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Palmer takes out final round of NSW Grand Prix

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Thomas Palmer (Drapac Professional Cycling) takes out the win in NSW Grand Prix - Wollongon

Thomas Palmer (Drapac Professional Cycling) takes out the win in NSW Grand Prix - Wollongon
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Josh Taylor (GPM-Wilson Racing) is one of the National Road Series' top criterium riders

Josh Taylor (GPM-Wilson Racing) is one of the National Road Series' top criterium riders
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) kept a watchful eye in the chase group to ensure no other riders got across

Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) kept a watchful eye in the chase group to ensure no other riders got across
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Overall winner Matthews was looking in control during the final race

Overall winner Matthews was looking in control during the final race
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Sam Rutherford (GPM-Wilson) was part of the front group that formed early in the race but missed the breakaway

Sam Rutherford (GPM-Wilson) was part of the front group that formed early in the race but missed the breakaway
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Chris Sutton (Team Sky) during the 50-lap race in Wollongong

Chris Sutton (Team Sky) during the 50-lap race in Wollongong
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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It was difficult for Sutton to organise a chase with so many Orica-GreenEdge riders in the race

It was difficult for Sutton to organise a chase with so many Orica-GreenEdge riders in the race
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Hepburn comes into the top bend

Hepburn comes into the top bend
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Last year's NSW GP winner Chris Sutton (Sky) missed the move

Last year's NSW GP winner Chris Sutton (Sky) missed the move
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Jack Edwards (NSWIS) decided he would get across to the front group on his own

Jack Edwards (NSWIS) decided he would get across to the front group on his own
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Blair Windsor (Team Budget Forklifts) pushes the pace while Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) checks the status behind

Blair Windsor (Team Budget Forklifts) pushes the pace while Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge) checks the status behind
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Thomas Palmer (Drapac) attacked from the chase group to join the leaders

Thomas Palmer (Drapac) attacked from the chase group to join the leaders
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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The final selection included the day's winner Ashlee Ankudinoff and her Jayco-AIS teammate Gracie Elvin

The final selection included the day's winner Ashlee Ankudinoff and her Jayco-AIS teammate Gracie Elvin
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Myfanwy Galloway (Dream Team) in the women's bunch

Myfanwy Galloway (Dream Team) in the women's bunch
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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A Bates Bikes rider goes on the attack in the women's race

A Bates Bikes rider goes on the attack in the women's race
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Jayco-AIS control the pace of the leading front group

Jayco-AIS control the pace of the leading front group
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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A rider hits the ground in the women's race

A rider hits the ground in the women's race
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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The wind caused some havoc during the day's races

The wind caused some havoc during the day's races
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Aaron Donnelly (Jayco-AIS) couldn't quite get there

Aaron Donnelly (Jayco-AIS) couldn't quite get there
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Mitchell Docker (Orica-GreenEdge) finished second in Wollongong

Mitchell Docker (Orica-GreenEdge) finished second in Wollongong
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Loes Gunnewijk was part of the strong Orica-AIS line-up

Loes Gunnewijk was part of the strong Orica-AIS line-up
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Sulzberger shows the strain of the race which was held in blustery conditions

Sulzberger shows the strain of the race which was held in blustery conditions
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Bernard Sulzberger (Team Raleigh-GAC) will ride for Drapac Professional Cycling in 2013

Bernard Sulzberger (Team Raleigh-GAC) will ride for Drapac Professional Cycling in 2013
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Kenny De Ketele (Topsport Vlaanderen- Mercator) was working hard in the chasing group

Kenny De Ketele (Topsport Vlaanderen- Mercator) was working hard in the chasing group
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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The women's overall podium: Lauren Kitchen (Dream Team), Sophie Williamson (Bates Bikes) and Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco-AIS)

The women's overall podium: Lauren Kitchen (Dream Team), Sophie Williamson (Bates Bikes) and Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco-AIS)
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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The men's overall podium: Thomas Palmer (Drapac), Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Aaron Gate (L and M Group Racing NZ)

The men's overall podium: Thomas Palmer (Drapac), Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Aaron Gate (L and M Group Racing NZ)
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Race leader Michael Matthews (Rabobank) next to Adam Phelan (Drapac)

Race leader Michael Matthews (Rabobank) next to Adam Phelan (Drapac)
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Thomas Palmer (Drapac) and last year's overall Grand Prix winner Chris Sutton (Sky)

Thomas Palmer (Drapac) and last year's overall Grand Prix winner Chris Sutton (Sky)
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Jack Edwards (NSWIS) rode strongly at the round in Wollongong

Jack Edwards (NSWIS) rode strongly at the round in Wollongong
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Matthews and Palmer celebrate their respective victories

Matthews and Palmer celebrate their respective victories
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Palmer (Drapac) takes a convincing win in the sprint

Palmer (Drapac) takes a convincing win in the sprint
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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The front group wind up for the sprint

The front group wind up for the sprint
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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The women await the start of their race in blustery conditions

The women await the start of their race in blustery conditions
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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The sprint for fourth place in the women's race

The sprint for fourth place in the women's race
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Ankudinoff gets to keep the win in Wollongong after being relegated from first place in Cronulla

