Kitchen doubles up in Ballarat

Twenty-year-old Lauren Kitchen upstaged her older rivals, claiming both the Elite and Under-23 national criterium championships. Kitchen bested her breakaway companion Joanne Hogan for the victory as Chloe Hosking burst out of the peloton to take third. Hosking's third place gave her the silver medal in the Under-23 category whilst Kendelle Hodges took bronze.

"I can't believe it," Kitchen said. "This is fantastic. It will be pretty special wearing the national jersey at the next few races - the Tour Down Under criteriums."

It wasn't until the halfway mark that Lauren Kitchen (Jayco AIS) and Joanne Hogan (Jayco VIS) got a break on the peloton. The duo extended their advantage out to 15 seconds. At one stage it looked like they would be brought back as their advantage dipped to eight seconds but the duo soon extended that to over half a minute. Despite Emma Mackie (Virgin Blue) and Katherine O'Shea trying to get things going in the peloton, their efforts were unrewarded as the duo vied for the win.

In the final straight Kitchen positioned herself on Hogan's wheel and overtook her to take the biggest victory of her career.

"There were only three of us so with Carly Light as the defending champion, Amanda Spratt and I tried to be aggressive to defend what we set out and started last year. We wanted an aggressive race and show it to the sprinters," said Kitchen.

"When I went with Jo [Hogan] I knew it was the move to go with. She was fresh and I put my head down and kept driving it. I've been in camp with her the last few weeks and we have done a lot of sprint work so I knew it was going to be close. I made sure I knew where I was going to go from and where the wind was in the last few laps. I put my head down and stayed focused and we came out with a win for the Jayco squad."

After the nationals, Kitchen will focus her attention on the spring Classics in Europe in April.

"I experienced them for the first time last year and really enjoyed them. In the next few years I would like to have them as a major focus. After that, I will have a small break and then head into the end of the season with the Giro and hopefully the World Championships," she said.

Joanne Hogan is a multiple Victorian road race champion, securing both the time trial and road race last year. Her second place was a brilliant performance.

"This is a good start to the weekend. My major aim is the road race on Saturday. I'm aiming for the podium. I think my form is good and I'm looking forward to it," Hogan explained.

Chloe Hosking's third place was a brilliant performance without team support.

"It's hard without having a team. The way I got third, I'm pretty happy about it. I didn't get it in the sprint. I think it's important to try a few different things and to come away with third is a good feeling."

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Full Results
1Lauren Kitchen (NSW)**
2Joanne Hogan (VIC)
3Chloe Hosking (ACT)**
4Laura McCaughey (TAS)
5Amanda Spratt (NSW)
6Kirsty Broun (QLD)
7Kendelle Hodges (VIC)**
8Emma Lawson (TAS)**
9Grace Sulzberger (TAS)
10Amy Cure (TAS)**
11Rochelle Gilmore (NSW)
12Sinead Noonan (SA)**
13Katherine O'Shea (VIC)
DNFCarly Light (SA)
DNFTiffany Cromwell (SA)
DNFPhilippa Read (VIC)
DNFGracie Elvin (ACT)
DNFKimberley Yap (MAS)
DNFKate Finegan (NSW)
DNFLaura Luxford (QLD)
DNFEmma Mackie (QLD)
DNFPeta Mullens (VIC)
DNFBridget Officer (VIC)
DNFMaryam Rogers (VIC)
DNFKaroliina Rasanan (FIN)
DNFShanice Nitis (QLD)**
DNFKristy Glover (VIC)**
DNFBelinda Mason (TAS)**
DNFMelissa Hoskins (WA)**
DNFIsabella King (WA)**
DNFMegan Dunn (NSW)**
DNFSky-Lee Armstrong (NSW)
DNFRowena Fry (TAS)
DNFDavina Summers (WA)
DNFJessie MacLean (ACT)
DNFNicole Whitburn (VIC)
DNFMarissa Madden (NSW)
DNFCarla Ryan (QLD)
DNFRebecca Werner (SA)**
DNSShara Gillow (QLD)
DNSNikolina Orlic (QLD)
DNSAmy Bradley (VIC)
DNSElizabeth Georgouras (SA)
DNSChloe McConville (VIC)
DNSIngrid Trotter (VIC)
DNSAnna Kauffmann (WA)
DNSAlexandra Carle (ACT)**
DNSMonica Kelly (VIC)**
DNSBrittany Lindores (QLD)**
DNSChloe McIntosh (VIC)**

** = Under-23 category

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