Friday, February 17, 2012

Cykel Womens GP - Round 3 - Bendigo

The Total Rush team set off on the road trip to Bendigo for Round 3 of the Cykel Events Womens GP with 2 goals in mind. Take over the Cycle Cover Leaders Jersey with one of the 2 team members in striking distance, and improve the team’s overall standings. Both goals were achieved and we even managed to sneak a rider on to the podium in the process.. This is how it went down…

Tanya, Carly, Chloe, Bec & Amy - Ready to race!

For the first time in the series, we were fielding a full team of 5. Regulars Tanya Matthewson, Carly Williams and myself, along with guest riders Bec Domange and U17 superstar Chloe Baggs. Starting with the prologue, the aim was to go hard or go home. With the margins between making Div 1 and Div 2 so small, you had to give it your all. A reccy of the course showed it was fast but hard with the wind direction along the uphill drag and the back straight making things tough, and the downhill run in to the first corner was going to be crucial to get right.

Bec set off first so she could get back to the microphone to provide commentary for the day, and she proved she’s still got it, despite her retired racer status. Bec held the hot seat for the first 2/3rds of the day, until fellow TR rider Tanya knocked her off the top spot by the smallest of margins. From there the quick times came in thick and fast, with Masters Champ Meg Marsh taking out the final standings. All Total Rush riders made it comfortably into the top half of the field, so it was time to talk tactics and recover for the afternoon’s Crit whilst Div 2 took to the course.

Soon enough it was time to race again, and with the team plan in mind we set about the task at hand. Due to the wind on the course, things were reasonably subdued, with not too many wanting to set the pace into the wind. Cait Fraser Jones from the local BCS Building Team was active trying to get a breakaway started, but everyone was keen to keep things together for the time being. Tony Abbisigoni was away solo for a couple of laps, however was unable to maintain it into the wind. Things heated up a few laps before the sprint was called, when Tanya went to the front to control the race. Vic Luxton-Bain of Torq/BSS did her best to drop in on the train and mess things up after the whistle was blown, however Amy managed to bring Carly back up to Bec’s wheel for the final corner and the 3 of them took 2/3/4 in the sprint, getting some valuable points for the individual and team standings.

New Series Leader - Carly Williams!

Another attack after the sprint from Cait resulted in the race winning move, with Amy, Lauretta Hansen (Kosdown), Heidi Buntrock (SKCC/Giant) and the sprint winner Chloe McIntosh (Torq/BSS) the ones who were able to go with her. Hawthorn CC had missed the move, and tried to close it down, but after a little organisation, and with the help of team mates back in the bunch, the break worked hard to make it stick. Soon enough, the break had 20+ seconds on the bunch and the 3 laps to go sign was being shown. The break stayed working until the bell lap, where a few attacks started, however it was all still together coming in to the final corner. Chloe McIntosh took the quick inside line and sprinted down the hill to victory, narrowly edging out Cait and Amy to complete the podium.
All smiles with 3rd place

The 4th and Final round is on the 3rd March in Campbellfield. We'll have all 4 team riders on board for this one, our first race all together! Can't wait to get out there and finish the series off on a high!

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