Top ten for Elvin and Roy in the Towards Zero Race Melbourne criteriumThu 25 Jan 2018
Former Australian road race champion Gracie Elvin and former Australian criterium champion Sarah Roy finished inside the top ten with sixth and eighth place respectively on today’s 63kilometre Towards Zero Race Melbourne criterium at Albert Park.
As predicted the race conclude with a furious bunch sprint with most team’s lining-up with a protected sprint rider. Mitchelton-SCOTT started with a specific lead-out plan and took the race on in the final kilometre of the race.
All for the sprinters
With many of the world’s best sprinters on the start list, the teams gave riders almost no freedom to breakaway. Lisa Morzenti (Be-Pink) was the most active in the early stages trying to get away, and half-way through the race spent one-lap danging ahead of the bunch.
With a short untechnical 63kilometre circuit, it was fast following which allowed the bunch to float around in one compact group as easily absorb the breakaway attemps as the sprinters kept themselves out of trouble preparing for the final dash to the line.
With one lap remaining it was a battle at the front of the peloton as numerous team’s lined-up alongside each other all vying for the front position.
With two kilometres to go Mitchelton-SCOTT found themselves in a drag race with UniSA with their sprinters tooked in behind their fast trains. Around the final corner it was Mitchelton-SCOTT who took the front position leaving Annemiek van Vleuten and Gracie Elvin at the front of the bunch coming down the final straight.
“We had a pretty specific plan today, we knew it would likely finish with a bunch sprint so we planned to start our lead-out late with 1.2kilometres to go. We hit the front a little too early and we were communicating this but then we ended up losing two of our riders a bit too early.”
“We were then down to three girls in front of myself and those girls did a really great lead-out but I lost the wheel and tried to make it back by following other sprinters but got stuck behind other lead-out riders that then swung-off.
"The team put in a huge effort but I made a bad decision and ultimately stuffed up the sprint. If I had been on Gracie's wheel it could have been perfect."
Gene Bates - Sport Director
“We wanted to have a really good lead-out today and with Jolien D’Hoore coming to the team we really wanted to continue to work on that mindset of doing proper lead-outs.”
“The girls where there at the front well organised, we probably hit the front a little bit too early and Georgia Williams had to do a big turn on the front and go head-to-head with Katrin Garfoot (UniSA) so we were probably a little too excited and that left us a little bit short in the final. Annemiek had her marker to go to the final corner and then leave Gracie and Roy.”
Towards Zero Race Melbourne results:
1. Nettie Edmondson (Wiggle-High5)
2. Georgia Bronzini (Cylance)
3. Kendall Ryan (Team Tibco)
6. Gracie Elvin (Mitchetlon-SCOTT)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images