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Jayco Bay Cycling Classic - NE
Geelong, Australia, January 2-6, 2008
Stage 3 - January 4: Geelong - Ritchie Boulevard - Elite men
Renshaw tightens race overall with stage win
By Malcolm Sawford in Geelong
Mark Renshaw (Geelong Mazda) raced back into contention for the series win with a dominant display on the tight circuit. Less than fifteen minutes into the fifty-minute race – the race start had to be delayed to allow an injured swimmer at the nearby open water swimming pool to be evacuated by ambulance – Renshaw bridged with Zak Dempster (A&I Helicopters) to a solo attack by Johnnie Walker (Jayco VIS - Sally's Paddock), and the trio lapped the main bunch with twenty-four minutes still to race. "I got a call from Scott Davis coming into the corner to go, and when I heard him say go I just went for it!"
Despite the best efforts of the two youngsters, who ordinarily ride in the South Australi.com-AIS colours to tag team the defending champion in the final laps, Renshaw was far too strong and sprinted to a clear win. "It was quite obvious Mark was the strongest rider there, said Walker, the eventual third place finisher. "Zak and I one-two'ed him as much as we could but in these corners you can only go a certain speed, and although I had a gap of about 50 metres, he was able to close it a bit and then come through me quite easily in the straight."
How it unfolded
Aaron Kemps (A&I Helicopters) kicked off the shortened race with an attack out of the blocks, but his effort ended ingloriously when he slid out on turn one on the second lap. Kemps showed great tenacity after resuming from the pits, making his way through the field to win the first sprint, held just five minutes after the race had started.
Another pileup shortly afterwards saw the boys in the SRAM neutral service pits working overtime fitting new Zipp wheels to damaged machines, with around twenty riders caught in the carnage, including series leader Baden Cooke (deTourMovie.com). "I nearly fell twice, and then the third time I did fall on the bottom corner. Another guy dropped it and I went straight over the top of him, but it was nothing major."
Scott Davis (A&I Helicopters) launched the next attack, before Walker made the move that counted. When Renshaw and Dempster reached Walker they were ten seconds ahead of the bunch, but after some huge turns from Renshaw the margin quickly grew past twenty seconds with thirty minutes still to race, and from that point the leaders had the tail of the main field in sight.
As the leaders reached the back of the field, five riders broke clear at the front of the strung out bunch in a desperate attempt to stay on terms with Renshaw's group. Cooke joined Hilton Clarke (Pitcher Partners), Allan Davis (FRF Couriers - NSWIS), Dean Windsor (Drapac Porsche - Sofitel Mansion Spa) and Craig McCartney (Savings & Loans), and the move gained them half a lap on the bunch before Renshaw's Geelong Mazda team-mates massed at the front of the bunch to prevent the break gaining any further distance. "I was always nervous [they would take a lap]," Renshaw revealed, "but team Mazda did a phenomenal effort today. Rory [Sutherland] especially, he's going really well."
Cooke explained that his group had had to keep a little in reserve. "In the closing stages we were trying to catch them, but no one really wanted to commit because if we didn't catch them then we still wanted to have the legs to beat each other."
Windsor slipped away from the group on the final lap to wrap up fourth place for the day, while Cooke made certain of finishing ahead of Clarke to break their overnight tie. "I made sure at the bell I was at the back, and when they started foxing [in the back straight] I came from behind and made sure I was first into the last corner. I've attacked there before and totally lost it, but this time I completely nailed it. I came out of the corner standing on the pedals and managed to hold them off."
Davis also finished ahead of Clarke, and will start day four two points adrift of Cooke, and tied with Renshaw, while Davis is a further two points behind.
Brad Edmunds (Savings & Loans) ended team-mate Joel Pearson's unbeaten run, capitalizing on the fact that the other GC contenders were focused on Pearson's whereabouts. He attacked early and held a ten second lead, before being joined by Douglas Repacholi (WAIS), Pete Smith (Girmando) and Danny Kah (CCCC/SHM Elite), who each crossed the gap alone.
By race end, only Kah had managed to stay upright. Repacholi and Smith bell had falls while still riding with the main bunch, and Edmunds fell midway through the escape. In the final sprint, Edmunds opened a big lead and looked to have the race won, before Repacholi made up a lot of ground in the final metres and the pair crossed the line side by side a few lengths clear of Kah, but the photo finish showed Edmunds just in front.
Pearson cleaned up the bunch sprint well ahead of his main rivals, and is now 9 points clear of Peter Braunsteins in the yellow jersey competition.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by WomensCycling.net
1 Mark Renshaw (Geelong Mazda) 12 pts 2 Zac Dempster (A&I Helicopters) 10 3 Johnnie Walker (Jayco VIS) 8 4 Dean Windsor (Drapac Porsche) 7 5 Baden Cooke (detour-themovie.com 6 6 Allan Davis (FRF Couriers NSWIS) 5 7 Hilton Clarke (Portfolio Partners) 4 8 Craig McCartney (Savings and Loans) 3 9 Simon Gerrans (Portfolio Partners) 2 10 Stuart O'Grady (Skilled) 1 Sprints 1 Matt Wilson (deTourMovie.com) 9 pts 2 Will Walker (FRF Couriers NSWIS) 6 2 Mark Renshaw (Geelong Mazda) 6 B Grade men 1 Bradley Edmunds 12 pts 2 Douglas Repacholi 10 3 Danny Kay 8 4 Peter Smith 7 5 Joel Pearson 6 6 Robert Lyte 5 7 Tim Hucker 4 8 Kyle Marwood 3 9 Adrian Hanson 2 10 Daniel Braunsteins 1 General classification after stage 3 1 Baden Cooke (deTourMovie.com) 24 pts 2 Mark Renshaw (Geelong Mazda) 22 3 Hilton Clarke (Portfolio Partners) 22 4 Allan Davis (FRF Couriers NSWIS) 20 5 Matt Wilson (detour-themovie.com) 12 6 Rory Sutherland (Geelong Mazda) 11 7 Zac Dempster (A&I Helicopters) 10 8 Dean Windsor (Drapac Porsche) 10 9 Johnnie Walker (Jayco VIS) 8 10 Stuart Shaw (Drapac Porsche) 7 B Grade men classification 1 Joel Pearson 30 pts 2 Daniel Braunsteins 21 3 Robert Lite 20 4 Cameron Carlyle 15 5 Bradley Edmunds 14 6 Danny Kay 8 7 Peter Smith 7 8 Peter Braunsteins 7 9 Nicholas Mitchell 7 9 Kyle Marwood 7