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Geelong Women's Tour - 2.9.2

Australia, February 23-25, 2003

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Stage 3 - February 25: Lara to Lara (via You Yangs & Bacchus Marsh), 129km

Gollan ends inaugural Geelong tour with a bang

By Karen Forman in Geelong

Podium placers
Photo: © John Veage
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Australian Institute of Sport rider Olivia Gollan ended the Geelong Bellarine Tour with a bang today when her front tyre exploded and flew off its rim just as she crossed the line in third position to become the first tour champion. Gollan - who had led the Tour since winning Sunday's opening crit - along with today's stage winner Katie Mactier (Victorian Cycling VIS) and second placegetter, Dutch rider Miriam Melchers (World Team), completed the 114.9km journey from Lara to Bacchus Marsh, Anakie and return in 3.05.06.

Coming home just behind them after what had been a fierce sprint to the line were members of the group, which had gotten away on Mt Wallace - a legs-destroying climb which divided the field and had several riders actually walking their bikes to the summit. Rosalind Reekie-May (New Zealand National Team) and Australian Margaret Hemsley (Nürnberger Versicherung) were fourth and fifth in the same time, while T-Mobile's Kimberley Bruckner, who had maintained a brave solo breakaway, was sixth, four seconds later.

Hike a bike
Photo: © John Veage
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Hemsley's German teammate Judith Arndt was seventh; 10 seconds behind the winners and Emma James (AIS Australia) and fellow Aussies Alison Wright (Road Racer-Guerciotto Cycling) and Oenone Wood (AIS Australia) completed the top 10, 13 seconds behind.

Schoolteacher Gollan had started the final stage well ahead on time bonus (50 seconds ahead of closest rival Sara Carrigan of Power Plate Bik's) and it was obvious she would win the tour when she crossed the line with the race leaders today. The under 23 winner was Elizabeth Williams (Victorian Cycling VIS), who had carried the under 23 leaders jersey since stage one on Sunday, while Wright swiped the sprint title from Carrigan. They both started with nine points after the second stage.

2 kilometres in a 39x25

Although the overcast weather conditions were much more comfortable for racing than the previous day's 33-degree sunshine and humidity, the riders agreed today's stage had been the toughest, by virtue of the inclusion of the two kilometre Mt Wallace climb. However, both the weather and the single-laned, potholed road up the mountain favoured Euro team Nürnberger Versicherung and its gun riders Peter Rossner, Judith Arndt, Swede Madeleine Lindberg and German Cornelia Cyrus.

I think I can, I think I can
Photo: © John Veage
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Having suffered on Sunday and Monday in the heat and due to being less advanced in their training than riders from the southern hemisphere because of the obviously constraints of a northern winter, the team shone today, flying up the climb, launching a series of attacks in the final 10km and getting team mate Hemsley into the final sprint.

"It was a terrific race," said stage winner, former national road champion Katie Mactier, who will be based in Idaho, US, with her new Saturn team this year. "The weather was much better than yesterday and I think the race was more tactical. The hill was tough. If you were not at the front going up the hill, it was pretty much finished."

She paid tribute to her teammates, the tour organisers, the Australian cycling institutes, and said she felt she and other riders were being prepared brilliantly on the Australian scene to be launched onto professional teams, as she had. Mactier said training at her boyfriend's hilly city of Toowoomba in Queensland in the lead up to the tour had well prepared her for today's course, although the climb had been tougher than expected.

She did have an extra advantage...a 25-tooth chain ring.

"Some of the girls had a 27, but I decided to go with the 25 - and I used it!" she said. "I didn't have enough energy to look at my speed while I was climbing but I was out of the seat the whole way."

Final sprint
Photo: © John Veage
Click for larger image

It had been at the top of the climb that Bruckner got away and established a lead which averaged 20 seconds. Mactier said with Bruckner caught at the 108km mark, the major concern was the series of attacks and rebuttals launched by Rossner and team.

