Canyon-SRAM's Tiffany Cromwell enjoyed a AU$2,500 victory at the Noosa Australian Open Criterium over the weekend ahead of fellow professional Katrin Garfoot (Orica-AIS) and Emily Roper. The end of season criterium attracted several Australian professionals looking to enjoy a weekend of sun and the prize money on offer.
"I had the opportunity to race on home soil as part of the Noosa multisport triathlon festival, the largest in the world for participation numbers, and I felt I couldn't pass it up," Cromwell said of her decision to enter.
Cromwell had made her way into a four-rider breakaway midway through the race with Lucy Bechtel the fourth member of the quarter. Knowing a sprint finish was the likely outcome, Cromwell explained she play her cards to perfection to come away with the victory.
"To be honest I wasn't feeling awesome in the break and I knew a couple of them could sprint okay," she said. "I wasn't 100% confident that I could win but I knew I had experience on my side for sprint tactics. I played it smart, doing enough whilst trying to keep the legs to come around for the sprint. The sprint at Noosa is very much about the timing and getting the right line as there's a small chicane into the finish and it was a head wind too so you couldn't go too early.
"It was the perfect way to finish the season in front of really great crowds and I had both SRAM and Canyon Australia there cheering me on so to give them a win on home soil was pretty nice."
The race was the final of Cromwell's season with the 28-year-old to enjoy a short off-season before Canyon-SRAM's December training camp gets underway in Mallorca, Spain.
In the men's race, U23 Australian criterium champion Jesse Kerrison got the better of Scott Sunderland to take home the $5,000 prize.
Winners are grinners... (Velofocus)
A stage win and overall Tour of Hainan victory for Astana's Alexey Lutsenko
Former U23 world champion Alexey Lutsenko enjoyed the first overall victory of his career at the Tour of Hainan to end his season on a high and go someway to make up for the disappointment of missing the Olympics due to injury.
The 24-year-old moved into the yellow race leader's jersey after stage 6 and kept his lead until the finish of stage 9 to secure the win for Astana.
"All two hours of the today’s race were very nervous, I tried to be every time in front to avoid any problems," Lutsenko said of the stage which was won by Giant-Alpecin's Max Walscheid.
While Walscheid was impressive with five stage wins, Lutsenko imposed himself as the premier GC riders of the race as he took victory on stage 8, and finished no longer than 29th.
"I can surely say, that without my team I couldn’t reach this victory. All our guys worked very hard, always staying in front and keeping yellow jersey. This is the victory of all our team," he added.
The race also marked the end of Astana's season which included 34 victories with Vincenzo Nibali's Giro d'Italia win the highlight.
Lars van der Haar finishes seventh in European 'cross championships defence
Dutchman Lars van der Haar started the European Cyclo-cross Championships with the aim of defending the blue jersey he won 12-months ago with the 25-year-old explaining one minor error saw him finish on seventh place. Van der Haar's teammate Mathieu Van Der Poel was second to ensure a medal for the Netherlands but there was no catching the surprise winner Toon Aerts who took the win.
"I made one mistake and that cost me a good result. I should have moved up in the descent before the technical zone, but decided to stay behind Van der Poel. After the tech zone I couldn't follow and that was a mistake," van der Haar said his race. "The whole race went really fast but I made good calls and was in front a lot. But in the end was not good enough to make the race, just to follow.
Van der Haar added that once Aert had made his move, he was still confident of making it a good day until the finale when he came unstuck and finished four seconds behind the first group.
August Jensen becomes third ONE Pro Cycling signing
Norweigan rider August Jensen has inked a deal with British Pro-Continental squad ONE Pro Cycling to become its third signing for the 2017 season. The 25-year-old joins from Coop – OsterHus.
"There were several factors that drew me towards the team," Jensen said. "As well as looking very professional and well structured, I know that ONE Pro Cycling have high ambitions regarding next season and seasons to come, including an interesting calendar with races around the world. I'm excited to be taking this step up in my career with a British team, I believe my understanding and knowledge of the English language and ethics will help me work better with the staff and riders both on and off the bike.
"Since I started cycling, my dream has been to one day turn professional and I am both very happy and proud that ONE Pro Cycling has given me this chance."
The team have also signed Chris Lawless (JLT Condor) and Tom Stewart (Madison Genesis) for the upcoming year with further announcements expected in the coming weeks.