|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
Geelong Tour - 2.9.2
Australia, February 22-25, 2004
A world class field will assemble in Australia this weekend to contest the Geelong Tour ahead of the Geelong World Cup, the opening round of the UCI (International Cycling Union) Women's Road World Cup Series.
The Geelong World Cup will be raced on Sunday February 29 and the Geelong Women's Tour from February 22 to 25. It is the second time the World Cup has been staged in Geelong and the sixth time Australia has hosted a round of the international World Cup series.
Thirt-year-old Olivia Gollan from Newcastle, NSW, Australia will be out to defend her Geelong Tour crown but will face tough opposition from international and Australian riders including recently crowned dual Australian champion (road race and time trial) Oenone Wood, 23, (ACT), last year's runner up Victorian Katie Mactier, 28, reigning German time trial champion and world ranked number three, Judith Arndt, 27, world number two Mirjam Melchers, 28, (Netherlands) and Queensland's Sara Carrigan, 23.
This year the Geelong Tour kicks off with an 8km individual time trial, a move welcomed by Gollan.
"I think it's a really great way to start a tour because it puts the strongest person in the lead from day one," said Gollan who last year staged an audacious solo breakaway on the opening criterium stage to take the Tour lead. "It's a race of truth and gives the person with the best legs the opportunity to at least put themselves in the race.
"I'm looking forward to it and to the rest of the tour as well."
But Gollan is not looking forward to the climb on Stage 4 which proved a real test for the women last year.
"Just the thought of it makes me cringe," said Gollan. "The hill may well be the deciding factor but whoever is good in the time trial will get over the hill as well."
2003 Geelong World Cup winner Carrigan is also looking for back-to-back wins and to clinch a result in the Geelong Tour. She says she was disappointed to finish second in the time trial and third in the road race at the BMC Software Australian Open Road Championships in Ballarat in January.
"I didn't get a win in Ballarat or in Adelaide [at the Australian Criterium Championship] so I reckon a win is coming up somewhere in the Geelong Tour or the World Cup," said Carrigan who will ride for the Queensland Academy of Sport team in Geelong before heading to Europe to rejoin her Dutch-based professional team.
"The World Cup will be a heavily sought after win for riders trying for Olympic [qualifying] points," said Carrigan. "There will be a lot of hungry girls out there so it should be a tough race."
But world number ten Carrigan is keen to defend her crown. "My win last year made my season," she said. "It was an unbelievable feeling to win in front of an Australian crowd and I will always treasure my win in Geelong. The feeling of winning my first World Cup will be with me forever."
Carrigan held the World Cup leader's jersey until the fifth of the nine rounds and ended the World Cup series ranked fourth. She says the international riders particularly enjoyed heading to Geelong for the early season training and racing.
"Every rider in the peloton seems to want the opportunity to experience our hot summers and relaxed lifestyle, not to mention the kangaroos," she laughed. "They have also experienced first hand how well our summer training and racing prepares us for the season.
But the major attraction is the World Cup. "The World Cup proves who is consistently the best rider in the world and to begin the season as the leader brings many expectations and pressure but is a wonderful way to begin the quest of being the World's best," Carrigan said.
The two events also provide an ideal opportunity for Australian competitors to mix it with the world's best. "The Geelong Tour and World Cup in Australia provides a valuable block of international racing, which inevitably grants a wonderful head start for us for the season," said Carrigan.
"This head start breeds confidence, which then snowballs from one result to the next and it's saw six Australian women ranked in the world's top 30 at the end of the 2003 season."
The Geelong Tour will be staged in and around Geelong, the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula and the You Yangs Regional Park.
Race information, course maps and start lists are available via the Geelong World Cup website at www.geelongworldcup.com.
AIS Queensland Academy of Sport 1 Olivia Gollan (Aus) 11 Sara Carrigan (Aus) 2 Natalie Bates (Aus) 12 Jennifer Findlay (Aus) 3 Lorian Graham (Aus) 13 Anna Perrin (Aus) 4 Amy Safe (Aus) 15 Hannah Banks (Aus) 5 Naomi Williams (Aus) 6 Oenone Wood (Aus) Nürnberger S.A.T.S. 21 Judith Arndt (Ger) 31 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) 22 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) 32 Emma James (Aus) 23 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) 33 Manon Jutras (Can) 24 Jessica Phillips (USA) 34 Meredith Miller (USA) 25 Petra Rossner (Ger) 35 Karina Sorensen (Den) 26 Trixi Worrack (Ger) 36 Sara Symington (GBr) T-Mobile Great Britain 41 Kristin Armstrong (USA) 51 Emma Davies (GBr) 42 Deirdre Barry (USA) 52 Nina Davies (GBr) 43 Kimberly Bruckner (USA) 53 Charlotte Goldsmith (GBr) 44 Lynn Gaggioli (USA) 54 Caroline James (GBr) 45 Amber Neben (USA) 55 Frances Newstead (GBr) 46 Stacey Peters (USA) 56 Rachel Heal (GBr) Ukraine FRF Couriers 61 Iryna Chuzhynova (Ukr) 71 Laura Bortolozzi (Aus) 62 Valentyna Karpenko (Ukr) 72 Natasha Harrigan (Aus) 63 Kateryna Krasova (Ukr) 73 Kate Nichols (Aus) 64 Oxana Kashchyshyna (Ukr) 74 Christine Riakos (Aus) 65 Iryna Simonova (Ukr) 75 Jessica Ridder (Aus) 66 Tetyana Stiajkina (Ukr) 76 Zoe Southwell (Aus) NSWIS Japan 81 Leonie Aisbett (Aus) 91 Miyoko Karami (Jpn) 82 Katherine Bates (Aus) 92 Akemi Morimoto (Jpn) 83 Katie Brown (Aus) 93 Miho Oki (Jpn) 84 Jessie Maclean (Aus) 94 Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn) 85 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) 95 Hiroko Shimada (Jpn) New Zealand Avanti 101 Johanna Buick (NZl) 111 Nadene Boyle (NZl) 102 Melissa Holt (NZl) 112 Toni Bradshaw (NZl) 103 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl) 113 Michelle Kiesanowski (NZl) 105 Rosalind Reekie (NZl) 114 Kirsty Robb (NZl) 106 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) 115 Susie Wood (NZl) 116 Michelle Hyland (NZl) Body Torque Freedom Machine 121 Linda Capello (Aus) 131 Kirsty Bortilin (Aus) 122 Kerryn Charman (Aus) 132 Bridget Evans (Aus) 123 Cristine Foster (Aus) 133 Louisa Judd (Aus) 124 Karen Hopkinson (Aus) 134 Emma Rickards (Aus) 125 Jenny Macpherson (Aus) 135 Kathy Watt (Aus) 126 Narrelle Peterson (Aus) Jayco World 141 Belinda Goss (Aus) 151 Nicole Freedman (Isr) 142 Helen Kelly (Aus) 152 Tanja Hennes (Ger) 143 Katie Mactier (Aus) 153 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) 144 Tina Mayola (USA) 154 Emi Onoyama (Jpn) 146 Louise Yaxley (Aus) 155 Julie Pekarkova (Cze) 156 Desiree Schuler (Ger) Nobili-Fanini 161 Cathy Marsal (Fra) 162 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) 163 Kym Shirley (Aus) 164 Alison Wright (Aus)
2003 Olivia Gollan (Aus) AIS