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Geelong Women's Tour - 2.9.2

Australia, February 23-25, 2003

Main Page     Results     Next Stage

Stage 1 - February 23: Eastern Beach Criterium, 30km

Olivia Gollan takes out first stage

By Karen Forman In Geelong

Olivia Gollan
Photo: © John Veage
Click for larger image

Australia will lead the way in Monday's second stage of the inaugural Geelong Bellarine Tour following a no-holds-barred win by national road champion Olivia Gollan in the tough opening stage - a one hour criterium on a 1km course featuring hills and tight bends - in the Victorian city's Botanic Gardens tonight.

Gollan, the 29 year old Newcastle school teacher who only started cycling three years ago (as a triathlete, not a cyclist) broke away from the strong international field of 74 riders in the 11th lap, 20 minutes into the race, and managed to hold off the chasing bunch to establish a lead of up to 49 seconds. She was caught by a six-rider breakaway with five to go, but almost immediately jumped again, grabbed half a lap, then maintained the lead to be first across the line at the finish and earn the brilliant blue leader's jersey in a very speedy time of 49.12.

Along the way the Australian Institute of Sport team member won both sprints (collecting 10 points for each) and technically leads that classification as well, but had to relinquish the red sprint jersey to fellow Aussie and third placegetter Alison Wright (Road Racer-Guerciotto Cycling), as rules dictated Gollan couldn't wear both jerseys. Wright had been second behind Gollan in the first of the two time-bonus sprints at 10 laps and third in the second at 20 laps.

Hayley Rutherford
Photo: © John Veage
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It was very much a day for Australia, with the second placegetter being none other than Wright's team mate Hayley Rutherford, 22. In fourth was the best-performed international rider, world number two, 27 year old Mirjam Melchers from the Netherlands (World Team), who was second in the Tour De Snowy last year, the predecessor to the new Geelong tour.

None of the other internationals figured in the top placings. Even last year's World Cup winner, world number one Petra Rossner, 36 (Nürnberger Versicherung) and teammate, reigning German road champion Judith Arndt, 26 , who won last year's Tour de Snowy, couldn't hang on to a very fresh looking Gollan.

While speculation around the track was that the Euro riders probably found it difficult to acclimatise to the 30-degree heat, coming from a Euro winter - or perhaps were saving themselves for the two tough road races to come, Gollan was on fire. Whenever the foxes began to nip at her tail, she found the energy to bound away.

Olivia Gollan
Photo: © John Veage
Click for larger image

"I didn't expect to stay at the front for 22 laps," an exhilarated but very tired Gollan said at the finish. "My plan was to go before the first sprint and see if I could get the time bonus, but I got away with 22 laps to go and stayed there. It's awesome! I'd say it will hit me tomorrow."

She said she was in a "bit of a rhythm" and although exhausted, figured if the chasing bunch attacked her again, her team mates could take over. But she managed to hang in.

"I came into tonight a little nervous because it was my first race in the green and gold jersey. It was a very tough circuit, but fun. The corners were tricky and there was the hill," she said.

"I think tomorrow will depend on how the group goes. I don't think there is much of a hill, but the day after there is a big one. I feel reasonably confident, but there are a lot of really good international riders. I think it depends on my recovery from today."

Gollan goes into Monday's 84km "Drysdale Circuit" second stage with a lead of 1.05, having collected a 10 second bonus for her win as well as the sprint bonuses. Wright is at 0.58, Rutherford 0.59, 19 year old VIS rider Elizabeth Williams 1.02 after placing third in the first sprint and second in the second sprint, and Melchers 1.05.

Jersey wearers
Photo: © John Veage
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Williams leads the U/23 category and will start Monday's stage in the fluorescent yellow jersey.

It is the first time this three-day tour has been held in Geelong and if today's event was anything to go by, it will go down as a big success. Not only was the racing excellent, but the location - on a circuit featuring a downhill cruise into a tight left hand bend through the Botanic Gardens, then a climb along Eastern Beach frontage, with views of Port Philip Bay, up to the start/finish line under the trees.

Commentator Stuart Doyle boasted that the event had attracted "the greatest field since the 2000 Olympics".

How it unfolded

The start
Photo: © John Veage
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Fourteen teams of six riders - 40 of them Australian and others hailing from Germany, Sweden, the United States, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and Finland - signed up to contest the tour, which was designed to give riders an international class, three-day event in the leadup to the first round of the World Cup, also being raced at Geelong, 60km west of Melbourne, next Sunday.

They were contesting three classifications - general, under 23 and sprint - and two of them - friends Kate Nichols (daughter of Olympic gold medallist Kevin Nichols) from Sydney and Jessie Maclean of Canberra are under 19s.

With two days of near drought-breaking rain falling in the two days prior, competitors were fortunate to score near perfect conditions - still, sunny and warm - for the race.

Doppmann and Rossner
Photo: © John Veage
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Rossner was in good spirits before the start : "It is great to be back here," she said. "I had a wonderful time last year."

She said this was probably her 10th visit to Australia and her fourth to Geelong. "I have probably spent about three years of my life in Australia," she said.

