Gracie Elvin (ACT) has won her second national title in a sprint finish ahead of Lauren Kitchen (NSW) in a race that came alive on the final lap of the 102km event. The 25-year-old crashed out on the second lap in the national criterium race on Thursday but bounced back in Buninyong to become the first women since Kathy Watt to win consecutive green and gold jerseys.
In the frenetic final kilometers, Elvin and Kitchen were dropped by the leading group but both fought on the descent as it all came back together and claimed the two top spots while Karin Garfoot rounded out the podium.
"I was holding on for dear life on that final climb and I just couldn’t do it. I was with Lauren and made her drag me back, I’m sorry Lauren but you rode really well, but I can’t chase my teammates either and that’s racing," Elvin said. "I just want to want to thank my teammates, this jersey is for them. I love them to bits and I owe it to them."
"Some people might think I'm an overnight success, but I have been wanting this for a long time and it means a lot for me to see my dreams come true."
The 2014 Women’s national road race begun with a Lisa Jacobs attack on the opening lap which lasted until lap eight when she was caught by defending champion Gracie Elvin having steadily built a lead over a peloton happy to sit back and watch the national cyclo-cross champion enjoy the warm weather. Jacobs is off the cyclo-cross world championships and used the race as a training ride in preparation.
On lap four Bridie O’Donnell tried her luck and got away as she tried to bridge the gap to Jacobs. Jessie McLean was the next to go and caught O’Donnell on lap five and the two of them worked to bring Jacobs' lead to a mere minute.
Shara Gillow launched an attack as the peloton went under the finish line gantry for lap six in an attempt to join teammate McLean to no avail but did snare points on the climb.
Having stayed away for the majority of the race, Jacobs wrapped up the king of the mountains classification having grabbed maximum points completely uncontested.
The race sprung into life with Gracie Elvin starting her chase for Lisa Jacobs on lap seven having seen teammate McLean and O’Donnell caught on the top of the climb. Elvin came through the finish line on the eighth lap 31 seconds down on the solo leader and soon caught Jacobs on the climb up to Mt Buninyong.
Miranda Griffiths boosted away from the ever-diminishing peloton of only 12 select riders with 27km left to race and joined the two leaders, opening up a 40 second lead.
The peloton swelled on the descent with Griffiths losing contact while Elvin and Jacobs rode off the front before Elvin attacked on the climb to go clear. Tiffany Cromwell joined Elvin and Garfoot on the penultimate climb who were then chased down as it came back together.
In a frenetic last lap, Elvin and Kitchen were dropped by the leading group but both fought on the descent as it all came back together. Despite knowing that she was taking her rival back in contention, Lauren Kitchen was excited by her silver medal. "I had Gracie behind me for 5km while I chased back on but I knew that was the only chance that I would have to win the race even though it let her come across fresh," she said.
"I then put myself back in the race and came away with a silver medal so I can’t be disappointed with that and it’s a really great start to the year with Hitec."
In the U23 Women's race it was Emily Roper who claimed the win ahead of Jennelle Crooks with Jessica Mundy in third place.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Gracie Elvin (ACT)||3:02:42|
|2||Lauren Kitchen (NSW)|
|3||Katrin Garfoot (QLD)|
|4||Tiffany Cromwell (SA)|
|5||Amanda Spratt (NSW)|
|6||Emily Roper (QLD)|
|7||Miranda Griffiths (VIC)|
|8||Jenelle Crooks (QLD)|
|9||Shara Gillow (QLD)||0:00:03|
|10||Joanne Hogan (VIC)||0:00:16|
|11||Lizzie Williams (VIC)||0:00:50|
|12||Samantha De Riter (VIC)|
|13||Felicity Wardlaw (VIC)|
|14||Taryn Heather (VIC)|
|15||Peta Mullens (VIC)|
|16||Carlee Taylor (SA)||0:03:50|
|17||Sarah Roy (NSW)||0:04:38|
|18||Kristy Glover (VIC)|
|19||Lisa Keeling (ACT)||0:05:00|
|20||Jessie Maclean (ACT)||0:05:17|
|21||Jessica Mundy (SA)|
|22||Bridie O’Donnell (VIC)|
|23||Jessica Allen (WA)|
|24||Lisa Jacobs (VIC)||0:05:29|
|25||Kendelle Hodges (VIC)||0:06:03|
|26||Chloe McConville (VIC)||0:06:12|
|27||Beth Duryea (VIC)|
|28||Jessica Huston (WA)|
|29||Rebecca Locke (VIC)|
|30||Louisa Lobigs (QLD)|
|31||Rebecca Mackey (WA)|
|32||Cassandra Dodd (QLD)|
|33||Tessa Fabry (VIC)|
|34||Amy Bradley (VIC)||0:06:15|
|35||Kirsten Howard (NSW)||0:12:08|
|DNF||Crystal Wemyss (VIC)|
|DNF||Lucy Barker (SA)|
|DNF||Alexis Barnes (NSW)|
|DNF||Imogen Vize (NSW)|
|DNF||Jessica Toghill (QLD)|
|DNF||Justyna Lubkowski (VIC)|
|DNF||Rachel Ward (VIC)|
|DNF||Sarah Riley (VIC)|
|DNF||Nicola Bodor (NSW)|
|DNF||Harriet Smith (VIC)|
|DNF||Emma Viotto (ACT)|
|DNF||Cassia Higgs (WA)|
|DNF||Sophie Mackay (NSW)|
|DNF||Kate Finegan (VIC)|
|DNF||Nikolina Orlic (QLD)|
|DNF||Verita Stewart (VIC)|
|DNF||Georgina Beech (VIC)|
|DNF||Brittany Lindores (ACT)|
|DNF||Prudence Rothwell (VIC)|
|DNF||Chloe Hosking (ACT)|
|DNF||Elizabeth Doueal (VIC)|
|DNF||Rebecca Henderson (ACT)|
|DNF||Chloe Mcintosh (ACT)|
|DNF||Allison Rice (ACT)|
|DNF||Shannon Malseed (VIC)|
|DNF||Alice Wallett (ACT)|
|DNF||Sinead Noonan (SA)|
|DNF||Jade Colligan (NSW)|
|DNS||Kimberley Wells (ACT)|
|DNS||Lisa Hanley (VIC)|
|DNS||Nicole Whitburn (VIC)|
|DNS||Naomi Williams (VIC)|
|DNS||Rachel Neylan (SA)|
|DNS||Laura Meadley (ACT)|
|DNS||Joanne Tralaggan (NSW)|
|DNS||Loren Rowney (QLD)|
|DNS||Lisa Antill (NSW)|
|DNS||Claire Trembath (QLD)|
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