Wells leads Specialized-Securitor to win over numerical might of Orica-AIS

Her form had been an indicator that perhaps she was in with a shot this week, but Kimberley Wells (Specialized-Securitor) caused somewhat of an upset by claiming the win from her highly-fancied rivals in race one of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic on New Year's Day in Geelong.

Wells got the better of defending champion Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) in the final metres of the hotdog criterium, with three-time series winner Rochelle Gilmore (Wiggle-Honda) trailing in third.

The women's field is one of the strongest assembled in years and the way the race played out, with no one able to get much of an advantage of the field, was an indicator both of that strength and the boost that the competition has got via the Australian National Road Series. According to Gilmore, the three-race series in 2013, as opposed to four and five in previous years, means that there is little time to waste.

"Wells, 27, was involved in the most serious crashes of the race, with the race neutralised shortly after the first sprint but it was no impediment to her progression.

"You certainly had to have your wits about you," Wells admitted following her victory. "We were bouncing all over the place and I was involved in one of the crashes - I smashed my ankle into the fence - but that just gave me enough adrenaline to just jump in there and use the GreenEdge girls to my advantage. Let's face it; they're a really strong team. I still had my girls out there just attacking and attacking on the front... It was pretty exciting for us."

Orica-AIS had seven women on the start line with Loes Gunnewijk, Jessie Maclean, Amanda Spratt and Shara Gillow joining Hoskins as a team, while Tiffany Cromwell and Gracie Elvin were individual entrants. As a group, they dominated the race, spending plenty of time at the front of the peloton driving the pace but their efforts could only deliver Hoskins to second place.

Wells, 2011 winner of the Tour de Femme, admitted that she felt like an "imposter" against some of the women in the field but was glad to have any doubts melt away once the racing began. Heading into the season opener, Wells had looked strong at the NSW Grand Prix Series and the Noosa Criterium but the result on Tuesday evening could prove influential.

"Coming into today I was feeling really nervous because it's a real step up in the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic... It makes you nervous seeing all that green and blue in the front."

It was the same form that had caught the eye of Hoskins who knew that Wells was a potential threat. Hoskins had been unsure of her form heading into the first big event of the season, but was relieved to have the support of her teammates which allowed her to "sit in" and bide her time.

"You're damned if you do and damned if you don't," Hoskins told Cyclingnews. "If you can't finish it off you can't finish it off regardless of how many teammates you've got."

The race was also a landmark for Rochelle Gilmore's new Wiggle Honda outfit, their first. Gilmore was another of the big names unsure of what was in the tank but the Australian was relieved to come up with a podium, first time out of the blocks.

"I'm definitely proud of what we achieved today, we were in the mix," Gilmore told Cyclingnews. "You could probably say that I let them down today just at the finish. I came in third and I think that's hugely due to last-minute getting the team prepared and playing the double role of manager and rider. In saying that I definitely think that as I get older the second and third days will be my strongest days."

Wells holds a two-point advantage over Hoskins heading into race two on Wednesday in Portarlington, with the latter hopeful of finding her "goat legs" to tackle the traditionally tough circuit.

Ewan proves 2012 was no fluke

In the men's event, 18-year-old Caleb Ewan (Bikebug) chased down what looked to be a successful breakaway from Tom Scully (Grays online / NZ Jerry Stock) and Jens Mouris (Orica-GreenEdge) on the final bend to show that he is once again ready for the challenge against some of the older, more experienced heads of the peloton. Ewan won two of the four events in the 2012 series, to finished just one point overall behind eventual winner, Allan Davis, in his breakthrough showing.

Greg Henderson (Degani Bakery Cafe) dominated the opening 20 minutes of the race, soloing ahead of the field in a bid to try and replicate his 2012 victory on the fast circuit, before eventually being reeled in. The Kiwi had a second surge to ensure he took the second sprint of the evening but with the pressure off for the few seconds after Henderson crossed the line, his compatriot Tom Scully took the opportunity to gun for the race lead. It was short-lived but just the opening salvo from Scully who would try again later.

Orica GreenEdge's Mitch Docker claimed the photo finish over Ewan's teammate Jack Edwards in the third sprint - a partial reward for the mountain of effort both Luke Durbridge and Mouris were doing on the front of the bunch. With that over and done with, it was Scully's turn to put the after burners on once again, but this time, Mouris would be in pursuit.

The pair would open up a gap which maxed out at seven seconds before Ewan's three-time Australian Criterium Champion teammate, Jonathan Cantwell started pulling the strings ensuring the teenager was in the right spot to make his move.

"Five laps out I didn't think we could bring them back, there wasn't really a big organised chase, just the Drapac guy [Robbie Hucker] sitting on the front and I knew once he blew there were two GreenEdge guys and I knew they wouldn't chase... Jonny got on the front and drilled it," Ewan explained.

