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Emily Watts wins opening stage at 2022 Santos Festival of Cycling

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Emily Watts won stage 1 of the Santos Festival of Cycling

Emily Watts (Image credit: Santos Festival of Cycling/Russ Ellis)
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Emily Watts won the opening stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling

Emily Watts won the opening stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling (Image credit: Santos Festival of Cycling/Russ Ellis)
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Emily Watts won the opening stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling

Emily Watts won the opening stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling (Image credit: Santos Festival of Cycling/Russ Ellis)
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Emily Watts won the opening stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling

Emily Watts won the opening stage of the Santos Festival of Cycling (Image credit: Santos Festival of Cycling/Russ Ellis)
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The opening day of the Santos Festival of Cycling

(Image credit: Santos Festival of Cycling/Russ Ellis)
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The opening day of the Santos Festival of Cycling

(Image credit: Santos Festival of Cycling/Russ Ellis)

Emily Watts (Knights of Suburbia) took out the win on stage 1 of the women's race at the Santos Festival of Cycling, beating Ruby Roseman-Gannon (BikeExchange-Jayco) in the sprint to the Williamstown finish line after the field hauled in a late break.

Nicole Frain (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) came through in third, putting the newly awarded  jersey of the Australian National Champion and two domestic riders onto the podium in the first of four days of racing around South Australia, which provided an unusually damp and mild day of summer racing in the event known for its scorching temperatures. 

“I am stoked. It was a team effort," said Watts after stepping up to the podium for the stage win and best young rider classification. "We executed our team plan brilliantly. Georgie [Howe] got the QOM and she got caught in the breakaway and I was just sitting in steady for the sprint.”

Even though Watts won the final sprint – coming from well back on the final corner and just continuing to power to the front – it wasn't enough for her to add the jersey of the overall leader to her white best young rider jersey. Roseman-Gannon's efforts out on the road to scoop up the time bonuses from the intermediate sprints during the stage meant her second place still left her two seconds ahead overall.

How it unfolded

The first day of four days of racing began in Tanunda, in the heart of the state’s wine rich Barossa Valley, winding its way 85.4km to Williamstown. It's the first of three stages out on the roads around South Australia in the women's race, which culminates with a criterium in the centre of Adelaide on Wednesday, which also marks the start of the men's race.

The event which usually leaves riders reaching for the ice-filled stockings set off from wet cobbles onto damp roads and there were early crashes and splits in the field, which included WorldTour pros and U19 riders alike. 

One early crash left Lisa Jacob (Knights of Suburbia) among the riders who could be seen working her way back onto the field, with a bloodied and painful looking knee. In another, at about 25km into the race, Rachel Neylan fell while Amanda Spratt (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Roseman-Gannon also came down on top. The Cofidis rider racing for composite squad Team Westpac, sadly was out of the race as a result but Spratt – returning to racing following surgery for Iliac artery endofibrosis – and Roseman-Gannon chased back on.

Guest rider for BikeExchange-Jayco, Amber Pate, who came second in the time trial at Road Nationals, was on the front as the race approached the first sprint at 32 kilometres into the racing. With teammate Alex Manly leading out Roseman-Gannon not only  swept up the 3 second time bonus, but teammate Georgia Baker was right behind to soak up the rewards for second.

The field mostly stayed together, although shed a fair number of riders as they went through the day of racing with just over 1000m of climbing and the extra challenge of the on again, off again wet conditions. 

As the second intermediate sprint of the day approached, 60km into the racing, Pate again drove on the front to keep the pace high, leaving Roseman-Gannon to again take the bonuses with her teammate Baker on the wheel.

As the race ticked down toward ten kilometres to go the field was stretching as the riders approached the late race climb of Whispering Wall, which has an average gradient of 5.7 per cent and delivered points for the mountains jersey.

The ascent split the field and after Howe (Knights of Suburbia) had swept up the mountain points at the top of the climb, Justine Barrow (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) and Ruth Corset (VA Pro Racing) joined her to form a trio out the front. The chase was on and they were pulled back in, setting up a sprint finish where Watts became an unlikely winner after having looked to be well back in the final corner. However, she powered through on the outside and had swept to the front of the field with a prolonged turn of pace by the line. 

