJulia Atkins (Aus) Women's Racing Project
DNFKayla Mcsporran (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
DNFCelia Cowan (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
DNFHolly Chance (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
DNFElla Simpson (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
DNFElizabeth Nuspan (Aus) Inform TMX Make
DNFEloise Sandow (Aus) Inform TMX Make
DNFAlli Anderson (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
DNFMegan Marker (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
DNFSummer Nordmeyer (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
DNFShannon Mccurley (Irl) Knights of Suburbia Racing
DNFEmily Watts (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
DNFBrittany Petersen (Aus) Team Westpac
DNFRachel Hore (Aus) Individual Riders
DNSLauren Perry (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
DNSAnya Louw (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
DNSAlexandra Martin-Wallace (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
DNSJordyn Hassett (Aus) Giant Racing Team
DNSMaddison Taylor (Aus) Giant Racing Team
DNSKathryn Mcinerney (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
DNSVictoria Barry (Aus) VA Pro Racing
DNSShaylee Johnston (Aus) Women's Racing Project
DNSKatarina Chung-orr (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
DNSSamara Sheppard (NZl) Team Westpac
DNSPhillipa Ash (Aus) Individual Riders

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Australia Editor

Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.