It was enough to bridge the gap and as the bell lap sounded, Ewan put the hammer down and was soon on Mouris' back wheel. The Dutchman was falling foul of his breakaway companion for not sharing the workload

"I was never really sure if we were going to make it," Mouris told Cyclingnews. Big in stature, Mouris has a habit of getting away in criteriums and has once again spent his pre-season in Australia racing the New South Wales Grand Prix and the weekly series at Heffron Park in Sydney.

"I gambled on the last lap and didn't take any turns any more, I just tried to hit it into the last corner," he shrugged.

While that battle ensued, Ewan made contact on the final corner accelerating into open space to comfortably take the win. Having just ben agonisingly short of the overall series victory art his first attempt last season, Ewan wrestled with the pros and cons of a three-race series this time around.

"Getting the yellow jersey now I think it will be a bit easier to keep it until stage three [rather] than stage four," he said. "I really like the Bay Crits and it's a shame they cut it back to three but it's probably better for me."

Results - Elite men

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Bikebug1:00:21
2Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdgeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Thomas Scully (Aus) Grays OnlineRow 2 - Cell 2
4Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery CaféRow 4 - Cell 2
6Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac ProfessionalRow 5 - Cell 2
7Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 6 - Cell 2
8Simon Yates (GBr) Great Britain National Team0:00:03
9Brenton Jones (Aus) Huon Salmon - GenesysRow 8 - Cell 2
10Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys0:00:06
11Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) BikebugRow 10 - Cell 2
12Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team BudgetforkliftsRow 11 - Cell 2
13Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:00:10
14Shannon Johnson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 13 - Cell 2
15Rico Rogers (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 14 - Cell 2
16Samuel Witmitz (Aus) Team SASIRow 15 - Cell 2
17James Boal (Aus) Target - Trek RacingRow 16 - Cell 2
18Josh Atkins (NZl) Grays OnlineRow 17 - Cell 2
19Michael Northey (NZl) Grays OnlineRow 18 - Cell 2
20James Oram (NZl) Grays OnlineRow 19 - Cell 2
21Vaughan Bowman (Aus) Target - Trek Racing0:00:16
22Blair Windsor (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts0:00:22
23Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT0:00:26
24Robert-Jon Mccarthy (Aus) Team SASI0:00:29
25Harry Carpenter (Aus) Team SASIRow 24 - Cell 2
26Scott Law (Aus) GPM /Data #30:00:35
DNFMitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 26 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Edmondson (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 27 - Cell 2
DNFStuart Grimsey (NZl) Grays OnlineRow 28 - Cell 2
DNFAlastair Slater (GBr) Great Britain National TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
DNFSamuel Lowe (GBr) Great Britain National TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Latham (GBr) Great Britain National TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
DNFRichard Handley (GBr) Rapha Condor JLTRow 32 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Buggle (GBr) Rapha Condor JLTRow 33 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Grivell-Mellor (GBr) Rapha Condor JLTRow 34 - Cell 2
DNFFelix English (GBr) Rapha Condor JLTRow 35 - Cell 2
DNFSteele Von Hoff (Aus) Huon Salmon - GenesysRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFTom Robinson (Aus) Huon Salmon - GenesysRow 37 - Cell 2
DNFJack Beckinsale (Aus) Huon Salmon - GenesysRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Davison (Aus) Drapac ProfessionalRow 39 - Cell 2
DNFRobbie Hucker (Aus) Drapac ProfessionalRow 40 - Cell 2
DNFJohn Walker (Aus) Drapac ProfessionalRow 41 - Cell 2
DNFMalcolm Rudolph (Aus) Drapac ProfessionalRow 42 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Wohler (Aus) Team BudgetforkliftsRow 43 - Cell 2
DNFJesse Kerrison (Aus) Team BudgetforkliftsRow 44 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Loft (Aus) Team BudgetforkliftsRow 45 - Cell 2
DNFDean Windsor (Aus) Degani Bakery CaféRow 46 - Cell 2
DNFKoen De Kort (Aus) Degani Bakery CaféRow 47 - Cell 2
DNFPeter English (Aus) Degani Bakery CaféRow 48 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Macanally (Aus) Degani Bakery CaféRow 49 - Cell 2
DNFJoseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #3Row 50 - Cell 2
DNFJoshua Taylor (Aus) GPM /Data #3Row 51 - Cell 2
DNFJulian Hamill (Aus) GPM /Data #3Row 52 - Cell 2
DNFCaleb Jones (Aus) GPM /Data #3Row 53 - Cell 2
DNFJames Butler (Aus) Target - Trek RacingRow 54 - Cell 2
DNFDean Sanfilippo (Aus) Target - Trek RacingRow 55 - Cell 2
DNFNicholas D'ambrosio (Aus) Target - Trek RacingRow 56 - Cell 2
DNFGeorge Tansley (Aus) Team SASIRow 57 - Cell 2
DNFRussell Gill (Aus) Team SASIRow 58 - Cell 2
DNFJayden Copp (Aus) Pro Team DownunderRow 59 - Cell 2
DNFSean Whitfield (Aus) Pro Team DownunderRow 60 - Cell 2
DNFJake Klajnblat (Aus) Pro Team DownunderRow 61 - Cell 2
DNFAlexander Smyth (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 62 - Cell 2
DNFDean Heathcote (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 63 - Cell 2
DNFCraig Johnson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 64 - Cell 2
DNFJack Edwards (Aus) BikebugRow 65 - Cell 2
DNFRichard Lang (Aus) BikebugRow 66 - Cell 2
DNFJames Mowatt (Aus) BikebugRow 67 - Cell 2
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Intermediate Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café3pts
2Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Joseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #31Row 2 - Cell 3
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Intermediate Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café3pts
2Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Intermediate Sprint 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge3pts
2Jack Edwards (Aus) Bikebug2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Vaughan Bowman (Aus) Target - Trek Racing1Row 2 - Cell 3
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General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Bikebug12pts
2Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge10Row 1 - Cell 3
3Thomas Scully (Aus) Grays Online8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Simon Yates (GBr) Great Britain National Team3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Brenton Jones (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Sprint Ace Competition
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café6pts
2Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Jack Edwards (Aus) Bikebug2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts1Row 4 - Cell 3
6Vaughan Bowman (Aus) Target - Trek Racing1Row 5 - Cell 3
7Joseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #31Row 6 - Cell 3
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Teams Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Orica Greenedge14pts
2Bikebug12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Great Britain National Team10Row 2 - Cell 3
4Grays Online8Row 3 - Cell 3
5Degani Bakery Café6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Drapac Professional5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Huon Salmon - Genesys3Row 6 - Cell 3