That left Watts with the best young rider jersey, as well as the stage win. Her teammate at the development squad, Howe, took the Queen of the Mountain jersey and BikeExchange-Jayco's Roseman-Gannon the overall lead, as well as the sprinters jersey.

Results - stage 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emily Watts (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing 2:13:25
2Ruby Roseman-gannon (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
3Nicole Frain (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
4Matilda Raynolds (Aus) Inform TMX Make
5Georgia Baker (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
6Gina Ricardo (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
7Maeve Plouffe (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
8Grace Brown (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
9Matilda Field (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
10Ruth Corset (Aus) VA Pro Racing
11Anya Louw (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
12Georgia Whitehouse (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
13Sophie Malowiecki (Aus) Giant Racing Team
14Amelia Watkinson (Aus) Individual Riders
15Katie Banerjee (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
16Danielle de Francesco (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
17Carlee Taylor (Aus) Inform TMX Make
18Justine Barrow (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
19Samara Sheppard (NZl) Team Westpac
20Peta Mullens (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
21Georgie Howe (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
22Courtney Sherwell (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
23Alexandra Manly (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
24Mia Hayden (Aus) Women's Racing Project
25Amber Pate (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 0:00:17
26Isabelle Carres (Aus) Team Garmin Australia 0:00:29
27Alisha Wells (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
28Megan Armitage (Irl) Team Westpac
29Belinda Bailey (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
30Ella Simpson (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
31Nicole Wilson (Aus) VA Pro Racing
32Sophie Marr (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
33Sharni Morley (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
34Jessica Pratt (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
35Alyssa Polites (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
36Elizabeth Young (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
37Jessa Francis (Aus) Women's Racing Project
38Rose Vassel (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
39Emma Pratt (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
40Emma Viotto (Aus) Giant Racing Team
41Lisa Jacob (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
42Chelsea Holmes (Aus) Inform TMX Make
43Maddison Taylor (Aus) Giant Racing Team
44Lauren Thomas (Aus) Giant Racing Team
45Hannah Seeliger (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
46Jennifer Darmody (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
47Darcie Richards (Aus) VA Pro Racing
48Josie Talbot (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
49Lucie Fityus (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
50Phillipa Ash (Aus) Individual Riders 0:00:57
51Bree Playel (Aus) VA Pro Racing
52Loretta Hanson (Aus) Team Westpac
53Kathryn Mcinerney (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
54Rachel Wales (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
55Claire Battle (Aus) Giant Racing Team 0:01:00
56Hayley Jones (Aus) Giant Racing Team
57Shannon Mccurley (Irl) Knights of Suburbia Racing 0:01:28
58Imogen Alton (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
59Rachel Hore (Aus) Individual Riders
60Kerry Jonker (RSA) Team Westpac
61Laura Chancellor (Aus) Women's Racing Project
62Nicole Oh (Aus) Individual Riders
63Brittany Petersen (Aus) Team Westpac
64Holly Lubcke (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
65Ella Bloor (Aus) Inform TMX Make
66Nicola Macdonald (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM 0:01:39
67Haylee Fuller (Aus) Team Garmin Australia 0:04:33
68Sophie Edwards (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
69Elizabeth Nuspan (Aus) Inform TMX Make
70Amanda Spratt (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
71Mackenzie Coupland (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation 0:10:53
72Alana Forster (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
73Lucinda Stewart (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
74Julia Atkins (Aus) Women's Racing Project
75Alli Anderson (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
76Nicole Mitsigeorgis (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation 0:14:53
77Eloise Sandow (Aus) Inform TMX Make
78Celia Cowan (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
79Dharlia Haines (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
80Holly Chance (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
81Alexandra Martin-wallace (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
OTLKelly Fettes (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
OTLCaitlin Corset (Aus) VA Pro Racing
OTLKayla Mcsporran (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
DNFSaffron Button (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
DNFLauren Perry (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
DNFJordyn Hassett (Aus) Giant Racing Team
DNFKate Bonner (Aus) VA Pro Racing
DNFCassandra Dodd (Aus) Women's Racing Project
DNFShaylee Johnston (Aus) Women's Racing Project
DNFKatarina Chung-orr (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
DNFMegan Marker (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
DNFSummer Nordmeyer (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
DNFRachel Neylan (Aus) Team Westpac
DNFJacqui Slack (GBr) Individual Riders
DNSVictoria Barry (Aus) VA Pro Racing

