Late Race Crash Forces Change of Plans on Chongming IslandWed 8 May 2013
On the first stage of the Tour of Chongming Island, Emma Johansson was the top finisher for ORICA-AIS in fourth place. A late race crash took out the team’s leader of the day, Nettie Edmondson, within the last two kilometres. Lucy Garner (Argos-Shimano), the current Junior Road World Champion and relatively unknown at the elite level, took the top honours on the day.
“The plan for the day was for the sprinters, of course,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “Here in China we have three sprinters who are potential winners, but we decided to support Nettie today based on her fitness and the make-up of the rest of the field.”
“After Nettie took second in the first intermediate sprint and won the second sprint, I knew we were in really good shape,” continued McPartland. “I made the call to support her in the final sprint without first trying to split the field. We were confident in her speed and fitness to go for the win against the bunch.”
The team’s plan unfolded to perfection until two kilometres to go when an unfortunate crash took Edmondson out of contention.
“Without any time to react, a rider turned into Nettie and she had nowhere to go. It was very frustrating because the girls said the lead out was spot on,” explained McPartland.
Although Edmondson's disappointment was hard to disguise, she walked away from the crash relatively unscathed. She has a sore wrist but it seems as if she will be able to finish the three day tour. With the bonus seconds she snagged during the two intermediate sprints, Edmondson will start stage two in third overall, 5" behind Garner and 4" behind Hosking.
“The more I think about this result and how the race will unfold, I realise that the tour is not out of reach,” concluded McPartland. “ With the team we’ve got here, we’re still confident. Garner didn’t take any bonus seconds prior to the finish, so that works to our favour. Chloe Hosking, who finished second on the stage and won the first intermediate sprint, remains a threat, but we can do this.”