Results - Elite women

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kimberley Wells (Aus) Specialized Securitor0:45:54
2Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AISRow 1 - Cell 2
3Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Wiggle HondaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized SecuritorRow 3 - Cell 2
5Nicole Whitburn (Aus) Liv / GiantRow 4 - Cell 2
6Peta Mullens (Aus) Anytime Fitness TrekRow 5 - Cell 2
7Sarah Roy (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega0:00:04
8Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS0:00:05
9Jenny Macpherson (Aus) Liv / Giant0:00:06
10Kirsty Glover (Aus)0:00:08
11Taryn Heather (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS WomenRow 10 - Cell 2
12Naomi Williams (Aus) Liv / GiantRow 11 - Cell 2
13Chloe Mcconville (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS WomenRow 12 - Cell 2
14Gracie Elvin (Aus)Row 13 - Cell 2
15Carla Ryan (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & BottegaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Jenni King (Aus) Anytime Fitness TrekRow 15 - Cell 2
17Grace Sulzberger (Aus)Row 16 - Cell 2
18Amy Bradley (Aus) Specialized SecuritorRow 17 - Cell 2
19Judith Louise Betts (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & BottegaRow 18 - Cell 2
20Miranda Griffiths (Aus)Row 19 - Cell 2
21Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda0:00:13
22Hayley Jones (Aus)0:00:15
23Lucy Coldwell (Aus)Row 22 - Cell 2
24Tiffany Cromwell (Aus)0:00:18
25Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AIS0:00:21
26Jessica Mundy (Aus) Wiggle Honda0:00:25
27Anna Bianca Schnitzmeier (Ger) Wiggle HondaRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jessie Maclean (Aus) Orica - AIS0:00:50
29Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - AIS0:00:56
30Emily Collins (Aus) Wiggle HondaRow 29 - Cell 2
DNFKendelle Hodges (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS WomenRow 30 - Cell 2
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS WomenRow 31 - Cell 2
DNFEmma Bilston (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS WomenRow 32 - Cell 2
DNFGayle Brownlee (Aus) Liv / GiantRow 33 - Cell 2
DNFClaire Morgan (Aus) Liv / GiantRow 34 - Cell 2
DNFEmma Mackie (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & BottegaRow 35 - Cell 2
DNFBrittany Lindores (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & BottegaRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFRebecca Henderson (Aus) Anytime Fitness TrekRow 37 - Cell 2
DNFHolly Harris (Aus) Anytime Fitness TrekRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFRebecca Werner (Aus) Specialized SecuritorRow 39 - Cell 2
DNFCarla Franson (Aus) Specialized SecuritorRow 40 - Cell 2
DNFSophie Williamson (NZl) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 41 - Cell 2
DNFSequoia Cooper (NZl) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 42 - Cell 2
DNFGrace Phang (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 43 - Cell 2
DNFJosie Simpson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 44 - Cell 2
DNFLauretta Hanson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster RacingRow 45 - Cell 2
DNFLeonie Burford (Aus)Row 46 - Cell 2
DNFLara Batkin (Aus)Row 47 - Cell 2
DNFHolly Hawtin (Aus)Row 48 - Cell 2
DNFRuby Greig-Hurtig (Aus)Row 49 - Cell 2
DNFNina Greig-Towers (Aus)Row 50 - Cell 2
DNFStephanie Ives (Aus)Row 51 - Cell 2
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Intermediate Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS3pts
2Gracie Elvin2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AIS1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Intermediate Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor3pts
2Tiffany Cromwell (Aus)2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS1Row 2 - Cell 3