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Australian Open Road Championships - CN
Portarlington, Australia, January 14, 2001
Men - Williams in a mammoth effort
Reports by Jeff Jones and John Doggett-Williams
New South Welshman, Steve Williams has won the 2001 Australian Open Championships in Portarlington after an amazing early breakaway that decided the race. In the end, the 195 kilometre, 18 lap event came down to a three man tussle between Williams, Cameron Hughes (Qld) and Matt Wilson (Vic). These three finished 10-15 seconds in front of a group of four, part of an original break that had been away for almost the entire race. Favourites including Stuart O'Grady, Jamie Drew, Baden Cooke, Patrick Jonker and Dave McKenzie all missed the break, and could get no closer than two and a half minutes.
Attacking from the gun is not normally considered to be a sure-fire way to success in a 195 kilometre race. However, the conditions were much cooler than expected - 25 degrees as opposed to 40 - and the large group of leaders seemed happy to work together. The gap was over seven minutes at one point before the pack started to chase behind, and they reduced it to 5:13 with six 10.8 kilometre laps to go.
However, this speed increase also split the main peloton, leaving 11 riders chasing 9 leaders and it was not enough. With one lap left, there was still a 2:30 deficit, with last year's champion, Jamie Drew riding solo in 10th spot. Victorian Matthew Wilson had launched an attack up front, and he was joined by Steve Williams and Cameron Hughes on the last lap. Williams was able to outsprint the other two for the biggest win of his career.
The sprint classification was won by South Australian Stephen Cunningham, who had a tough battle with Scott Suckling for the honours. Suckling succumbed to the heat and the distance and was one of many to pull out - only 23 riders from 136 starters finished the race.
13:00 - 64.8 km/129.6 km to go
At 12 laps to go in the men's race, a group of 12 have a 7 minute break on the main field. The names: Jay Sweet (SA), Allan Davis (ACT), Nick Gates (NSW), Peter Milostic (NSW), Paul Anders (Vic), Robert Boag (Vic), Stephen Cunningham (SA), John Frieberg (Qld), Cameron Hughes (NSW), Scott Suckling (WA), Matt Wilson (Vic), Steve Williams (NSW).
The group attacked in the very early stages of the race. Stuart O'Grady made an attempt to brudge but was unsuccessful.
14:25 - 129.6 km/64.8 km to go
At 6 laps to go, there have been a few changes in the race. On lap 9, two riders (Jeff Wheeler (SA) and Graeme Brown (NSW)) managed to bridge across to the leading group, for a total of 14 riders in front. The sprints are being contested mainly by Stephen Cunningham (SA) and Scott Suckling (WA), with Cunningham in the lead despite a puncture.
The main bunch has split into two and has increased its tempo, pulling the gap back to 5:13. Chasing strongly are Jamie Drew (Vic), Baden Cooke (Vic), Stuart O'Grady (SA) and Robert Crowe (Vic).
15:05 - 162 km/32.4 km to go
The race continues to close up with three laps to go, as a 14 rider chase group is eating away at the lead of the break (also 14 riders). Prominent chasers include Jamie Drew, David McKenzie (Vic), Patrick Jonker (SA), Matthew Hayman (ACT), and David Harrigan (NSW). The gap is 3:38.
15:24 - 173 km/24 km to go
Will they, won't they...?
We now have a lead group of 9, with just over two laps to go with a gap of less than 2:55. There are 11 chasers now (Drew, McKenzie, Jonker, Hayman, Harrigan, Cadel Evans (Vic), Stuart O'Grady (SA), Chris Carr (Vic), Sean Sullivan (Tas), and Greg Henderson (NZl).
15:47 - 186 km/10.8 km to go
The bell lap, and we have a lone breakaway: Matt Wilson (Vic) who has 25 seconds on eight riders including Graeme Brown, Jay Sweet, John Frieberg, Cameron Hughes, Steve Williams, and Robert Boag. Jamie Drew is about 2:30 behind them, on his own.
