Australia, March 10, 2001
Today we raced the first of 9 World Cup races for 2001. It was held in Canberra on a 5.1km circuit and we completed 20 laps. This was the big one for me - my goal this year is to win the World Cup series so I wanted to get off to the best possible start. I had three team-mates to help me - Kristy Scrymgeour, Kim Bruckner and Anke Erlank and they had their work cut out for them, trying to control the bunch and bring it down to a bunch sprint.
The Autotrader.com team was the most difficult to contain - they were very aggressive from the outset, continually trying to launch someone into a break. However, my Saturn teammates, as well as the AIS team and the Acca Due team, all helped to keep things together.
We began the last lap all together and it was clear we were destined for a bunch finish. The AIS went to the front and set a very high tempo the last time through the hills so that no last minute attacks could sneak clear. At the 1km to go sign, I was on Kristy Scrymgeour's wheel and I told her to start the lead out. She did a great job of tearing down the back straight, stringing the bunch right out and keeping me nicely positioned in third wheel.
At about 300 metres to go, Vera Hohlfeld (Acca Due) moved past Kristy, working for her teammate Mirjam Melchers. I was able to move straight onto Vera's wheel and Mirjam Melchers grabbed my wheel. Anke Erlank (Saturn) moved up on my right to offer help for the final corner but I told her to stay where she was because she was blocking all the other riders on the right side from moving up around me. So Vera Hohlfeld took the final corner first, with me and Sarah Ulmer right behind her and Mirjam Melchers on my wheel.
For a moment I was concerned I was going to get boxed in but then Vera opened a small gap on the right and I jumped through it. We still had 240 metres to travel so I was a little concerned to be hitting the front so early so I balked for a moment. That gave Mirjam Melchers the opportunity to start her sprint and she moved up alongside me with 150 metres to go. I kicked again and gradually pulled in front of her, delighted when I crossed the finish line in first place.
I can't believe that we have managed to accomplish our goal - the whole team was awesome today and we are all so happy that we have completed the racing in Australia and it has all gone so well.
Next Sunday we race the second round of the World Cup in New Zealand. I'll be losing Kim Bruckner as she has to return to America to contest the Redlands tour. So Kristy Scrymgeour and Anke Erlank will be under even more pressure!!