Gracie Elvin goes back-to-back

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.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Gracie Elvin (ACT)3:02:42
2Lauren Kitchen (NSW)Row 1 - Cell 2
3Katrin Garfoot (QLD)Row 2 - Cell 2
4Tiffany Cromwell (SA)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Amanda Spratt (NSW)Row 4 - Cell 2
6Emily Roper (QLD)Row 5 - Cell 2
7Miranda Griffiths (VIC)Row 6 - Cell 2
8Jenelle Crooks (QLD)Row 7 - Cell 2
9Shara Gillow (QLD)0:00:03
10Joanne Hogan (VIC)0:00:16
11Lizzie Williams (VIC)0:00:50
12Samantha De Riter (VIC)Row 11 - Cell 2
13Felicity Wardlaw (VIC)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Taryn Heather (VIC)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Peta Mullens (VIC)Row 14 - Cell 2
16Carlee Taylor (SA)0:03:50
17Sarah Roy (NSW)0:04:38
18Kristy Glover (VIC)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Lisa Keeling (ACT)0:05:00
20Jessie Maclean (ACT)0:05:17
21Jessica Mundy (SA)Row 20 - Cell 2
22Bridie O’Donnell (VIC)Row 21 - Cell 2
23Jessica Allen (WA)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Lisa Jacobs (VIC)0:05:29
25Kendelle Hodges (VIC)0:06:03
26Chloe McConville (VIC)0:06:12
27Beth Duryea (VIC)Row 26 - Cell 2
28Jessica Huston (WA)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Rebecca Locke (VIC)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Louisa Lobigs (QLD)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Rebecca Mackey (WA)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Cassandra Dodd (QLD)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Tessa Fabry (VIC)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Amy Bradley (VIC)0:06:15
35Kirsten Howard (NSW)0:12:08
DNFCrystal Wemyss (VIC)Row 35 - Cell 2
DNFLucy Barker (SA)Row 36 - Cell 2
DNFAlexis Barnes (NSW)Row 37 - Cell 2
DNFImogen Vize (NSW)Row 38 - Cell 2
DNFJessica Toghill (QLD)Row 39 - Cell 2
DNFJustyna Lubkowski (VIC)Row 40 - Cell 2
DNFRachel Ward (VIC)Row 41 - Cell 2
DNFSarah Riley (VIC)Row 42 - Cell 2
DNFNicola Bodor (NSW)Row 43 - Cell 2
DNFHarriet Smith (VIC)Row 44 - Cell 2
DNFEmma Viotto (ACT)Row 45 - Cell 2
DNFCassia Higgs (WA)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNFSophie Mackay (NSW)Row 47 - Cell 2
DNFKate Finegan (VIC)Row 48 - Cell 2
DNFNikolina Orlic (QLD)Row 49 - Cell 2
DNFVerita Stewart (VIC)Row 50 - Cell 2
DNFGeorgina Beech (VIC)Row 51 - Cell 2
DNFBrittany Lindores (ACT)Row 52 - Cell 2
DNFPrudence Rothwell (VIC)Row 53 - Cell 2
DNFChloe Hosking (ACT)Row 54 - Cell 2
DNFElizabeth Doueal (VIC)Row 55 - Cell 2
DNFRebecca Henderson (ACT)Row 56 - Cell 2
DNFChloe Mcintosh (ACT)Row 57 - Cell 2
DNFAllison Rice (ACT)Row 58 - Cell 2
DNFShannon Malseed (VIC)Row 59 - Cell 2
DNFAlice Wallett (ACT)Row 60 - Cell 2
DNFSinead Noonan (SA)Row 61 - Cell 2
DNFJade Colligan (NSW)Row 62 - Cell 2
DNSKimberley Wells (ACT)Row 63 - Cell 2
DNSLisa Hanley (VIC)Row 64 - Cell 2
DNSNicole Whitburn (VIC)Row 65 - Cell 2
DNSNaomi Williams (VIC)Row 66 - Cell 2
DNSRachel Neylan (SA)Row 67 - Cell 2
DNSLaura Meadley (ACT)Row 68 - Cell 2
DNSJoanne Tralaggan (NSW)Row 69 - Cell 2
DNSLoren Rowney (QLD)Row 70 - Cell 2
DNSLisa Antill (NSW)Row 71 - Cell 2
DNSClaire Trembath (QLD)Row 72 - Cell 2

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