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Durbridge victorious in Portarlington Criterium

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Luke Durbridge wins the third race in the series

Luke Durbridge wins the third race in the series
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Overall leader Zak Dempster was exhausted as he crossed the finish line.

Overall leader Zak Dempster was exhausted as he crossed the finish line.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Caleb Ewan corners during the Portarlington Criterium.

Caleb Ewan corners during the Portarlington Criterium.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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The Men's peloton spread out on the climb.

The Men's peloton spread out on the climb.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Felix English wasn't afraid to go it alone.

Felix English wasn't afraid to go it alone.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Tom Moses in action.

Tom Moses in action.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Craig Hutton riding for the Chain Reaction team.

Craig Hutton riding for the Chain Reaction team.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Luke Durbridge and Patrick Shaw power off the front.

Luke Durbridge and Patrick Shaw power off the front.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Luke Drurbridge has one last drink as they start the last lap.

Luke Drurbridge has one last drink as they start the last lap.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Luke Durbridge takes the win.

Luke Durbridge takes the win.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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The men's peloton lines up for the Portarlington Criterium.

The men's peloton lines up for the Portarlington Criterium.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Matt Goss lines up on the front row.

Matt Goss lines up on the front row.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Giorgia Bronzini took the win ahead of Annette Edmondson.

Giorgia Bronzini took the win ahead of Annette Edmondson.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Peta Mullens is the Women's Sprint leader.

Peta Mullens is the Women's Sprint leader.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Tiffany Cromwell was on the attack during the Portarlington Criterium.

Tiffany Cromwell was on the attack during the Portarlington Criterium.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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The peloton make their way up the climb.

The peloton make their way up the climb.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Giorgia Bronzini looked comfortable all day.

Giorgia Bronzini looked comfortable all day.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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The main break of the women's race heads up the climb.

The main break of the women's race heads up the climb.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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A large crowd turned out for day two of the Bay Crits.

A large crowd turned out for day two of the Bay Crits.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter - markgunter.com.au)
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Giorgia Bronzini wins her second race in three days

Giorgia Bronzini wins her second race in three days
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Giorgia Bronzini retains the leaders jersey

Giorgia Bronzini retains the leaders jersey
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Zak Dempster moves back into the leader's jersey

Zak Dempster moves back into the leader's jersey
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)

Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) claimed victory in the Portarlington Criterium on day three of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic. The Australian broke clear in the company of Patrick Shaw (Satalyst) shortly after the midway point and then overpowered him in the sprint to take the win.

The two escapees collaborated smoothly over the second half of the course, with the consummate rouleur Durbridge more than happy to take his share of the responsibility on the exposed sections. Their combined efforts saw them hold off the pursuit of Tom Scully (Total Rush/Hyster Racing), who finished 3rd at 19 seconds.

"I was doing the head wind section, but as a time triallist I think that is fair enough, and Pat did the top section and we said 'let's work together until the finish and have a sprint at the end,” said Durbridge, who was taking nothing for granted in the sprint. "I think whenever you get in a breakaway with Pat Shaw you always get a little bit nervous.”

For Durbridge, it was his second win in as many years in the Portarlington Criterium, and he finished second in the same race in 2012, his first year as a professional. "I don't mind the old Portarlington circuit, I'm glad it stayed dry, but I think it is the third time I have had a good result here so it is always great to get the win here," he said.

While Durbridge was powering to victory on the day, Zak Dempster’s bold solo effort was enough to retain the overall lead in the series entering the final day of racing. He attempted to bridge to the two leaders alone, before being joined by Tom Scully. Although he eventually slipped back to finish 4th, Dempster was pleased with his day’s work.

“That was probably the hardest, most (significant), fourth place of my whole life," Dempster said. "I laid it all out there and it's good to come out of it with something other than a fourth place, leading into tomorrow which is a real honour in a series like this.”

In the overall standings, Dempster leads Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics) by one point, with Durbridge a further two points back in third. Defending champion Caleb Ewan (Subaru NSWIS) won the bunch sprint for 5th place on Saturday, and he sits in 5th place in the overall rankings, 5 points behind Dempster.

Bronzini doubles up

In the elite women’s event, Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda) won her second race in three days by out-sprinting Annette Edmondson (Orica-AIS) and Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized Securitor) in the bunch finish.

Bronzini’s Wiggle-Honda teammate Peta Mullens played a vital role in the race, expertly policing a dangerous mid-race breakaway that featured Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) and Gracie Elvin (Jayco National Team). Given the make-up of the move, the onus fell on Tiffany Cromwell to lead the pursuit, and that effort would prove crucial in the final reckoning.

In spite of her efforts to break clear in the finale, Cromwell still had the strength to finish third in the sprint, but there was nothing to be done against the rapid Bronzini, who leads the series into the final day.

“I am really, really happy because it is the first time that we meet for the season, and we work so well and it is a good feeling with the girls and I am really happy," Bronzini said.

Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge1:00:35
2Patrick Shaw (Aus) Satalyst
3Tom Scully (NZl) Total Rush/Hyster Racing0:00:19
4Zakkari Dempster (Aus) SASI0:00:34
5Caleb Ewan (Aus) Subaru NSWIS0:00:55
6Brenton Jones (Aus) Procon Telematics'
7Robert McCarthy (Aus) SASI
8Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
9Graham Briggs (GBr) Rapha Condor JLT
10Joseph Lewis (Aus) Total Rush/Hyster Racing

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda0:45:41
2Annette Edmondson (Aus) Orica-AIS
3Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized Securitor
4Joanne Hogan (Aus)
5Barbara Guarischi (Ita) DHB Dream Team
6Gracie Elvin (Aus) Jayco National Team
7Chloe Hosking (Aus) Roxsolt
8Peta Mullens (Aus) Wiggle Honda
9Miranda Griffiths (Aus) Vanderkitten
10Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS

 

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