Sprint 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruby Roseman-gannon (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 3
2Georgia Baker (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 2
3Hayley Jones (Aus) Giant Racing Team 1

Sprint 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruby Roseman-gannon (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 3
2Georgia Baker (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 2
3Josie Talbot (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's 1

Sprint 3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emily Watts (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing 3
2Ruby Roseman-gannon (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 2
3Nicole Frain (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM 1

Mountain 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Georgie Howe (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing 5
2Justine Barrow (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM 3
3Ruth Corset (Aus) VA Pro Racing 2

Young rider
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Emily Watts (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing 2:13:25
2Anya Louw (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
3Mia Hayden (Aus) Women's Racing Project
4Isabelle Carres (Aus) Team Garmin Australia 0:00:29
5Alisha Wells (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
6Belinda Bailey (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
7Ella Simpson (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
8Sophie Marr (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
9Sharni Morley (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
10Alyssa Polites (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
11Chelsea Holmes (Aus) Inform TMX Make
12Lauren Thomas (Aus) Giant Racing Team
13Hannah Seeliger (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
14Darcie Richards (Aus) VA Pro Racing
15Lucie Fityus (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
16Bree Playel (Aus) VA Pro Racing 0:00:57
17Laura Chancellor (Aus) Women's Racing Project 0:01:28
18Holly Lubcke (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
19Haylee Fuller (Aus) Team Garmin Australia 0:04:33
20Sophie Edwards (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
21Elizabeth Nuspan (Aus) Inform TMX Make
22Mackenzie Coupland (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation 0:10:53
23Lucinda Stewart (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
24Alli Anderson (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
25Eloise Sandow (Aus) Inform TMX Make 0:14:53
26Celia Cowan (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
27Dharlia Haines (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
28Alexandra Martin-wallace (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast

Team
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team BikeExchange-Jayco 6:40:15
2Roxsolt Liv Sram
3Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
4Knights of Suburbia Racing
5Sydney Uni Staminade Women's Cycling 0:00:29
6Inform TMX Make
7Team Garmin Australia 0:00:58
8Va ro Racing
9Giant Racing Team
10Team Westpac 0:01:26
11Stepfwd Soomom 0:01:27
12Cycling Development Foundation
13Women's Racing Project 0:01:57
14Butterfields Racing Team 0:11:51

General classification after stage 1
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruby Roseman-gannon (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 2:13:13
2Emily Watts (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing 0:00:02
3Nicole Frain (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM 0:00:08
4Georgia Baker (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
5Matilda Raynolds (Aus) Inform TMX Make 0:00:12
6Gina Ricardo (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
7Maeve Plouffe (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
8Grace Brown (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
9Matilda Field (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
10Ruth Corset (Aus) VA Pro Racing
11Anya Louw (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
12Georgia Whitehouse (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
13Sophie Malowiecki (Aus) Giant Racing Team
14Amelia Watkinson (Aus) Individual Riders
15Katie Banerjee (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
16Danielle de Francesco (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
17Carlee Taylor (Aus) Inform TMX Make
18Justine Barrow (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
19Samara Sheppard (NZl) Team Westpac
20Peta Mullens (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
21Georgie Howe (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
22Courtney Sherwell (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM
23Alexandra Manly (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
24Mia Hayden (Aus) Women's Racing Project
25Amber Pate (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 0:00:29
26Josie Talbot (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's 0:00:40
27Isabelle Carres (Aus) Team Garmin Australia 0:00:41
28Alisha Wells (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
29Megan Armitage (Irl) Team Westpac
30Belinda Bailey (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
31Ella Simpson (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
32Nicole Wilson (Aus) VA Pro Racing
33Sophie Marr (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
34Sharni Morley (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
35Jessica Pratt (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
36Alyssa Polites (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
37Elizabeth Young (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
38Jessa Francis (Aus) Women's Racing Project
39Rose Vassel (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
40Emma Pratt (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
41Emma Viotto (Aus) Giant Racing Team
42Lisa Jacob (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
43Chelsea Holmes (Aus) Inform TMX Make
44Maddison Taylor (Aus) Giant Racing Team
45Lauren Thomas (Aus) Giant Racing Team
46Hannah Seeliger (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
47Jennifer Darmody (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
48Darcie Richards (Aus) VA Pro Racing
49Lucie Fityus (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
50Phillipa Ash (Aus) Individual Riders 0:01:09
51Bree Playel (Aus) VA Pro Racing
52Loretta Hanson (Aus) Team Westpac
53Kathryn Mcinerney (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
54Rachel Wales (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
55Hayley Jones (Aus) Giant Racing Team 0:01:11
56Claire Battle (Aus) Giant Racing Team 0:01:12
57Shannon Mccurley (Irl) Knights of Suburbia Racing 0:01:40
58Imogen Alton (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's
59Rachel Hore (Aus) Individual Riders
60Kerry Jonker (RSA) Team Westpac
61Laura Chancellor (Aus) Women's Racing Project
62Nicole Oh (Aus) Individual Riders
63Brittany Petersen (Aus) Team Westpac
64Holly Lubcke (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
65Ella Bloor (Aus) Inform TMX Make
66Nicola Macdonald (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM 0:01:51
67Haylee Fuller (Aus) Team Garmin Australia 0:04:45
68Sophie Edwards (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
69Elizabeth Nuspan (Aus) Inform TMX Make
70Amanda Spratt (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco
71Mackenzie Coupland (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation 0:11:05
72Alana Forster (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
73Lucinda Stewart (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
74Julia Atkins (Aus) Women's Racing Project
75Alli Anderson (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
76Nicole Mitsigeorgis (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation 0:15:05
77Eloise Sandow (Aus) Inform TMX Make
78Celia Cowan (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
79Dharlia Haines (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
80Holly Chance (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
81Alexandra Martin-wallace (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast

