Elvin fourth and GC gaps on opening stage of Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Wed 30 Jan 2019

Former Australian champion Gracie Elvin has sprinted to fourth place on the Phillip Island Moto GP circuit for the opening stage of the Lexus of Blackburn Women’s Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

A crash on the last lap saw splits in the bunch, with Elvin, Amanda Spratt and Grace Brown making the front split of eight riders before time gaps were given.

Winder solo
Racing remained together for the opening five laps, until the first intermediate sprint, before Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) escaped solo. 

Her advantage continued to grow as the laps counted down, before it hit a peak of two-minutes 40seconds and Mitchelton-SCOTTsent riders to the front.

The chase:
It was West Australian Jessica Allen shouldering a lot of the work on the front before Ale Cippolini also sent a contributor to assist.  

Between them, and later with the help of Georgia Williams, they continued to reduce the gap before it was down to 30seconds with six laps remaining, and back together ahead of the bell lap. 

Bonus seconds:
Two intermediate sprints - offering three, two and one bonus seconds each - saw Mitchelton-SCOTT get involved with Elvin and Brown taking a total of three and one second each throughout the day.  

The bonuses see them conclude the first day of racing in fourth and fifth overall.  

Final lap chaos:
Well positioned at the front of the peloton ensured Mitchelton-SCOTT avoided a last lap crash, whilst the downhill sprint to the line also saw gaps.

Ale Cippolini’s Chloe Hosking claimed the opening stage victory ahead of Rachel Barbieri (BePink) and Lotta Lepisto (Trak-Segafredo), whilst Mitchelton-SCOTT finished fourth, seventh and eighth with Elvin, Spratt and Brown.

Lucy Kennedy and Williams finished in a second group at seven seconds, with other overall contenders, including Elisa Longo-Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) who sits at 21seconds, losing more time. 

Gracie Elvin – Fourth Place:
“It was really cool. I have never been to Phillip Island before. My dad used to come to watch the Super Bikes, so it’s pretty cool to race my push bike on it.  

“The girls have been in great form this summer so it was fun for me to be the protected rider today. I had really good help on the intermediate and final sprints, the girls have been really improving on the lead out and it was good to be able to direct them today and also work on my own sprint. I’m pretty happy with how it went, even though fourth is never a nice position to finish.

“It was good for me to open up a bit (on the intermediate sprints) because I haven’t been doing a lot of sprinting lately. To get a feel of the finish was good, because there was a bit of a head wind in the finish so it was good to get an idea of where to start the sprint and I did learn that pretty quick in the first two intermediate sprints.”

Lexus Blackburn – Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 1 Results:
1. Chloe Hosking (Ale Cippolini) 2:30:22
2. Rachel Barbieri (Be Pink) ST
3. Lotto Lepisto (Trek-Segafredo) ST
4. Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Lexus Blackburn – Jayco Herald Sun Tour – General Classification after Stage 1:
1. Chloe Hosking (Ale Cippolini) 2:30:22
2. Rachel Barbieri (Be Pink) 
3. Lotto Lepisto (Trek-Segafredo) 
4. Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 

Image courtesy of Con Chronis.