Williams fourth on stage three of Bay CritsSun 4 Jan 2015
Debutant Lizzie Williams has narrowly missed out on a podium position on stage three of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, finishing fourth in Portarlington this afternoon.
The toughest of the four stages saw Peta Mullens (individual) escape for a solo victory, the rest left to battle it out for minor positions.
Williams and her ORICA-AIS teammates were confident and attacked the race aggressively but were heavily marked on any moves.
“Morale is really good at the moment,” sport director Gene Bates said. “We know everyone is strong and fit so it was pretty much status quo today. Be aggressive, pick a smart move and anyone was free to take the stage win which is what we are here for.”
“It didn’t really work out that way today. Wiggle was very content on following all of our riders and shutting them down so that Chloe (Hoskings) could remain in the leader’s jersey which is pretty normal tactics in their position.”
On a more positive note, Williams followed up her podium finish on the first day of racing to again feature at the pointy end of the race.
“Lizzie is really learning a lot this week, especially with the new team, new riders and new staff to work with, so day by day she will keep getting better.”
Early moves started after ten minutes of racing but were covered by the ORICA-AIS outfit.
Australian road race champion Gracie Elvin also tried her luck to get off the front but was closely covered after her solo victory yesterday by the series leader Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Down Under).
After 30minutes of racing Mullens took advantage of the heavy marking of the ORICA-AIS outfit and escaped solo. The move proved to be the right one, late chases not enough to shut it down.
Australian criterium champion Sarah Roy returned from illness to make her first start with the team, whilst Elvin was also forced to withdraw with a mechanical in the final laps.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARK GUNTER.