"Nürnberger were just launching one attack after another, Judith was very strong, so I followed Margaret's wheel," she said. "I felt that my legs were good and then, coming into the last kilometre, I kind of knew that I could get there."

Gollan was buzzing at the finish and thanking her lucky stars her tyre hadn't popped 5 km earlier. "The same thing happened yesterday, only it was 15km into the stage," she said. "It was incredible how it happened today, just as I hit the finish line. But it didn't interfere with my sprint. It was Katie who had the legs today. We had a tussle at 200 to go, but I was in too big a gear."

Like Mactier, Gollan described the stage as a "very tough" one. "I felt a bit of pressure because I knew I was defending the (leader's) jersey and the climb was really, really tough; it certainly sorted out the bunch," she said. "I was so happy to be in the first three going over it."

The winner
Photo: © John Veage
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"I think it was the climb that made the difference today. It wasn't that long; but was very steep. Before the race I had been a bit uncertain about how I was climbing, but I knew about halfway up that I would be okay. And my team-mates helped me. Natalie and Amy dragged me to the bottom of the climb."

She used a 39-23 gear combination and said she had wished she had a 25 tucked in there as well. Gollan added she wasn't too alarmed when Bruckner made her solo breakaway at the top and maintained it for the second half of the race, chased by three groups. Gollan was in the chasing bunch with team-mates Emma James and Oenone Wood, who appeared to have it all under control.

"We knew Kim only had about 20 seconds, so were not worried. There were riders looking for the minor placing's today so I knew the group wouldn't let her get too far away. Nürnberger had made it "really hard" at the end of the race. It was incredible. I really couldn't have done this without my team and I thank Natalie (Bates), Emma (James), Jennifer (Manefield), Amy (Safe) and Oenone (Wood) for getting me there."

Winning Australia's major women's three-day tour in its first year has been a total buzz for Gollan, but she is adamant she hasn't done it alone. She paid tribute to the "big support crew behind me" including her team and coaches.

Photo: © John Veage
Click for larger image

"I went into this year thinking I wanted to try to get some results and it's happening," the rider who only climbed aboard a bike for the first time at 26 said. "It was my dream of making a name for myself on the international circuit. Now I just have to maintain my head and my confidence and hopefully I will keep on going like I have started."

Williams said she had also been feeling the pressure of trying to hold on to a jersey at the start, and then a crash just after the climb had really made things difficult for her. She appeared on the podium with abrasions on her left ankle, thigh and arm but still managed to maintain a smile.

"After I crashed I had to get back on the bike and try to catch up to the lead bunch, but that didn't happen," she said. "I wasn't going to sit on the side of the road and cry though. I had this jersey to keep."

The women now have a few days' recovery before the first round of the World Cup for women at Geelong next Sunday. Gollan is cautiously confident for herself, more confident for her AIS Australia team members, and wary of Nürnberger Versicherung, whom she believes showed a hint that they are beginning to acclimatise and pick up some season fitness, today.

"It is going to be an excellent race," she said.