Results - 194.6 km
1 Steve Williams (NSW) 4.50.35 (40.13 km/h) 2 Cameron Hughes (Qld) 3 Matt Wilson (Vic) 4 Graeme Brown (NSW)* 1st U23 0.43 5 Robert Boag (Vic) 6 Stephen Cunningham (SA) 7 Nick Gates (NSW) 8 John Frieberg (Qld) 1.27 9 Greg Henderson (NZl) 2.18 10 Jamie Drew (Vic) 2.28 11 Stuart O'Grady (SA) 12 Matthew Hayman (ACT) 13 David McKenzie (Vic) 14 Sean Sullivan (Tas) 15 Patrick Jonker (SA) 3.00 16 Cadel Evans (Vic) 3.01 17 Jay Sweet (SA) 4.32 18 Trent Wilson (NSW) 5.42 19 Tom Leaper (Vic) 20 Chris Carr (Vic) 9.31 21 Paul Redenbach (Vic) 22 Greg Campbell (Qld) 23 Tim Bartholomew (NSW) 19.14 24 Michael Taffe (Vic) Sprints 1 Stephen Cunningham (SA) 28 pts 2 Scott Suckling (WA) 21 3 John Frieberg (Qld) 12
By Jeff Jones and John Doggett-Williams
Victorian cyclist Katie Mactier is the 2001 Australian women's road champion after a gritty performance in the 97.6 kilometre circuit race in Portarlington. Mactier outsprinted breakaway companions Liz Tadich (Vic) and Margaret Hemsley (NSW) after the three had split from the pack on the final lap. Defending champion Anna Millward finished third in the bunch sprint, for sixth place overall.
Although she also finished second in the sprints classification, things did not all go Mactier's way, after she fell with three laps to go. Despite bloodied arms and legs, she remounted her machine and proceeded to joust with fellow Victorian Helen Kelly for the sprints classification throughout the race.
Due to the fast course and relatively slow pace, the 40 or so women stayed intact for much of the race, and it came down to a battle of wits on the final lap. At the halfway point (about 5 km to go), Mactier attacked and got away with Tadich and Hemsley after the final intermediate sprint. They held their gap as the rest of the pack was faced with the dilemma of chasing them down, thereby putting Anna Millward in a position to win.
However, with two Victorians up the road, there could only be one result and Mactier demonstrated her superior speed that saw her win the Bay Series sprint jersey. For someone who has only been cycling for less than two years, it was impressive and she was beside herself.
"It is a terrific course, even though I fell in the same place as I did last year. To win the race is mind boggling!" she said.
Results - 97.2 km
1 Katie Mactier (Vic) 2.48.06 (34.69 km/h) 2 Liz Tadich (Vic) 3 Margaret Hemsley (NSW) 4 Joanne Kiesanonski (NZl) 0.06 5 Naomi Williams (Tas) 6 Anna Millward (Wilson) (Vic) 7 Alison Wright (ACT) 8 Sarah Carrigan (Qld) 9 Renee Fortunato (NSW) 10 Bridget Evans (Qld) 11 Helen Kelly (Vic) 12 Karen Sumpton (Qld) 13 Olivia Gollan (NSW) 14 Emma James (NSW) 15 Kym Shirley (Qld) 16 Priska Doppman (Swi) 17 Jennifer Manefield (NSW) 18 Natalie Bates (NSW) 19 Sophie Freshwater (Vic) 20 Hayley Rutherford (WA) 21 Tracey Gaudry (ACT) 22 Natasha Narrigan (NSW) 23 Rebecca Cleveland (Vic) 24 Erin Philp (NSW) 25 Kristy Scrymgeour (NSW) 0.41 26 Jessica Morrison (Vic) 0.46 27 Amy Safe (Vic) 28 Ann Yew (Vic) 29 Jessica Amy (Vic) 8.12 30 Fiona Scarff (WA) 31 Victoria Kirkby (Vic) Sprint classification 1 Helen Kelly (Vic) 12 pts 2 Katie Mactier (Vic) 8 3 Olivia Gollan (NSW) 5
While various European countries will be holding their national cyclocross championships today, Australia is having its national road championship. The Australian Open Road Cycling Championship commences at 8 am with the 98 km women's event followed by the 195 km men's event at 11 am. Both races are held on the testing 10.8 kilometre Portarlington circuit.
Anna Millward (nee Wilson) will carry the No. 1 saddlecloth in the women's race, and she is certainly in good enough form to win it. Her performance in the final race of the Skilled Bay Cycling Classic was head and shoulders above the rest of the field, save for Sara Carrigan. She will be closely watched in Sunday's race, but if she is given any freedom to escape then she may well repeat her win of last year.