Ankudinoff gets to keep the win in Wollongong after being relegated from first place in Cronulla
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Race leader Kimberley Wells (Specialized-Securitor) before the start of the women's event

Race leader Kimberley Wells (Specialized-Securitor) before the start of the women's event
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)
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Mitchell Docker (Orica-GreenEdge) finished second on the day

Mitchell Docker (Orica-GreenEdge) finished second on the day
(Image credit: Stuart Baker)

Thomas Palmer (Drapac) showed that he has fully recovered from his injuries that hampered most of his season by taking out the Wollongong round of the NSW Grand Prix. Palmer won the sprint from a select group including the GP’s overall winner Michael Matthews (Rabobank). Matthews was aggressive throughout the 50-lap race and while he could not follow-up from his win yesterday, he did enough to capture the overall title.

In the women’s event it was yesterday’s real winner Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco-AIS) who took out the race after a dominant display with her teammate Gracie Elvin. The duo took off in the closing moments of the women’s and kept their gap over a very small field all the way to the finish.

Kimberley Wells (Specialized Securitor) started the day in the race leader’s jersey - Ankudinoff was relegated from her first-place in Cronulla after receiving incorrect information from a race official regarding a late-race crash. Wells however, was isolated in the leading group and lost contact in the final laps of the race.

Elite Men

The men started the 50-lap race under strong winds that disintegrated the field in the opening five laps. It became clear who the strongest riders were as a leading group amassed off the front after around 30-minutes and went about establishing the race-winning group.

Race leader Matthews was part of the breakaway and he was joined by Mitchell Docker (Orica-GreenEdge), Palmer, Marc Williams (Team Budget Forklifts), Aaron Gate (L and M Group Racing) and Jack Edwards (NSWIS) who jumped from the chasing group and made a valiant effort on his own to join the group.

At the finish Palmer’s speed was too much for his breakaway companions as he took the win with over a bike length to second-place.

"I’m really happy to have my health back and really feel my legs under me," race winner Palmer told Cyclingnews. "I love this sort of format of race and it’s a really great race to come back and get a little bit of confidence. [I’m] really happy to get a result."

"The goal today was just to keep the jersey and get the overall win," Matthews told Cyclingnews. "I knew Tommie [Thomas] was in the bunch so I tried to hold his wheel but he was just a little bit stronger than me. It’s awesome for another Canberra guy to get up for the win," said Matthews in regard to Palmer who also hails from the country’s capital city.

Elite Women

The women’s race gave an indication of how the men’s race, which ran immediately following, would unfold. The brutal winds tore apart the women’s field in the opening laps before a front group of around 20 riders remained.

Race leader Wells found herself isolated toward the end of the race and after a number of attacks she was left scrambling to maintain her position. She was unable to catch back on as the lead group, which dwindled to around 10, was set to sprint out the finish.

Coming into the final laps it was the Jayco-AIS duo of Ankudinoff and Elvin who proved too good for the remaining chasers. The two worked perfectly together with Ankudinoff getting her second win of the weekend. This time however, there was no chance of the victory being taken away.

New Zealand’s Sophie Williamson, riding for Bates Bikes, did enough to capture the overall title with Lauren Kitchen (Dream Team) in second and the day’s winner Ankudinoff in third.

"It was good win yesterday but I got the win taken off me," Ankudinoff told Cyclingnews. I just wanted to come out here and do it again, and actually win the race this time."

"My chain dropped [yesterday] so I had to stop. I asked the commissare if I should stay here or go across the road where we were supposed to rejoin but he told me to go across the road. If I joined where I stopped it would have been four laps but it wasn’t to be but I rejoined with about three and a half laps to go. It happens," she said.

 

Results

Elite Men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling20pts
2Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge18
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank16
4Jack Edwards (Aus) NSWIS15
5Aaron Gate (NZl) L and M Group Racing NZ14
6Marc Williams (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts13
7Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge12
8Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge11

Elite Women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ashlee Ankudinoff (Aus) Jayco-AIS20pts
2Gracie Elvin (Aus) Gracie Elvin (Aus) Jayco AIS18
3Sophie Williamson (NZl) Bates Bikes16
4Rebecca Wiasak (Aus) Suzuki-Trek15
5Emily Collins (Aus) Dream Team14
6Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Dream Team13
7Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS12
8Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Orica-AIS11

Men's final standings NSW Grand Prix
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank36pts
2Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling35
3Aaron Gate (NZl) L and M Group Racing NZ32
4Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge28
5Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge28
6Jack Edwards (Aus) NSWIS28
7Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky24
8Marc Williams (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts23
9Joseph Lewis (Aus) GPM-Wilson Racing22
10Kenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen- Mercator21
11Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge21

Women's final standings NSW Grand Prix
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sophie Williamson (NZl) Wakatipu31pts
2Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Dream Team31
3Ashlee Ankudinoff (AUS) AIS30
4Emily Collins (Aus) Dream Team30
5Kimberley Wells (Aus) Specialized-Securitor30
6Rebecca Wiasak (Aus) Suzuki-Trek28
7Sarah Roy (Aus) St George24
8Brittany Lindores (Aus) Team Boss Constructions22

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