Images by John Veage


1 Katie Mactier (Aus) V.I.S.                                3.05.06     (36.95 kmh)
2 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) World Team
3 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.
4 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand National Team             1 
5 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Nürnberger
6 Kimberley Bruckner (USA) T Mobile                               4 
7 Judith Arndt (Ger) Nürnberger                                  10 
8 Emma James (Aus) A.I.S.                                        13 
9 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer
10 Oenone Wood (Aus)  A.I.S.
11 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Powerplate-BIK
12 Kym Shirley (Aus) Road Racer
13 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Road Racer
14 Suzie Wood (NZl) New Zealand National Team
15 Jessica Ridder (Aus)                1.04 
16 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan                                        2.52 
17 Stacey Peters (USA) T Mobile
18 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.                             3.07 
19 Emily Williams (Aus)
20 Sally Cowman (Aus) Alchemy
21 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Road Racer
22 Louise Yaxley (Aus) Alchemy
23 Melisa Holt (NZl) New Zealand National Team
24 Lorian Graham (Aus) Alchemy
25 Miyoko Karami (Jpn) World Team
26 Meredith Miller (USA) Team Grace
27 Amy Safe (Aus) A.I.S.
28 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Powerplate-BIK
29 Natalie Bates (Aus) A.I.S.
30 Mari Holden (USA) T Mobile
31 Mary Grigson (Aus)
32 Kim Anderson (USA) T Mobile
33 Kristen Armstrong (USA) T Mobile
34 Helen Kelly (Aus) V.I.S.
35 Christina  Peick-Andersen (Den) Team Grace
36 Hiroko Shimada (Jpn) Team Grace
37 Priska Doppmann (Swi) World Team
38 Zoe Southwell (Aus) Vic. Partner
39 Cristine Foster (Aus) Vic. Partner
40 Penny Warring (NZl) New Zealand National Team
41 Emma Rickards (Aus) V.I.S.                                  3.16 
42 Trine Hansen (Den) Team Grace                               4.21 
43 Katie Brown (Aus) FRF-NSW
44 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) FRF-NSW
45 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Powerplate-BIK
46 Kerryn Charman (Aus) Vic. Partner
47 Annalisa Farrell (NZl) New Zealand National Team
48 Alexis Rhodes (Aus)
49 Jodie Till (Aus) FRF-NSW
50 Natasha Harrigan (Aus) FRF-NSW
51 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Nürnberger                         6.30 
52 Petra Rossner (Ger) Nürnberger                              6.31 
53 Jenny MacPherson (Aus) Vic. Partner                        11.01 
54 Mayuko Konomi (Jpn) Japan                                  11.03 
55 Christine Riakos (Aus) FRF-NSW
56 Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn) Japan
57 Tamamo Nakamura (Jpn) Japan
58 Wendy Walker (Aus) Alchemy
59 Belinda Goss (Aus)
60 Jessie Maclean (Aus)
61 Karina Louise Sorensen (Den) Team Grace
62 Kate Nichols (Aus) FRF-NSW
63 Cornelia Cyrus (Ger) Nürnberger                            30.37 
64 Jennifer Manefield (Aus)  A.I.S.
65 Sari Saarelainen (Fin) World Team
DNF Barbara Cazzaniga (Ita) Road Racer
DNF Katherine Bates (Aus) Powerplate-BIK
DNS Nadene Boyle  (NZl) Alchemy