Kevin Nichols, who won gold in the 1984 Olympics, was on hand to morally support and keep ready the spares of Kate, who has her sights set on Junior Worlds selection this year. An under 17 Australian champion who looks to be following her father's footsteps, the youngsters, supported by Clarence St Cyclery and riding in the FRF Couriers NSWIS team, hung onto the back of the field throughout the race - and was even once seen with Arndt on her wheel - to finish in the second bunch.

Despite her earlier optimism, Rossner did not appear to be travelling well and Danish rider Karina Louise Sorensen (Team Grace - SATS) was also dropped.

With Gollan playing cat and mouse at the front and the world's best suffering in her wake, Stuart Doyle wasn't wrong in describing the race as a "real see saw", but Gollan never really appeared in any danger, with few real tactics displayed in the chasing bunch. Rather, as the race went on and the field got tired, it was a case of recovering of the downhill, carefully negotiating the tight left hand bend, then trying to find the energy to attack on the uphill.

Judith Arndt
Photo: © John Veage
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Australian Rochelle Gilmore (FRF Couriers NSW IS), who won the motor pace event at the Leongatha track carnival the previous night, was active in the chasing group of 10 riders with eight laps to go, along with Australian pursuit champion Amy Safe, who was hanging on to second wheel and Rossner.

When Gollan got away from the second time, with five laps to go, it was Melchers who was leading the chase along with Margaret Hemsley (Nürnberger Versicherung) who had earlier told Doyle she would go to the Olympics "if I am good enough"; if not, her loyalty would be with her professional team. Mari Holden (T-Mobile), Oenone Wood (AIS Australia) Rutherford and Sara Carrigan (Power-Plate-BIK) were also up there.

Gollan had a 30-something second lead with three to go, being fiercely chased by Hemsley, Kym Shirley (Road Racer/Guerciotto Cycling), Holden and Wood, but by then there was no contest. Gollan crossed the line alone, a tad red in the face and more than ready for a break, while Rutherford, Wright and Melchers battled in out for the minor placings.

Happy podium
Photo: © John Veage
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Not a bad result for Gollan, having her first international race in the national championship colours she earned just two months ago.

"It's awesome," she repeated again on the podium.

* Stage two of the Geelong Bellarine Tour 03 starts at 11am Monday in Collins St, Drysdale. The event consists of four, 21km laps along the Portarlington-Queenscliff and Geelong-Portarlington roads.

Photography

Images by John Veage

Images by James Victor

T-mobile pre-race training

Images by Kristin Armstrong

  • Kim Andersen, Kim Bruckner and Kristin Armstrong take a break on their Great Ocean Road training ride
  • Miriam Melchers, Kim Bruckner, Kim Andersen and Kristin Armstrong on the Great Ocean Road

Results

1 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.                              49.27 (36.40 km/h)
2 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Road Racer                       0.49
3 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer
4 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) World Team
5 Kim Anderson (USA) T Mobile
6 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Powerplate-BIK
7 Kym Shirley (Aus) Road Racer
8 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.
9 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan
10 Oenone Wood (Aus)  A.I.S.                               0.52
11 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand National Team
12 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Nürnberger
13 Kimberley Bruckner (USA) T Mobile                       0.54
14 Mary Grigson (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
15 Helen Kelly (Aus) V.I.S.
16 Meredith Miller (USA) Team Grace
17 Emma James (Aus) A.I.S.
18 Mari Holden (USA) T Mobile
19 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) FRF-NSW
20 Sally Cowman (Aus) Alchemy                              2.04
21 Judith Arndt (Ger) Nürnberger                           2.06
22 Stacey Peters (USA) T Mobile
23 Emily Williams (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
24 Suzie Wood (NZl) New Zealand National Team
25 Natalie Bates (Aus) A.I.S.
26 Amy Safe (Aus) A.I.S.
27 Katherine Bates (Aus) Powerplate-BIK
28 Kirsty Robb (NZl) Powerplate-BIK
29 Priska Doppmann (Swi) World Team
30 Miyoko Karami (Jpn) World Team
31 Zoe Southwell (Aus) Vic. Partner
32 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Nürnberger
33 Cristine Foster (Aus) Vic. Partner
34 Kristen Armstrong (USA) T Mobile
35 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
36 Kate Nichols (Aus) FRF-NSW
37 Katie Mactier (Aus) V.I.S.                              2.16
38 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Road Racer                          2.32
39 Nadene Boyle  (NZl) Alchemy
40 Trine Hansen (Den) Team Grace
41 Christina  Peick-Andersen (Den) Team Grace
42 Jessica Ridder (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
43 Tamamo Nakamura (Jpn) Japan
44 Annalisa Farrell (NZl) New Zealand National Team
45 Jessie Maclean (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
46 Penny Warring (NZl) New Zealand National Team
47 Wendy Walker (Aus) Alchemy
48 Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn) Japan
49 Belinda Goss (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
50 Lorian Graham (Aus) Alchemy
51 Katie Brown (Aus) FRF-NSW
52 Jodie Till (Aus) FRF-NSW
53 Hiroko Shimada (Jpn) Team Grace
54 Dellys Franke (Aus) V.I.S.
55 Petra Rossner (Ger) Nürnberger
56 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Powerplate-BIK
57 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Powerplate-BIK
58 Jenny MacPherson (Aus) Vic. Partner
59 Christine Riakos (Aus) FRF-NSW
60 Melisa Holt (NZl) New Zealand National Team
61 Karina Louise Sorensen (Den) Team Grace                 4.20
62 Rebecca McConnell (Aus) Alchemy
63 Cornelia Cyrus (Ger) Nürnberger
64 Alexandra Reinehr (Aus) Vic. Partner
65 Mayuko Konomi (Jpn) Japan
66 Sari Saarelainen (Fin) World Team
67 Emma Rickards (Aus) V.I.S.
68 Jennifer Manefield (Aus)  A.I.S.
69 Kerryn Charman (Aus) Vic. Partner
70 Louise Yaxley (Aus) Alchemy
71 Natasha Harrigan (Aus) FRF-NSW
72 Robyn Wong (NZl) World Team
73 Barbara Cazzaniga (Ita) Road Racer                      6.20
74 Narelle Petersen (Aus) V.I.S.
75 Vanessa Crawford (Aus) Vic. Partner                     8.26
 
