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UniSA Women's Criterium Series - NE
Australia, January 16-20, 2007
Stage 2 - Wednesday, January 17: Tanunda Street Circuit, 1:30pm , 30 min + 1 lap
Goss closes up women's criterium series
By Greg Johnson in Tanunda, South Australia
The UniSA Women's Criterium Series winner will be decided at Saturday's Aldinga Beach leg after Belinda Goss and her HIT Racing team threw the series wide open by taking victory at today's Tanunda street circuit criterium. Goss followed up her third position in yesterday's series opening leg in East Adelaide with a victory today to claim the blue jersey, two points ahead of series rival and defending champion Jenny MacPherson.
Tasmania's Goss was overjoyed with the victory and hopes to retain the jersey following Saturday's finale, as well as collect the $10,000 prizemoney on offer.
"It was a bit hairy getting through that last corner, but my girls from Hitachi racing, they did a fantastic job today, so thanks to them," said Goss. "They just were covering everything throughout the race, making sure they were up the front and not letting anything get away today. We wanted a bunch finish, so I'm really happy we got that and the win."
After finishing off the podium in yesterday's series opener, Victoria's Peta Mullens stormed her way onto the podium in today's race to take second place. Bridgette Evans also put in an impressive ride to come home seven places ahead of her result yesterday in third place.
A fourth placing for yesterday's winner MacPherson leaves the Victorian Institute of Sport rider trailing Goss by two points in the overall standings on 74.
"The tactic today was for us to make it as hard as possible so Belinda had to chase and then Jen could just sit in for the sprint," said teammate Nikki Egyed. "Unfortunately Gossy, unfortunately for us but great for her, is just riding amazingly well at the moment (…) full credit to her."
Despite the strength of the HIT Racing girls today, the VIS riders believe MacPherson is the favourite to take home the blue jersey again this Sunday.
"I'd put my money on one of our girls," said Olympic gold medalist Sara Carrigan.
How it unfolded
A late pass over the stage by the Tour Down Under peloton forced the women's criterium series to start under unusual circumstances today. The riders filled out the start line without having yet seen the circuit they would compete on for the next thirty minutes.
The late arrival of yesterday's winner MacPherson, Carrigan and Goss allowed enough time for the competitors to be briefed on the course with a map provided by organisers.
Despite the blind approach to the opening lap, the entire field made the final corner incident-free, with Vicki Whitelaw crossing the line first in just over three minutes.
Carrigan and Evans took to the front on the group's second pass over the line before an attack on the back straight saw Jenny Fay go off the front. Fay's efforts were quickly overcome by the trio of Carla Ryan, Nicole Magner and Whitelaw who formed the first serious break, albeit only five-seconds ahead.
The trio lasted just a few laps out front before being consumed by the peloton on the eighth lap. While the riders jostled for the lead, Bianca Rogers' day was brought to a halt with a broken derailleur.
On the ninth lap a dash through the pack by Egyed nearly ended in tears as Whitelaw cut across the rider before pushing her back into Carrigan. Whitelaw and Egyed touched wheels as they rapidly closed in on the first corner, leaving the latter less then amused.
"The rider I was with actually chopped me right then and that wasn't the first time in the race so I was at my tether's end at that stage," explained Egyed after the race. "[I] decided it was time for her to learn not to do that to riders anymore because it's really dangerous to be chopping people…anyway, that's enough of that."
As the two laps remaining bell was sounded and without any successful breaks, it was a sprint to the finish line that saw Goss marginally take victory from Mullens as a hair split Evans and MacPherson in third and fourth respectively.
"I wanted to win today, so it's nice to have the jersey in the team today," said Goss. "Jenny's got a great team this week and I feel privileged to have a strong team as well. It's the two teams racing against each other, and we were a little bit stronger today I guess and managed to take the jersey back".
The series concludes on Saturday with the last of the three criterium series to be held at Aldinga Beach.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Rachel Burke/www.maximumattack.biz
Images by CJ Farquharson/WomensCycling.net
1 Belinda Goss (Tas) 40 pts 2 Peta Mullens (Vic) 38 3 Bridgette Evans (Qld) 36 4 Jenny MacPherson (Vic) 34 5 Emma Mackie (Qld) 32 6 Belinda Diprose 30 7 Tiffany Cromwell (SA) 28 8 Carla Ryan (Qld) 26 9 Jenny Fay (Ire) 24 10 Vicki Whitelaw (ACT) 22 11 Amber Jenkins (NSW) 20 12 Carlee Taylor (SA) 18 13 Patricia Palmer (Qld) 16 14 Jemma O'Brien (NSW) 14 15 Joanna Somerville (NSW) 12 16 Candice Sullivan (Qld) 10 17 Nikki Egyed (Qld) 8 18 Sara Carrigan (Qld) 6 19 Philippa Read 4 20 Nicole Magner 2 21 Kate Warren (Tas) 22 Louise Kerr (Qld) 23 Rachel Sherborne 24 Kimberley Wells DNF Katie Brown (NSW) DNF Caitlin Deckert DNF Bianca Rogers (SA) DNS Aimee Alsbury (SA) DNS Jennifer Byrnes DNS Kate Mercer (Qld) DNS Therese Rhodes (SA) DNS Sophie Ruderman (GBr) DNS Maria Szczerba (SA) DNS Sheba Farrin (USA) General classification after race 2 1 Belinda Goss (Tas) 76 pts 2 Jenny MacPherson (Vic) 74 3 Peta Mullens (Vic) 70 4 Emma Mackie (Qld) 70 5 Belinda Diprose 60 6 Bridgette Evans (Qld) 58 7 Tiffany Cromwell (SA) 54 8 Vicki Whitelaw (ACT) 46 9 Nikki Egyed (Qld) 42 10 Amber Jenkins (NSW) 40 11 Patricia Palmer (Qld) 34 12 Jemma O'Brien (NSW) 28 13 Bianca Rogers (SA) 28 14 Carla Ryan (Qld) 26 15 Jenny Fay (Ire) 24 16 Sara Carrigan (Qld) 22 17 Carlee Taylor (SA) 18 18 Joanna Somerville (NSW) 18 19 Nicole Magner 14 20 Candice Sullivan (Qld) 10 21 Kimberley Wells 10 22 Louise Kerr (Qld) 8 23 Philippa Read 4 24 Caitlin Deckert 4 25 Kate Warren (Tas) 2