|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
UniSA Women's Criterium Series - NE
Australia, January 16-20, 2007
Stage 1 - Tuesday, January 16: East End Adelaide Street Race, 5:30pm, 30 min + 1 lap
MacPherson hatrick in Adelaide
By Ben Abrahams in Adelaide
Defending series champion Jenny MacPherson fired an early warning shot to her rivals in Adelaide's East End this evening with an utterly commanding performance in round one of the UniSA women's criterium series. After several early attacks failed to stick, MacPherson escaped with Queenslander Emma Mackie and the pair combined to easily hold off a somewhat half-hearted chase from the main field. With one lap remaining, Mackie tried to surprise her fellow escapee but MacPherson was onto her like a flash and took out the drag strip finish by two bike lengths.
"I love this race and I love this series," beamed a delighted MacPherson at the finish. "When you've got such good feelings about a race it definitely helps to get the results." Asked whether the stifling heat had an impact on her performance, MacPherson replied, "My average heart rate out there was probably 190, usually it would be about 170-175 in a race."
Despite missing out on victory after some long turns in the break, Mackie was upbeat about her performance. "I was feeling pretty good today actually," she said after completing a warm down lap. "I know that Jenny and a couple of the other girls, like Belinda Goss, are sprinting awesomely at the moment. I consider myself a bit of a sprinter but I need to try and get away by myself [to win]."
After finishing second overall in the Bay Series last week, Belinda Goss showed that she is indeed on fine sprinting form by ripping up the finishing straight to take the bunch kick for third place from Nikki Egyed. Active in many of the early moves, Goss' only mistake was missing the break that really mattered, and with Emma Mackie her team-mate up the road, she had little reason to chase.
How it unfolded
With the mercury hitting 40 degrees Celsius in places, 33 riders lined up for the richest series of races on the Australian women's calendar; a total prize fund of $10,000 on offer. The flat circuit and just a slight hint of a cooling breeze meant that it would take some aggressive riding to break up the field in just half an hour of racing.
Sydney's Katie Brown returned to competitive cycling for the first time since sustaining serious injuries in the same accident which tragically killed Amy Gillet back in July 2005.
The initial lap saw few riders willing to take the initiative, the field covering the 2km circuit in 3 minutes 10 seconds. First to attack on lap two was Bianca Rogers (Kilkenny) who strung out the small pack through the downhill finishing straight but still the big guns were watching each other, refusing to show their cards too early.
Finally a serious move came after 15 minutes, Belinda Goss producing a burst of speed through the finishing area. Still, this was not enough to snap the elastic but it did provide the launch pad for Goss' team mate Mackie to fire off the front with defending champ Jenny MacPherson for company.
The pair seized their chance immediately, trading powerful turns with MacPherson looking effortlessly strong despite the hot conditions. Goss clearly still had plenty left in the tank and made several attempts to bridge up to the break. However, with ten minutes remaining the gap was up to 23 seconds and it was clear that the winner would come from one of two riders.
At the bell, MacPherson was still driving hard and Mackie saw her chance for a late escape on the circuit's only slight incline. MacPherson covered the move with ease, forcing Mackie to lead out for the final kilometre. As the pair hove into view down the finishing straight it looked from a distance as if Mackie might cause a big upset, but the defending champion was too strong and claimed the win.
A crash in the bunch with 1km remaining caused a handful of riders to retire with Goss staying out of trouble to claim the final podium spot.
The series resumes tomorrow afternoon at the Tanunda Street Circuit where MacPherson will be looking to extend her series lead whilst holding off the inevitable onslaught from Mackie and Goss.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
Images by Mark Gunter/www.pbase.com/gunterphotograph
Images by Rachel Burke/www.maximumattack.biz
1 Jenny MacPherson (Vic) 40 pts 2 Emma Mackie (Qld) 38 3 Belinda Goss (Tas) 36 4 Nikki Egyed (Qld) 34 5 Peta Mullens (Vic) 32 6 Belinda Diprose 30 7 Bianca Rogers (SA) 28 8 Tiffany Cromwell (SA) 26 9 Vicki Whitelaw (ACT) 24 10 Bridgette Evans (Qld) 22 11 Amber Jenkins (NSW) 20 12 Patricia Palmer (Qld) 18 13 Sara Carrigan (Qld) 16 14 Jemma O'Brien (NSW) 14 15 Nicole Magner 12 16 Kimberley Wells 10 17 Louise Kerr (Qld) 8 18 Joanna Somerville (NSW) 6 19 Caitlin Deckert 4 20 Kate Warren (Tas) 2 21 Carla Ryan (Qld) 22 Rachel Sherborne 23 Katie Brown (NSW) 24 Candice Sullivan (Qld) 25 Philippa Read 26 Carlee Taylor (SA) 27 Jenny Fay (Ire) DNF Aimee Alsbury (SA) DNF Jennifer Byrnes DNF Maria Szczerba (SA) DNF Sheba Farrin (USA) DNS Kate Mercer (Qld) DNS Therese Rhodes (SA) DNS Sophie Ruderman (GBr)