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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

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Bikebug1:00:21
2Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge
3Thomas Scully (Aus) Grays Online
4Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team
5Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café
6Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional
7Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
8Simon Yates (GBr) Great Britain National Team0:00:03
9Brenton Jones (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys
10Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys0:00:06
11Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Bikebug
12Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts
13Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:00:10
14Shannon Johnson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
15Rico Rogers (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
16Samuel Witmitz (Aus) Team SASI
17James Boal (Aus) Target - Trek Racing
18Josh Atkins (NZl) Grays Online
19Michael Northey (NZl) Grays Online
20James Oram (NZl) Grays Online
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 SASI
26Scott Law (Aus) GPM /Data #30:00:35
DNFMitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
DNFAlex Edmondson (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
DNFStuart Grimsey (NZl) Grays Online
DNFAlastair Slater (GBr) Great Britain National Team
DNFSamuel Lowe (GBr) Great Britain National Team
DNFChristopher Latham (GBr) Great Britain National Team
DNFRichard Handley (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT
DNFAaron Buggle (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT
DNFLuke Grivell-Mellor (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT
DNFFelix English (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT
DNFSteele Von Hoff (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys
DNFTom Robinson (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys
DNFJack Beckinsale (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys
DNFLuke Davison (Aus) Drapac Professional
DNFRobbie Hucker (Aus) Drapac Professional
DNFJohn Walker (Aus) Drapac Professional
DNFMalcolm Rudolph (Aus) Drapac Professional
DNFAlex Wohler (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts
DNFJesse Kerrison (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts
DNFPeter Loft (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts
DNFDean Windsor (Aus) Degani Bakery Café
DNFKoen De Kort (Aus) Degani Bakery Café
DNFPeter English (Aus) Degani Bakery Café
DNFRyan Macanally (Aus) Degani Bakery Café
DNFJoseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #3
DNFJoshua Taylor (Aus) GPM /Data #3
DNFJulian Hamill (Aus) GPM /Data #3
DNFCaleb Jones (Aus) GPM /Data #3
DNFJames Butler (Aus) Target - Trek Racing
DNFDean Sanfilippo (Aus) Target - Trek Racing
DNFNicholas D'ambrosio (Aus) Target - Trek Racing
DNFGeorge Tansley (Aus) Team SASI
DNFRussell Gill (Aus) Team SASI
DNFJayden Copp (Aus) Pro Team Downunder
DNFSean Whitfield (Aus) Pro Team Downunder
DNFJake Klajnblat (Aus) Pro Team Downunder
DNFAlexander Smyth (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
DNFDean Heathcote (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
DNFCraig Johnson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
DNFJack Edwards (Aus) Bikebug
DNFRichard Lang (Aus) Bikebug
DNFJames Mowatt (Aus) Bikebug

Intermediate Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café3pts
2Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge2
3Joseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #31

Intermediate Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café3pts
2Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team2
3Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts1

Intermediate Sprint 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge3pts
2Jack Edwards (Aus) Bikebug2
3Vaughan Bowman (Aus) Target - Trek Racing1

General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Bikebug12pts
2Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica GreenEdge10
3Thomas Scully (Aus) Grays Online8
4Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team7
5Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café6
6Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional5
7Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge4
8Simon Yates (GBr) Great Britain National Team3
9Brenton Jones (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys2
10Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Huon Salmon - Genesys1

Sprint Ace Competition
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Henderson (NZl) Degani Bakery Café6pts
2Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdge5
3Graham Briggs (GBr) Great Britain National Team2
4Jack Edwards (Aus) Bikebug2
5Shaun Mccarthy (Aus) Team Budgetforklifts1
6Vaughan Bowman (Aus) Target - Trek Racing1
7Joseph Lewis (Aus) GPM /Data #31

Teams Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Orica Greenedge14pts
2Bikebug12
3Great Britain National Team10
4Grays Online8
5Degani Bakery Café6
6Drapac Professional5
7Huon Salmon - Genesys3

Results - Elite women

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kimberley Wells (Aus) Specialized Securitor0:45:54
2Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS
3Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Wiggle Honda
4Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor
5Nicole Whitburn (Aus) Liv / Giant
6Peta Mullens (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek
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 Women
12Naomi Williams (Aus) Liv / Giant
13Chloe Mcconville (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women
14Gracie Elvin (Aus)
15Carla Ryan (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega
16Jenni King (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek
17Grace Sulzberger (Aus)
18Amy Bradley (Aus) Specialized Securitor
19Judith Louise Betts (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega
20Miranda Griffiths (Aus)
21Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Wiggle Honda0:00:13
22Hayley Jones (Aus)0:00:15
23Lucy Coldwell (Aus)
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 Honda
28Jessie Maclean (Aus) Orica - AIS0:00:50
29Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica - AIS0:00:56
30Emily Collins (Aus) Wiggle Honda
DNFKendelle Hodges (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women
DNFJessica Allen (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women
DNFEmma Bilston (Aus) Jayco Apollo VIS Women
DNFGayle Brownlee (Aus) Liv / Giant
DNFClaire Morgan (Aus) Liv / Giant
DNFEmma Mackie (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega
DNFBrittany Lindores (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega
DNFRebecca Henderson (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek
DNFHolly Harris (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek
DNFRebecca Werner (Aus) Specialized Securitor
DNFCarla Franson (Aus) Specialized Securitor
DNFSophie Williamson (NZl) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
DNFSequoia Cooper (NZl) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
DNFGrace Phang (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
DNFJosie Simpson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
DNFLauretta Hanson (Aus) Total Rush / Hyster Racing
DNFLeonie Burford (Aus)
DNFLara Batkin (Aus)
DNFHolly Hawtin (Aus)
DNFRuby Greig-Hurtig (Aus)
DNFNina Greig-Towers (Aus)
DNFStephanie Ives (Aus)

Intermediate Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS3pts
2Gracie Elvin2
3Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AIS1

Intermediate Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor3pts
2Tiffany Cromwell (Aus)2
3Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS1

General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kimberley Wells (Aus) Specialized Securitor12pts
2Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS10
3Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) Wiggle Honda8
4Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor7
5Nicole Whitburn (Aus) Liv / Giant6
6Peta Mullens (Aus) Anytime Fitness Trek5
7Sarah Roy (Aus) Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega4
8Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS3
9Jenny Macpherson (Aus) Liv / Giant2
10Kirsty Glover (Aus)1

Sprint Ace Competition
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kate Finegan (Aus) Specialized Securitor3pts
2Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica - AIS3
3Gracie Elvin (Aus)2
4Tiffany Cromwell (Aus)2
5Melissa Hoskins (Aus) Orica - AIS1
6Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica - AIS1

Teams Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Specialized Securitor19pts
2Orica - AIS13
3Liv / Giant8
4Wiggle Honda8
5Anytime Fitness Trek5
6Crino Cycles - Casa & Bottega4

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