Williams fifth in Aussie criterium championshipsWed 7 Jan 2015
New recruit Lizzie Williams has finished fifth at the Cycling Australia national criterium championships this evening in Ballarat.
The 31-year-old, who finished third overall in her debut race for ORICA-AIS at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic earlier this week, was the team’s top representative behind winner Kimberley Wells in a sprint finish.
Williams and fellow ORICA-AIS riders Amanda Spratt and Gracie Elvin each found themselves amongst threatening moves in attempt to break the 33km race apart before regrouping late in the piece for the bunch kick.
“We were mindful that we didn’t want to go out there guns blazing like the last crit in the Bay Series,” sport director Gene Bates said.
“We wanted to try and sit back for a little bit and see if anyone else was interested. It took quite a while and I was starting to get a bit nervous.
“But we were able to play some pretty good cards. Each of the girls - Spratty, Gracie and Lizzie - were all involved in really good breakaways that we hoped could go to the finish.”
The first intermediate sprint lit up the action with a Peta Mullens and Chloe Hosking attack immediately after taking the points. The pair split, Hosking attempting a solo move only to be shortly after caught by a chasing peloton led by ORICA-AIS’ Spratt.
With the same idea, a group of six, including Williams, established following the second intermediate sprint and looked threatening but again the attentive peloton brought the action back together.
A counter attack from Elvin initiated the next break of three riders but with one final solo attempt by Carlee Taylor the race look destined for a sprint finish.
“We tried to lead out Lizzie for the finish,” Bates said. “We probably mistimed it a little bit and she was fifth in the end.”
“In all a good race on their behalf and they are really looking forward to Saturday’s road race on a harder circuit where they can really do some damage.”
ORICA-AIS will not have a representative in tomorrow’s Australian time trial championship and will next race in the women’s road race on Saturday.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARK GUNTER.