Other riders to look for in the 40 strong women's field include Hayley Rutherford (WA), Sara Carrigan (Qld), Bridget Evans (Qld), Liz Tadich (Vic), Katie Mactier (Vic), Margaret Hemsley (NSW), and Jeanette Schwarz (NSW). If it comes to a field sprint, then Rochelle Gilmore (NSW) and Naomi Williams (Tas) should be well up there.
Tour de France star Stuart O'Grady will be chasing his first Australian open road cycling championship, amongst 135 other entrants in the men's race. O'Grady has achieved mixed results in the open championship since its inception two years ago. He finished second to West Australian Henk Vogels in 1999 and failed to complete the course last year, when still recovering from injuries sustained in an assault in Europe. O'Grady, Australia's highest ranked international road cyclist, has had patches of form in the last few weeks, but is it enough? "I've been doing the miles - I just need a bit of luck," he said.
The reigning men's champion, Jamie Drew is "spot on" to record his second straight victory in the championship. Drew was second over the line to Great Britain's Jeremy Hunt last year, but was awarded the national jersey because he was the first Australian. Drew's Victorian Institute of Sport coach David Sanders said he had not seen anybody as impressive in lead up races to the championship.
"He's so strong, he's been cutting them to bits," Sanders said. However, it was revealed during the Melbourne-Sorrento that Drew has been suffering from a virus for the past week, forcing his withdrawal from that race. The winner of the Sorrento race was Kristjan Snorrason, who is certainly a candidate for a top 10 finish, or better.
The overall winner of the Bay Series, Robbie McEwen, has already left the country for a Domo-Farm Frites training camp in Europe and will not be contesting Sunday's race. However, there will be plenty of other Australian contenders to try and take Drew's crown. Included amongst these is Australia's best performed elite rider at the 2000 World Road Championships, Scott Sunderland. The Inverell native will be aiming to repeat his 1986 Australian Championship, after he came close last year when he finished just behind Drew.
Women 1 Anna Millward (Wilson) (Vic) 21 Helen Kelly (Vic) 2 Alison Wright (ACT) 22 Victoria Kirkby (Vic) 3 Tracey Gaudry (ACT) 23 Katie Mactier (Vic) 4 Hayley Rutherford (WA) 24 Jennifer Manefield (NSW) 5 Liz Tadich (Vic) 25 Rebecca MccCnnell (Vic) 6 Bridget Evans (Qld) 26 Jessica Morrison (Vic) 7 Rochelle Gilmore (NSW) 27 Kerry Murane (Vic) 8 Natalie Bates (NSW) 28 Natasha Narrigan (NSW) 9 Emma James (NSW) 29 Erin Philp (NSW) 10 Jessica Amy (Vic) 30 Amy Safe (Vic) 11 Katherine Bates (NSW) 31 Fiona Scarff (WA) 12 Sarah Carrigan (Qld) 32 Jeanette Schwarz (NSW) 13 Rebecca Cleveland (Vic) 33 Kristy Scrymgeour (NSW) 14 Renee Fortunato (NSW) 34 Kym Shirley (Qld) 15 Sophie Freshwater (Vic) 35 Karen Sumpton (Qld) 16 Olivia Gollan (NSW) 36 Naomi Williams (Tas) 17 Louisa Hamilton-White (Vic) 37 Felicity Wilson (Vic) 18 Alexandra Harrison (Vic) 38 Ann Yew (Vic) 19 Margaret Hemsley (NSW) 40 Joanne Kiesanonski (NZl) 20 Susanne Jolidon (Swi) 41 Priska Doppman (Swi) Men 1 Jamie Drew (Vic) 69 Dean Johnston (Vic) 2 Scott