Consecutive second places extend Elvinâ€™s Bay Crits leadSun 3 Jan 2016
Former Australian champion and day one winner Gracie Elvin has mirrored yesterday’s efforts to finish second on day three of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Portarlington today.
Her third podium in as many days extends the 27-year-old’s grasp on the overall title, an added bonus for ORICA-AIS who is chasing stage wins and national championship preparation at the four-day event.
“It’s nice to have a bit more of a buffer with the leader’s jersey so that’s an added bonus for us,” Elvin said. “We didn’t come here for the overall so it’s certainly nice to take that away as well.”
“And the team classification is always a nice pleasure to share with your mates too.”
ORICA-AIS had strength in numbers in all of the moves during the windy 45-minute race, but a bold move from winner Valentina Scandolara (Ale Cycling) on the final corner proved too much for the Australian team to match.
“We are definitely going really well but I have got my teammates to thank, I don’t actually have to do too much in the races because we are all sharing the load,” Elvin said. “Sarah Roy is in super form and it’s so fun to be able to race and back each other and any one of us could have gone for the win today.”
“Sarah picked me for the sprint so I had to put my head down. I got to the corner almost first but Vale dive bombed me and I just wasn’t ready to kill myself today so I sprinted as hard as I could for the line but I couldn’t make it. Next time.”
Roy, who rounded up the podium in third place, praised the team’s dominant performance throughout the race.
“As a team we did really well,” Roy said. “It came down to the last couple of laps, we had to be clever with our race tactics there and we had the numbers.”
“It was just unfortunate in the last corner. Vale was a bit more of a risk taker today and she took the shorter line on the last corner and just got Gracie on the line.”
Elvin now sits on 32points, leading the overall Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic by seven points to Scandolara and eight points to sprinter Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team).
How it happened:
After 17minutes of racing, the women's race lit up on the tough Portarlington course as Amanda Spratt and Scandolara put in a strong move ahead of the peloton.
As the duo pushed out to almost 40seconds advantage it sparked a reaction from the peloton by Wiggle High5 teammates Peta Mullens and Chloe Hosking.
Quickly on their tail to cover the move was the ORICA-AIS trio of Lizzie Williams, Sarah Roy and Gracie Elvin.
Despite only two workers in the group, the Wiggle High5 duo managed to bridge across to the leaders to create a lead group of seven, with four ORICA-AIS representatives, with ten minutes left to race.
Scandolara was again a catalyst in the next move, this time going on the move with the yellow jersey of Elvin. Roy bridged across to the new duo and immediately hit the front in support of her leader in what looked to be the decisive move of the race.
In the end an aggressive move on the inside of the final corner was too sharp for the ORICA-AIS duo, Scandolara sprinting to victory.
The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic comes to a close in Williamstown tomorrow.