Track talent Annette Edmondson won the elite women’s criterium title at the 2021 Federation University Road National Championships in a crash-marred sprint, while Maeve Plouffe came in fourth to secure the under-23 title.
For the second year in a row, Ruby Roseman-Gannon (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast Women) came second, while defending champion Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo) had to settle for third in the 40-lap criterium on the 1.1 kilometre course that runs around Sturt St. in the central Victorian city of Ballarat.
“This is pretty special. I’ve been after this one for a while,” said Edmondson, who was entered as an individual but working with her Australian track teammates to try to secure the victory.
Wet conditions from earlier in the day cleared before the racing, but there were still two crashes on the bottom corner. One was about halfway through the race involving the eventual under-23 title winner Plouffe and Jessica Allen (Team BikeExchange), who was the only teammate for Sarah Roy. Both recovered quickly, rejoined the race and used the adrenaline to make a mark.
There was no time to recover, though, for those in the final crash right near the front of the field on the last corner. Contenders Georgia Baker, Peta Mullens (Roxsolt Liv Sram) and Matilda Raynolds (Specialized Women’s Racing) were among those who came down and lost the chance to fight for victory.
Edmondson, however, was clear. She had been sitting back in the pack and conserving energy the rest of the race, but on the final lap she moved up the field on the wheel of track teammate Alexandra Manly and came around that final corner right near the front.
“I was in second wheel so Alex Manly hit the corner first, then me and then I think the crash was about fifth wheel with my teammate Georgia Baker. So I looked behind and saw there was a big gap so I was like that means there is not going to be a big swamp up the finish line so we can stall it, stall it, stall it, … because it was a long finish with a big headwind. Then Ruby kicked so I had to go. It was just a drag race from that point on,” said Edmondson.
That final rush to the line came from a field that had already been heavily trimmed, as the breaks throughout the race took their toll, shedding riders from the back as the pack accelerated in pursuit. Alana Forster, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amber Pate and Sarah Gigante (Team-Tibco SVB) were among the aggressors but the teams of the sprinters were just as persistent in shutting the gaps down. Lauretta Hanson, in particular, seemed to be constantly on the chase in a bid to keep the group together for her new teammate, defending champion Hosking.
Allen was also particularly active up the front, re-joining the race after her crash, then having to change bikes and chase back on again. Once she bridged the gap she went straight off the front and tried to keep the pace high for teammate Roy, who ultimately finished in 11th place.
In the U23 competition, Alexandra Martin-Wallace (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast Women) came over the line right behind Plouffe to take fifth overall and second spot on the U23 podium. Zwift Academy winner Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM) secured the final step of the under 23 podium with seventh place overall.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Annette Edmondson (Aus)||1:10:08|
|2||Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Aus)|
|3||Chloe Hosking (Aus)|
|4||Maeve Plouffe (Aus)||0:00:03|
|5||Alexandra Martin-Wallace (Aus)|
|6||Ash Ankudinoff (Aus)|
|7||Neve Bradbury (Aus)|
|8||Hayley Jones (Aus)|
|9||Chelsea Holmes (Aus)|
|10||Alexandra Manly (Aus)|
|11||Sarah Roy (Aus)|
|12||Sarah Gigante (Aus)|
|13||Bree Hargrave (Aus)|
|14||Amber Pate (Aus)|
|15||Jaime Gunning (Aus)|
|16||Nicola Macdonald (Aus)|
|17||Sophie Edwards (Aus)|
|18||Ashlee Jones (Aus)|
|19||Courtney Sherwell (Aus)|
|20||Holly Harris (Aus)|
|21||Francesca Sewell (Aus)|
|22||Alana Forster (Aus)|
|23||Isabella Flint (Aus)|
|24||Lucie Fityus (Aus)||0:00:13|
|25||Lauretta Hanson (Aus)|
|26||Ella Falzarano (Aus)||0:00:15|
|27||Sam De Riter (Aus)||0:00:32|
|28||Jessica Allen (Aus)|
|29||Kirsty Deacon (Aus)|
|30||Peta Mullens (Aus)||0:01:25|
|31||Matilda Raynolds (Aus)||0:02:09|
|32||Georgia Baker (Aus)|
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