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Jack Bekinsale surprises with last lap attack

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Emily Collins (Wiggle-Honda) in her new national kit

Emily Collins (Wiggle-Honda) in her new national kit
(Image credit: John Veage)
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The men's peloton rounding a corner

The men's peloton rounding a corner
(Image credit: John Veage)
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(Image credit: John Veage)
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(Image credit: John Veage)
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(Image credit: John Veage)
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(Image credit: John Veage)
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(Image credit: John Veage)
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(Image credit: John Veage)

IF anyone needed any further proof of Caleb Ewan's cycling potential only had to turn up to the Wollongong waterfront and look on in awe as the Moss Vale teen took out the NSW International Grand Prix criterium series on Sunday. A second place finish for Ewan who takes the next step up in joining the World Tour ranks with Orica-Greenedge come January 1, it was enough to clinch the overall.

After beating seasoned Team Sky professional Chris Sutton in a photo finish on day one at Cronulla, Ewan had to settle for runner up to Jack Beckinsale of the Huon Salmon Genesys team to claim the first big prize of what promises to be a red-hot summer of racing across three states culminating in the Tour Down Under in South Australia in late January. Beckinsale, the talented 20 year old from Grays Point and riding for Huon Salmon Genesys nearly stole the NSW Grand Prix title when he drove off the front with over a lap remaining.

All eyes were on the Bradley McGee coached Ewan, 19, from Moss Vale in NSW's southern highlands after his victory the previous day. Racing against the likes of Chris Sutton (Team Sky), Mark Renshaw, in his last appearance in the green and black of Belkin before his upcoming move to Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Tom Palmer of Drapac-Skoda, Leigh Howard and the Belgium Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge) along with the Sulzberger brothers, Bernie and Wes, from the quaintly named town of Flowery Gully in northern Tasmania, was a totally different matter.

The tight 660m circuit at the northern end of Wollongong beach, some 80kms south of Sydney, provided a close up view of what for many in Europe is taken for granted; tight racing.

For the likes of Renshaw, Palmer and Sutton, not even when a six breakaway had slipped off the front and led by as much as 21 seconds at one point, seemed a bother, all the while Beckinsale and Ewan bided their time for the run to the finish. Two sizzling laps at full throttle from the passionate V8 fan Renshaw from Bathurst, had the crowd cheering wildly as he brought the escapees to within a manageable lead.

With four laps remaining, they were all-together, and it was a question of who was the strongest rider still standing. Manly's Chris Jory of the GPM Data#3 team, made a bold attempt at glory, only to be swallowed up, first by Beckinsale, then Ewan and closely followed by Renshaw inside the final 50 metres of the finishing line.

In the end, Ewan clinched the overall series win with a three point buffer over Beckinsale, with Palmer third on 31 points followed by Sutton, himself a former two-time winner of the series, settling for fourth.

The women's series crown was taken by Charlotte Becker, a 30-year-old German who now calls Berlin home when not racing for Rochelle Gilmore's Wiggle Honda team, which boasts Sir Bradley Wiggins as a sponsor through his English-based sporting foundation.

Becker, a former world road and track champion, didn't have it all her own way as she picked herself up of the bitumen as early as the third lap after taking a tumble just past the start finish line. Becker placed second on the stage, helping team mate Peta Mullens to win the stage. Last year’s overall winner, fast-finishing New Zealander, Sophie Williamson was third on the day.

Chief commissaire, Glenn Vigar, turned back the clock some 20 years to when he was a member of the NSW Constabluary, to punish Chloe Hosking, relegating the Canberra rider to last place for interference in the finishing place.

 

 

 

 Results

Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jack Beckinsale (Aus) Huon Salmon Genesys20pts
2Caleb Ewan (Aus) NSWIS18
3Mark Renshaw (Aus) Belkin16
4Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling Team15
5Ryan McNally (Aus) Data#3 Cisco14
6Shem Rodgers (NZl) Giordana Racing Team13
7Marc Williams (Aus) Data#3 Cisco12
8Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky11

Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Peta Mullens (Aus) Wiggle-Honda20pts
2Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle-Honda18
3Sophie Williamson (NZl) Wakatipu16
4Sarah Roy (Aus) Roxsolt Sydney Uni15
5Kate Finnegan (Aus) Specialized-Securitor14
6Emma Viotto (Aus) Suzuki Bontrager13
7Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Dream Team Rabobank12
8Loren Rowney (Aus) Specialized-Securitor11

Overall - Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) NSWIS38pts
2Jack Beckinsale (Aus) Huon Salmon Genesys35
3Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling Team31
4Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky29
5Ryan McNally (Aus) Data#3 Cisco28
6Mark Renshaw (Aus) Belkin26
7Shem Rodger (NZl) Giordana Racing Team23
8Scott Law (Aus) NSWIS23
9Marc Williams (Aus) Data#3 Cisco22
10Nicholas Yallouris (Aus) Skoda St George22

Overall - Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Charlotte Becker (Ger) Wiggle-Honda36pts
2Peta Mullens (Aus) Wiggle-Honda34
3Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Dream Team Rabobank32
4Sophie Williamson (NZl) Wakatipu29
5Sarah Roy (Aus) Roxsolt Sydney Uni27
6Loren Rowney (Aus) Specialized-Securitor26
7Emily Collins (NZl) Wiggle-Honda26
8Kate Finnegan (Aus) Specialized-Securitor24
9Emma Viotto (Aus) Suzuki Bontrager23
10Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized-Securitor21

 

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