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1st Geelong World Cup - CDM

Australia, March 2, 2003

Main Page     Results    World Cup Standings

Carrigan pips Mactier at the post

By Karen Forman in Geelong

Post-race jubilation
Photo: © John Veage
Click for larger image

Australian rider Sara Carrigan won the first round of the 2003 UCI Women's Cycling World Cup after pipping fellow Aussie Katie Mactier on the line in a dramatic finish that was at once both jubilant and tragic at Geelong in country Victoria, today.

While Mactier (Victorian Cycling VIS) had attacked off the front of a group of seven which had led the way for almost the entire 119km with 1500 metres to go and looked to be the sure winner, Carrigan (Power Plate BIK), also part of that breakaway, came down the finishing straight on the outside to pip her at the post. Not too unusual an end to a bike race… but it was the fact that Mactier already had her hands off the bars and in the air to claim victory as Carrigan pushed past with her hands in the air that made this defeat more poignant than usual. She just hadn't sprinted far enough before slowing her pace.

So close, and yet...
Photo: © John Veage
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(It was a case of déjà vu for race commentator Anna Millward, who in 1997 lost the Bay Classic criterium series in Geelong to West Australian Sandra Smith for doing the same thing.)

Carrigan was jubilant in her victory but sympathetic to Mactier and grateful to her team-mates, saying she would not have won had it not been for her team, particularly Katherine Bates. "I definitely owe this race to my team-mates," she said. "Kate Bates drove this for me, allowed me to rest my legs when it counted. And congratulations to Katie. I heard she put her hands in the air at the finish. She had attacked with 1.5km to go, Judith was there and I was on her wheel for the sprint. Katie rode a great race."

Photo finish
Photo: © Cycling Australia
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Carrigan acknowledged being the only rider to have two team members in the breakaway bunch (Judith Arndt (Nurnberger Versicherung), Katie Mactier (VIS), Natalie Bates (AIS), her sister Katherine Bates (Bik-Power Plate), Sara Carrigan (Bik-Power Plate), Melissa Holt (New Zealand) and Kristen Armstrong (Team T-Mobile) had been most fortunate. "Everybody was doing their turn but having Kate meant that I could do a bit less and that saved my legs for the final sprint."

She said she hadn't expected the seven-rider breakaway - which had gone off the front of the bunch on the first lap- to stay away for the entire race. But she said the group was never really concerned, even when the gap to the chasing bunch had reduced from a maximum of 1.35m to 32 seconds at one stage.

A quick trip to hospital
Photo: © John Veage
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"Usually a break doesn't stay away for 120km," she said. "But by the time the gap came down with four to five laps to go we were all shouting at each other not to give up and everybody was doing their fair turn and we stayed out there."

She said winning felt "unbelievable". "This is my first World Cup win; to win the first World Cup in Geelong, in Australia… it's just… I am SO EXCITED!"

Carrigan heads to Italy on Thursday to a training camp and says she hopes she can hold on to her World Cup leader's jersey - and her form - for the second round, Primavera Rosa, on March 22. She likened today's win to her fourth at the Worlds, but said this was more exciting. "This goes towards world rankings and it's the World Cup."

Sun, sand and surf
Photo: © John Veage
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Mactier, to her credit, took her first-place loss calmly. "It's a learning experience (which) unfortunately didn't happen in a club race," she said, still managing to smile. "Credit goes to Sara; she did a great job. I've got to be happy and walk away and take the learning as I go."

She said she had "had a peek" over her shoulder with 50 metres to go, and thought she had enough distance on the other riders. "Next time I won't look over my shoulder so much and, well, see that flag over there (100 metres away), well I'll be going over it!"

Mactier paid credit to the race organisers and team manager David Sanders, who she said had been in her earpiece, telling her where the other riders were. "It's a terrific event, fantastic," she said, "I am sure it will be successful in the years to come." She said it had been her perfect race because she always performed best in a small group.

A moment was all it took
Photo: © John Veage
Click for larger image

While she knew she would have to get away from the breakaway group, she said she knew she had good legs and that her best option would be to go out by herself. "To be honest I thought that I had a bit more than what I had. I didn't realise Sara was quite so fast. I've seen it happen in races before, but you think that will never happen to me. And it did."

She said she had known she had lost the race as soon as Carrigan appeared next to her on the finish line. But she was in no way bitter. "Absolutely no way. It is just one of those things and it will never happen again."

She said she had found it difficult not having many team members to work with (two riders, Dellys Franke and Narelle Petersen, did not start, although Karen Hopkinson was moved from ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au to her team for this event.

"When the group got established I just pedalled and worked diligently, doing every turn. It was obvious some girls were sitting in and getting a rest, but I had Dave Sanders in my ear telling me what was going on."

One lap down
Photo: © John Veage
Click for larger image

Mactier heads to the US on March 16 and then to France where she hopes "we will let them know that Saturn is still around!"

Arndt was quiet, as usual, on the podium, but said she was simply "not as good today as these two, who were much better". She said she was happy to receive flowers for her third place, because it was the birthday of team-mate Madelaine Lindberg.

Held for the first time in Geelong after the cancellation of the Cooma World Cup and Tour de Snowy lead up event last year, today's Geelong event, raced over 17 laps of a flat but tight seven kilometre circuit along scenic Port Philip Bay, earned huge bouquets from the UCI for its competiveness, organisation and atmosphere.


Images by John Veage


1 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Power Plate Bik                 3.10.05 (37.565 km/h)
2 Katie Mactier (Aus) VIS
3 Judith Arndt (Ger) Nürnberger
4 Melisa Holt (NZl) New Zealand
5 Kristen Armstrong (USA) T Mobile
6 Natalie Bates (Aus) A.I.S.
7 Katherine Bates (Ned) Power Plate Bik                   0.44
8 Petra Rossner (Ger) Nürnberger                          2.12
9 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) FRF-NSWIS
10 Regina Schleicher (Ger) World Team
11 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Power Plate Bik
12 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
13 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan
14 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer-Guerciotto Cycling Team
15 Oenone Wood (Aus) A.I.S.
16 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.
17 Amy Safe (Aus) A.I.S.
18 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) VIS
19 Renee Fortunato (Aus) FRF-NSWIS
20 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Nürnberger
21 Priska Doppmann (Swi) World Team
22 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand
23 Lorian Graham (Aus) Alchemy
24 Susie Wood (NZl) New Zealand
25 Mari Holden (USA) T Mobile
26 Meredith Miller (Aus) Team Grace
27 Mary Grigson (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
28 Trine Hansen (Den) Team Grace
29 Jessica Ridder (Aus) ACTAS-Cyclecooma.com.au
30 Emma James (Aus) A.I.S.
31 Stacey Peters (USA) T Mobile
32 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Road Racer-Guerciotto Cycling Team
33 Christine Riakos (Aus) FRF-NSWIS
34 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Road Racer-Guerciotto Cycling Team
35 Kimberley Bruckner (USA) T Mobile
36 Kym Shirley (Aus) Road Racer-Guerciotto Cycling Team
37 Kim Anderson (USA) T Mobile
38 Robyn Wong (NZl) World Team
39 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Power Plate Bik
40 Christina Peick-Andersen (Den) Team Grace
41 Annalisa Farrell (NZl) New Zealand                     2.17
42 Natasha Harrigan (Aus) FRF-NSWIS                       2.20
43 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Nürnberger                    2.23
44 Katie Brown (Aus) FRF-NSWIS                           13.38


World Cup standings after round 1