Points classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ruby Roseman-gannon (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 8
2Georgia Baker (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco 4
3Emily Watts (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing 3
4Nicole Frain (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM 1
5Josie Talbot (Aus) Sydney Uni Staminade Women's 1
6Hayley Jones (Aus) Giant Racing Team 1

Mountain classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Georgie Howe (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing 5
2Justine Barrow (Aus) Roxsolt Liv SRAM 3
3Ruth Corset (Aus) VA Pro Racing 2

Young rider classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
2Anya Louw (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast 0:00:10
3Mia Hayden (Aus) Women's Racing Project
4Isabelle Carres (Aus) Team Garmin Australia 0:00:39
5Alisha Wells (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
6Belinda Bailey (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
7Ella Simpson (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
8Sophie Marr (Aus) Knights of Suburbia Racing
9Sharni Morley (Aus) Stepfwd Soomom
10Alyssa Polites (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
11Chelsea Holmes (Aus) Inform TMX Make
12Lauren Thomas (Aus) Giant Racing Team
13Hannah Seeliger (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
14Darcie Richards (Aus) VA Pro Racing
15Lucie Fityus (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation
16Bree Playel (Aus) VA Pro Racing 0:01:07
17Laura Chancellor (Aus) Women's Racing Project 0:01:38
18Holly Lubcke (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
19Haylee Fuller (Aus) Team Garmin Australia 0:04:43
20Sophie Edwards (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
21Elizabeth Nuspan (Aus) Inform TMX Make
22Mackenzie Coupland (Aus) Cycling Development Foundation 0:11:03
23Lucinda Stewart (Aus) Team Garmin Australia
24Alli Anderson (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
25Eloise Sandow (Aus) Inform TMX Make 0:15:03
26Celia Cowan (Aus) Butterfields Racing Team
27Dharlia Haines (Aus) South Australian Sports Institute
28Alexandra Martin-wallace (Aus) Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast

Team classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team BikeExchange-Jayco 6:40:15
2Roxsolt Liv Sram
3Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast
4Knights of Suburbia Racing
5Sydney Uni Staminade Women's Cycling 0:00:29
6Inform TMX Make
7Team Garmin Australia 0:00:58
8Va ro Racing
9Giant Racing Team
10Team Westpac 0:01:26
11Stepfwd Soomom 0:01:27
12Cycling Development Foundation
13Women's Racing Project 0:01:57
14Butterfields Racing Team 0:11:51

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Simone Giuliani

Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.

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