Sprints
 
Sprint 1, 10 km
 
1 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.                                  3 pts/secs
2 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer                              2
3 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.                             1
 
Sprint 2, 20 km
 
1 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.                                  3 pts/secs
2 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.                             2
3 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer                              1
 
General classification after stage 1
 
1 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.                              49.11
2 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer                           0.58
3 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Road Racer                       0.59
4 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.                          1.02
5 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) World Team                         1.05
6 Kim Anderson (USA) T Mobile
7 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Powerplate-BIK
8 Kym Shirley (Aus) Road Racer
9 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan
10 Oenone Wood (Aus)  A.I.S.                               1.08
11 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand National Team
12 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Nürnberger
13 Kimberley Bruckner (USA) T Mobile                       1.10
14 Mary Grigson (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
15 Helen Kelly (Aus) V.I.S.
16 Meredith Miller (USA) Team Grace
17 Emma James (Aus) A.I.S.
18 Mari Holden (USA) T Mobile
19 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) FRF-NSW
20 Sally Cowman (Aus) Alchemy                              1.20
21 Judith Arndt (Ger) Nürnberger                           1.22
22 Stacey Peters (USA) T Mobile
23 Emily Williams (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
24 Suzie Wood (NZl) New Zealand National Team
25 Natalie Bates (Aus) A.I.S.
26 Amy Safe (Aus) A.I.S.
27 Katherine Bates (Aus) Powerplate-BIK
28 Kirsty Robb (NZl) Powerplate-BIK
29 Priska Doppmann (Swi) World Team
30 Miyoko Karami (Jpn) World Team
31 Zoe Southwell (Aus) Vic. Partner
32 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Nürnberger
33 Cristine Foster (Aus) Vic. Partner
34 Kristen Armstrong (USA) T Mobile
35 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
36 Kate Nichols (Aus) FRF-NSW
37 Katie Mactier (Aus) V.I.S.                              1.32
38 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Road Racer                          2.48
39 Nadene Boyle  (NZl) Alchemy
40 Trine Hansen (Den) Team Grace
41 Christina  Peick-Andersen (Den) Team Grace
42 Jessica Ridder (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
43 Tamamo Nakamura (Jpn) Japan
44 Annalisa Farrell (NZl) New Zealand National Team
45 Jessie Maclean (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
46 Penny Warring (NZl) New Zealand National Team
47 Wendy Walker (Aus) Alchemy
48 Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn) Japan
49 Belinda Goss (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
50 Lorian Graham (Aus) Alchemy
51 Katie Brown (Aus) FRF-NSW
52 Jodie Till (Aus) FRF-NSW
53 Hiroko Shimada (Jpn) Team Grace
54 Dellys Franke (Aus) V.I.S.
55 Petra Rossner (Ger) Nürnberger
56 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Powerplate-BIK
57 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Powerplate-BIK
58 Jenny MacPherson (Aus) Vic. Partner
59 Christine Riakos (Aus) FRF-NSW
60 Melisa Holt (NZl) New Zealand National Team
61 Karina Louise Sorensen (Den) Team Grace                 4.36
62 Rebecca McConnell (Aus) Alchemy
63 Cornelia Cyrus (Ger) Nürnberger
64 Alexandra Reinehr (Aus) Vic. Partner
65 Mayuko Konomi (Jpn) Japan
66 Sari Saarelainen (Fin) World Team
67 Emma Rickards (Aus) V.I.S.
68 Jennifer Manefield (Aus)  A.I.S.
69 Kerryn Charman (Aus) Vic. Partner
70 Louise Yaxley (Aus) Alchemy
71 Natasha Harrigan (Aus) FRF-NSW
72 Robyn Wong (NZl) World Team
73 Barbara Cazzaniga (Ita) Road Racer                      6.36
74 Narelle Petersen (Aus) V.I.S.
75 Vanessa Crawford (Aus) Vic. Partner                     8.42
 
Points classification
 
1 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.                                  6 pts
2 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer                              3
3 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.                             3