Sunderland (NSW) 70 Nathan Jones (WA) 3 Andrew Stalder (Vic) 71 Liam Kelly (NSW) 4 Stuart O'Grady (SA) 72 Ryan Kelly (Vic) 5 Josh Collingwood (NSW) 73 Paul Kenny (Vic) 6 Cadel Evans (Vic) 74 Nash Kent (NSW) 7 Patrick Jonker (SA) 75 Duncan Kidd (NSW) 8 David McKenzie (Vic) 76 Michael Knoff (Vic) 9 Michael Rogers (ACT) 77 Adrian Laidler (SA) 10 Peter Rogers (ACT) 78 Tyson Lawrence (WA) 11 Jay Sweet (SA) 79 Daniel Mackey (WA) 12 Robert Tighello (Vic) 80 Caleb Manion (Tas) 13 Trent Wilson (NSW) 81 Dennis Markouris (Vic) 14 Graeme Brown (NSW) 82 Kelvin Martin (ACT) 15 Ben Brooks (NSW) 83 Brad Martin (NSW) 16 Robert Crowe (Vic) 84 Danny Massouras (Vic) 17 Scott Davis (ACT) 85 Craig Mccartney (Vic) 18 Allan Davis (ACT) 86 Paul Mcdonald (NSW) 19 Nick Gates (NSW) 87 Colin Mcevoy (Vic) 20 Tom Leaper (Vic) 88 Bruce Mcintosh (Vic) 21 Peter Milostic (NSW) 89 Bradley Mills (NSW) 22 David Pell (Vic) 90 Ryan Moody (Vic) 23 Russell Van Hout (SA) 91 Todd Parnell (Tas) 24 Wayne Van Moorsel (WA) 92 Scott Perrin (Qld) 25 Graeme Miller (NZl) 93 Trent Perry (Vic) 26 Steve Aitken (Tas) 94 Jason Plowman (Vic) 27 Paul Anders (Vic) 95 Rhys Pollock (NSW) 28 John Baker (NSW) 96 Kevin Poulton (NSW) 29 Tim Bartholomew (NSW) 97 Adam Pyke (Vic) 30 Darren Benson (NSW) 98 River Rain (Qld) 31 Stephen Blackburn (ACT) 99 Paul Redenbach (Vic) 32 Nathan Blackman (NSW) 100 Darren Rolfe (NSW) 33 Robert Boag (Vic) 101 Daniel Rutherford (NSW) 34 Nic Brown (WA) 102 Steven Sansonetti (Vic) 35 Tim Buchanan (ACT) 103 Adrian Sansonetti (Vic) 36 Baden Burke (ACT) 104 Matthew Sewell (GBr) 37 Brett Cahir (Vic) 105 Michael Simms (WA) 38 Greg Campbell (Qld) 106 Klayten Smith (NSW) 39 Chris Carr (Vic) 107 Matthew Speed (Vic) 40 Anthony Challinor (NSW) 108 Ric Steele (WA) 41 Phil Chapman (NSW) 109 Scott Suckling (WA) 42 Garry Chapman (NSW) 110 Sean Sullivan (Tas) 43 Hilton Clarke (Vic) 111 Michael Taffe (Vic) 44 Geoff Cook (NSW) 112 James Taylor (Vic) 45 Baden Cooke (Vic) 113 Christopher Teakle (Vic) 46 Peter Cottam (Vic) 114 Craig Thompson (NZl) 47 Jonathon Coulter (Qld) 115 Phillip Thuaux (NSW) 48 Adam Cox (NSW) 116 Andrew Torney (Vic) 49 Stephen Cunningham (SA) 117 Ray Turner (Vic) 50 Andrew Curro (NSW) 118 Michael Walsh (Vic) 51 Peter Dawson (WA) 119 Michael Watkins (Vic) 52 Brad Edmunds (Vic) 120 Jan Weber (NSW) 53 Paul Forrest (NSW) 121 Jeff Wheeler (SA) 54 John Forrest (ACT) 122 Matt Wilson (Vic) 55 John Frieberg (Qld) 123 Rhys Sherborne (WA) 56 Simon Gerrans (Vic) 124 Anthony Di Battista (Vic) 57 Lee Godfrey (Vic) 125 Magnus Backstedt (Swe) 58 Marcel Gono (Vic) 126 Mathew Miller (Vic) 59 Chris Green (ACT) 127 Duncan Hansford (Vic) 60 Aaron Gullan (Vic) 128 John Van Der Veen (Vic) 61 David Harrigan (NSW) 129 Greg Henderson (NZl) 62 Alex Havas (Vic) 130 Kristjan Snorrason (Vic) 63 Matthew Hayman (ACT) 131 David Mcpartland (NSW) 64 Brendan Howard (NSW) 132 Brad Davidson (Vic) 65 Joshua Hudson (WA) 133 Simon Ross (NSW) 66 Cameron Hughes (Qld) 134 Steve Williams (NSW) 67 Matthew Jackson (Vic) 135 Ben Day (Qld) 68 Cameron Jennings (Qld) 136 Wayne Anderson (NSW) Courtesy of Caribou Publications
Men 1999 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) (Australian champion: Jamie Drew) Women 1999 Anna Wilson (Vic) Saturn