Mitchelton-SCOTT women kick off the national championships with a silver medalWed 3 Jan 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT women have settled for the silver medal in their 2018 debut at the Australian Criterium Championship in Ballarat this evening, with former champion Sarah Roy battling hard in the final uphill bunch sprint.
A relatively large bunch arrived together for the final lap as Amanda Spratt led them around the tight bottom corner and up the final drag to the finish. Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Sarah Roy battled hard to the finish for second place but was unable to catch Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) who launched early on the outside for the victory.
An aggressive day for Spratt
Two-time Australian road race champion Spratt showed she has once again arrived for the Australian Summer of Cycling in strong form, playing an aggressive team role in tonight’s criterium. Spratt, with Lauren Kitchen (FDJ) for company, made the most threatening move of the evening.
A surprisingly attack-less final
After the attacks of Spratt and Kitchen, and a final attack from defending champion Jessica Allen, the bunch was back together with five laps remaining. Whilst many were expecting an early move to try to demolish the peloton, which still featured key sprinters, the attacks never came and bunch sprint prevailed.
Sarah Roy – Silver medal:
“The silver is the best result I’ve had here since my win in 2014 so it’s not something to be disappointed about but you can’t deny the fact that it’s not the jersey.”
“It was a clear team goal to defend the title and we didn’t quite do that so this silver medal feels good but not great. In saying that, Rebecca rode a fantastic race and it’s the strongest I have ever seen her.”
“Generally, the race was quite aggressive and I followed what I thought was important while Jenelle (Crooks), Spratty and Jess covered just about everything as well as going on the attack multiple times.
“Jenelle brought us to the front and Jess led most of the back straight with Spratty and I on her wheel. Spratty led through the final corner and I let Peta Mullens on her wheel as I knew I need one more rider in front of me for the long uphill drag to the finish.
“I put my head down and went for it, took the small gap before Peta closed it and saw no one could come past but unfortunately didn’t know Bec was flying up on the other side of the road in the shadows. A good move by her!”
“The plan today was to make it a hard race in the initial laps, there were a lot of fast riders in the peloton so it was in our best interest to make it as hard as we could to make them work also.”
“Once we got to eight laps to go we decided to go more into defensive mode and back Roy for the sprint finish as she is in great shape and it’s a finish we know suits her.”
“For me personally, I wanted to get a really hard hit out before the road race. It’s probably the most nervous I get all year just because it’s the first race so it’s the first chance to really test yourself and see where you are compared to others.”
“I’m really happy with how I felt and it gives me confidence heading into the road race that the fork is exactly where it needs to be for a good performance there.”
1. Rebecca Wiasak (Canberra) 53:26
2. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Kimberley Wells (Canberra) ST