General Classification                                        Time / Gap

1 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.                                  6:38:51
2 Katie Mactier (Aus) V.I.S.                                       53
3 Margaret Hemsley (Aus) Nürnberger                                58
4 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) World Team                               1:06
5 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Powerplate-BIK                             1:07
6 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer                                 1:12
7 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand National Team            1:15
8 Kimberley Bruckner (USA) T Mobile                              1:19
9 Hayley Rutherford (Aus) Road Racer                             1:20
10 Kym Shirley (Aus) Road Racer                                  1:26
11 Oenone Wood (Aus)  A.I.S.                                     1:28
12 Emma James (Aus) A.I.S.                                       1:31
13 Judith Arndt (Ger) Nürnberger                                 2:40
14 Suzie Wood (NZl) New Zealand National Team                    2:43
15 Miho Oki (Jpn) Japan                                          4:05
16 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.                               4:14
17 Melisa Holt (NZl) New Zealand National Team                   4:20
18 Kim Anderson (USA) T Mobile                                   4:20
19 Mari Holden (USA) T Mobile                                    4:22
20 Mary Grigson (Aus)                    4:25
21 Helen Kelly (Aus) V.I.S.                                      4:25
22 Meredith Miller (USA) Team Grace                              4:29
23 Amy Safe (Aus) A.I.S.                                         5:37
24 Priska Doppmann (Swi) World Team                              5:37
25 Emily Williams (Aus)                  5:41
26 Zoe Southwell (Aus) Vic. Partner                              5:41
27 Sigrid Corneo (Ita) Road Racer                                6:00
28 Christina  Peick-Andersen (Den) Team Grace                    6:03
29 Hiroko Shimada (Jpn) Team Grace                               6:20
30 Cristine Foster (Aus) Vic. Partner                            6:26
31 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) FRF-NSW                                6:49
32 Jessica Ridder (Aus)                  6:57
33 Andrea Bosman (Ned) Powerplate-BIK                            7:20
34 Miyoko Karami (Jpn) World Team                                7:21
35 Trine Hansen (Den) Team Grace                                 7:21
36 Alexis Rhodes (Aus)                   7:40
37 Natalie Bates (Aus) A.I.S.                                    8:46
38 Louise Yaxley (Aus) Alchemy                                   9:49
39 Sally Cowman (Aus) Alchemy                                    9:50
40 Kristen Armstrong (USA) T Mobile                              9:52
41 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Powerplate-BIK                        10:15
42 Lorian Graham (Aus) Alchemy                                  10:18
43 Jodie Till (Aus) FRF-NSW                                     13:23
44 Christine Riakos (Aus) FRF-NSW                               13:59
45 Stacey Peters (USA) T Mobile                                 14:20
46 Emma Rickards (Aus) V.I.S.                                   14:59
47 Penny Warring (NZl) New Zealand National Team                15:01
48 Natasha Harrigan (Aus) FRF-NSW                               15:11
49 Annalisa Farrell (NZl) New Zealand National Team             16:15
50 Madeleine Lindberg (Swe) Nürnberger                          17:58
51 Tamamo Nakamura (Jpn) Japan                                  18:14
52 Petra Rossner (Ger) Nürnberger                               18:25
53 Karina Louise Sorensen (Den) Team Grace                      20:02
54 Mayuko Konomi (Jpn) Japan                                    22:46
55 Jenny MacPherson (Aus) Vic. Partner                          22:55
56 Belinda Goss (Aus)                   22:57
57 Jessie Maclean (Aus)                 22:57
58 Wendy Walker (Aus) Alchemy                                   27:09
59 Ayumu Otsuka (Jpn) Japan                                     29:39
60 Katie Brown (Aus) FRF-NSW                                    30:54
61 Kerryn Charman (Aus) Vic. Partner                            38:27
62 Kate Nichols (Aus) FRF-NSW                                   42:55
63 Jennifer Manefield (Aus)  A.I.S.                             44:19
64 Cornelia Cyrus (Ger) Nürnberger                            1:06:29
65 Sari Saarelainen (Fin) World Team                          1:07:57

Sprint 1 at 50 km
                                                              Points       Bonus Seconds
1 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Powerplate-BIK                       3            3 
2 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand National Team         2            2 
3 Louise Yaxley (Aus) Alchemy                                 1            1 

Sprint 2 at 86 km
                                                              Points       Bonus Seconds
1 Kimberley Bruckner (USA) T Mobile                           3            3 
2 Katie Mactier (Aus) V.I.S.                                  2            2 
3 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer                              1            1 

Overall Points Classification after Stage 3

1 Alison Wright (Aus) Road Racer                              10
2 Sara Carrigan (Aus) Powerplate-BIK                          9
3 Olivia Gollan (Aus) A.I.S.                                  7
4 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.                             3
5 Sharon Van Essen (Ned) Powerplate-BIK                       3
6 Kimberley Bruckner (USA) T Mobile                           3
7 Rosalind Reekie-May (NZl) New Zealand National Team         2
8 Katie Mactier (Aus) V.I.S.                                  2
9 Mirjam Melchers (Ned) World Team                            1
10 Oenone Wood (Aus)  A.I.S.                                  1
11 Louise Yaxley (Aus) Alchemy                                1

U23 Overall Classification after Stage 3

1 Elizabeth Williams (Aus) V.I.S.
2 Emily Williams (Aus)
3 Zoe Southwell (Aus) Vic. Partner