Targeting the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race since November, Chloe Hosking (Alé Cipollini) executed her plan to perfection by taking out the race ahead of Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-Scott) and Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance).
The Australian rider kept her cool in the finale as the reduced peloton caught the late attackers, launching her sprint with 300 metres to go for her biggest win yet on home soil.
While Hosking's director doubted her ability to get over the challenging Challambra climb, the 27-year-old proved her doubters wrong to set up the win with a strong climb. Following the podium celebrations, Hosking explained the run to the line.
"I was saying into my radio 'is Giorgia Bronzini here?' because if she comes to the end of a bike race she is dangerous," said Hosking, who recently won the final stage of the Santos Women's Tour.
"That is the wheel I would have been looking for in a sprint. I didn't have any information so I found Gracie Elvin's wheel and she had two teammates left. They kept the pace high and then I was just surfing wheels in the last two kay. I jumped early and the others couldn't come over me."
The win also secured qualification for April's Commonwealth Games, giving Hosking the opportunity to add to her bronze medal from 2010. First, she will line out at the Herald Sun Tour next week and bring a curtain down on the Australian summer of racing.
The early phases
Warm conditions and sunshine greeted the peloton Saturday morning as riders assembled in the adjacent Steampacket Gardens for the team presentation prior to race start.
Once the flag was dropped, Lisa Morzenti (BePink) led off the first attack to begin an aggressive start to the race. Following the early skirmish, a crash via a touch of wheels brought down numerous riders in the bunch, Roxane Knetemann's day ending with an ambulance ride to a local hospital.
Shortly after the crash, Georgia Whitehouse of Sydney Uni-Staminade forced her way clear as the solo leader on the road, 30 seconds to the good once the race hit the coastline. Whitehouse doubled her advantage to one minute as a second crash took place in the peloton. Morzenti though jumped out to chase down Whitehouse and blitzed past as the Sydney Uni rider lost her lead due to a mechanical. As the lead to the peloton was over three minutes, Morzenti waited for Whitehouse, regrouping then pressing on as a duo.
The peloton slowly chipped away at the lead of the duo on the trip back into Geelong and then ended the breakaway 30km shy of the finish line. Entering Geelong, the race kicked into life, with Mitchelton-Scott dropping the hammer. On Challambra, the selection was made as Sabrina Stultiens (Waowdeals) then Molly Weaver (Trek-Drops) forced a move.
Katrin Garfoot (Kordamentha-Australia) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) followed, with Garfoot leading over the top of Challambra. Garfoot, Van Vleuten and Stultiens then joined up for the descent into the Steampacket Gardens. At 6km to go, Stultiens went for gold but the chasing bunch reeled her in inside one kilometre to race, setting up the bunch sprint finish.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale - Cipollini||3:15:54|
|2||Gracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|3||Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling|
|4||Audrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Wiggle High5|
|5||Katarzyna Pawlowska (Pol) Team Virtu Cycling|
|6||Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate -Australia|
|7||Sharlotte Lucas (NZl) Specialized Women's Racing|
|8||Kate McIlroy (NZl) Specialized Women's Racing|
|9||Amy Cure (Aus) Wiggle High5|
|10||Anouska Koster (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling|
|11||Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling|
|12||Lucy Bechtel (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|13||Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate -Australia|
|14||Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops|
|15||Brodie Chapman (Aus) Holden Team Gusto|
|16||Grace Brown (Aus) Holden Team Gusto|
|17||Shannon Malseed (Aus) Team Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank|
|18||Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|19||Kathrin Hammes (Ger) Trek-Drops|
|20||Linda Villumsen (NZl) Team Virtu Cycling|
|21||Rachel Neylan (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate -Australia|
|22||Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott||0:00:22|
|23||Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling|
|24||Emma Grant (GBr) Team Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank||0:00:48|
|25||Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||0:01:13|
|26||Grace Anderson (NZl) New Zealand National Team|
|27||Erica Clevenger (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air T20|
|28||Lydia Rippon (NZl) New Zealand National Team|
|29||Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Ale - Cipollini|
|30||Riejanne Markus (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling|
|31||Abigail Van Twisk (GBr) Trek-Drops|
|32||Georgia Williams (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott|
|33||Ella Harris (NZl) New Zealand National Team|
|34||Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Wiggle High5|
|35||Alice Cobb (GBr) Team Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank|
|36||Ella Bloor (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|37||Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Bepink|
|38||Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Drops|
|39||Molly Weaver (GBr) Trek-Drops||0:01:21|
|40||Shayna Powless (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air T20||0:02:59|
|41||Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling|
|42||Marlies Mejias Garcia (Cub) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air T20|
|43||Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle High5||0:03:14|
|44||Rachele Barbieri (Ita) Wiggle High5|
|45||Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate -Australia|
|46||Jenelle Crooks (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|47||Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling|
|48||Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) Bepink|
|49||Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale - Cipollini|
|50||Mayuko Hagiwara (Jpn) Ale - Cipollini|
|51||Matilda Reynolds (Aus) Holden Team Gusto||0:03:38|
|52||Kate Smith (NZl) New Zealand National Team|
|53||Katia Ragusa (Ita) Bepink|
|54||Francesca Pattaro (Ita) Bepink|
|55||Kendall Ryan (USA) Team Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank|
|56||Kendelle Hodges (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|57||Lauretta Hanson (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate -Australia|
|58||Marta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling|
|59||Anna Trevisi (Ita) Ale - Cipollini|
|60||Mikayla Harvey (NZl) New Zealand National Team|
|61||Emilie Moberg (Nor) Team Virtu Cycling|
|62||Jelena Eric (Srb) Cylance Pro Cycling|
|63||Rotem Gafinovitz (Isr) Waowdeals Pro Cycling|
|64||Trine Schmidt (Den) Team Virtu Cycling|
|65||Peta Mullens (Aus) Kordamentha Real Estate -Australia|
|66||Liza Rachetto (Aus) Holden Team Gusto|
|67||Annasley Park (GBr) Trek-Drops|
|68||Danielle Morshead (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air T20|
|69||Louise Norman Hansen (Den) Team Virtu Cycling|
|70||Monique Van De Ree (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling||0:06:37|
|71||Holly Breck (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling|
|72||Scotti Lechuga (USA) Twenty20 p/b Sho-Air T20|
|73||Jade Colligan (Aus) Sydney Uni - Staminade||0:10:45|
|74||Abby Sneddon (Aus) Sydney Uni - Staminade|
|75||Amy Vesty (NZl) Sydney Uni - Staminade|
|76||Georgia Whitehouse (Aus) Sydney Uni - Staminade|
|77||Angela Smith (Aus) Sydney Uni - Staminade|
|78||Megan Scott (Aus) Sydney Uni - Staminade|
|79||Kathryn Buss (USA) Team Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank|
|80||Rylee McMullen (NZl) New Zealand National Team|
|81||Kate Perry (Aus) Specialized Women's Racing|
|82||Silvia Valsecchi (Ita) Bepink|
|OTL||Alison Jackson (Can) Team Tibco–Silicon Valley Bank|
|OTL||Lisa Morzenti (Ita) Bepink|
|DNF||Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Ale - Cipollini|
|DNF||Lauren Stephens (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling|
|DNS||Erin Kinnealy (Aus) Holden Team Gusto|
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