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Elite Women’s Update

Division One: MBA Blackchrome

Super Series Round Three

Round three saw the team low on numbers, so division two rider Emily Hill was promoted for the race. Amazingly, it was another windless criterium, which is unseasonal for afternoon racing in Adelaide’s notoriously windy spring. Without the wind to break things up, it was going to take a clever move to break the group. Who else but Jenny MacPherson of Ventou Cycling Team would know when to go. We all knew we were toast when Maeve Plouffe crossed the gap to join Jenny, leaving the rest of the bunch to sort minor placings with a sprint finish. Jessica Mundy, ever consistent, grabbed valuable points for the team in 6th, with Victoria and Emily finishing just outside the top ten.

Super Series Round Four: Copper Coast Cup Road Race

hell of the north rr2

The Hell of the North road race was a master class in team work executed by the MBAB ladies. The team roles were set for leading trio Jess Mundy, Victoria Veitch and Narelle Hards, with Michelle Crick the designated free-agent in her first ride in the elite division.

The plan was pretty simple. Use the team’s strength in the wind to slowly pick the race apart, and protect Jess Mundy’s position on the gravel section by using Narelle and Victoria to maintain the pressure.

A few searching attacks went early, led by the MBAB trio and augmented by furious pulls on the front by Maeve Plouffe and Olivia Wheeler of the SASI team. What few inclines the MBAB women could find, they used to good advantage, with Narelle and Jess pressing the field whenever the road went up. The first breach in the group occurred heading into the U-turn, with Narelle attacking into the turn and Victoria attacking out of the turn. Assistance was again provided by the SASI team, and the field had its first splinter.

The peloton continued to roll turns, but the objective of culling riders continued ruthlessly. Stacey Riedel and Alana Haansbergen were potentially dangerous riders, both being enormously skilful on the gravel. But both were identified as beginning to struggle. Stacey was tenacious in holding onto a flurry of attacks, but then got stuck on the front. Sitting on Stacey’s wheel, Victoria saw the vulnerability and launched an attack which saw the group reduced to six, again with strong assistance from Narelle and Olivia.

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A few kilometres before the gravel, Madeleine Steele was the next rider to be singled out. Narelle, Jess and Olivia went up the road. Victoria let the wheel go, anticipating that Maeve would have the strength to cross the gap. Victoria waited for Maeve to initiate the crossing, and jumped onto Maeve’s wheel. It did prove to be the cracking point for Madeleine, who continues to come back to full fitness from a series of very nasty crashes this year.

It was no happenstance that riders were being targeted one at a time, to reduce the ability for riders to work together and mount a chase. Maeve was flagging on the approach to the gravel, the usually indominable rider having had a compulsory ergo session that morning – the MBAB team would like to officially thank whoever had that bright idea! Victoria accelerated into gravel but it was Narelle who took over the front and epically held the pace for ¾ of the first gravel section. It was a feat to behold. Victoria took over towards the end, but it was a meek pull compared to Narelle. On returning to the bitumen, the riders returned to pulling steady, hardworking turns into the cross-head wind.

It was now down to four riders, with Maeve having succumbed early on the gravel section. Despite being totally isolated, and having three riders who would have the advantage of that isolation, Olivia rode a remarkable race. Never shirking a turn, even though by rights, there would be no expectation for her to work in a group populated by no riders other than MBAB ladies.

Olivia, Narelle and Victoria took turns to lead in the second gravel section, Jess enjoying the status of protected rider. Soon after the riders reached the final bitumen section, Jess took the initiative and launched the definitive attack of the race. She never looked back, trusting her team mates to mark time with Olivia. As expected, Narelle and Victoria watched the attack go. Olivia, left no choice and no assistance, had to chase the gap for herself. It was hard to do to such a brave rider, but Narelle and Victoria stuck to their team roles and hawkishly followed Olivia’s wheel all the way to the final corner. Olivia, outnumbered but not giving up, threw down a final acceleration, but Narelle and Victoria were now fresh from the free-ride to the finish, and both launched sprints to the line. The MBAB team secured 1st, 2nd and 3rd, Jess having taken the win, and Victoria and Narelle rounding out the podium.

Super Series Round Five: Copper Coast Cup Criterium

Team roles for the Copper Coast Criterium were again specifically defined. The course presented a small incline after the first corner. Not exactly Willunga Hill, but it was all a team of climber-domestiques could use to string out the sprinters. Victoria and Narelle took turns to drive the pace and stretch the field, while Jess maintained vigilance for any counter attacks. The field did thin slightly, but cracking the top ten was proving difficult. Elouise of Ventou Cycling Team did a beautiful sneaky move off the front, unpursued for a time, until Narelle took her chance. Narelle sailed across the gap to join with Elouise, and with both MBAB and Ventou Cycling eliminated from the chase options, it was SASI alone that took up the chase. But they were too late to respond and too disorganised by the time they tried to shut the breakaway down.

Narelle and Elouise eventually lapped the field as they headed into their bell lap. Narelle took her chance on the small hill and attacked Elouise, who gave one hell of a chase. She was starting to close in on the approach to the final corner, but her front wheel washed out and she hit the deck. Despite losing a heap of skin, Elouise picked herself back up and made it to the finish line to grab second place. The bunch meanwhile was also coming in for the minor placings. Jess and Victoria finished in the top ten, and for the third year in a row, the MBAB team took home the overall win for the weekend.


Elite Women’s Update

Division One: MBA Blackchrome

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Race Report Courtesy of Cycling South Australia

With a time of 16:05.1, the Mercedes-Benz Blackchrome Team Captain, Victoria Veitch successfully rode her way to the top of the podium. Veitch put her climb success down to her time spent training with teammate, and 3rd place winner, Narelle Hards.


“I think that the Mercedes-Benz Blackchrome team have a good set of climbers, I might be at the older end of the age group but I can still climb.” Said Veitch.

Veitch is not wrong, the Mercedes-Benz Blackchrome Team took the 2016 Series Old Freeway Climb 1-2-3 and Veitch herself named QOM in the 2016 Tour of the Barossa.

Looking towards the 2017 Copper Coast Cup, Veitch says

“I think you’ve got to just keep working up to the front and try to minimize the number of riders sliding around you, the core riders have ridden together for several years, a lot of us train together and we know each other and how we ride, we trust each other to turn up to the game and hopefully get the job done.

500m Time Trial Australian National Champion, Breanna Hargrave took out second place, earning the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) rider enough points to take the General Classification lead and yellow jersey into Round 3.

Category 1 Elite Women – Top 10

  1. Victoria VEITCH (Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Blackchrome) 16:05.1
  2. Breanna HARGRAVE (SASI – Blue) 16:12.3 +7.2
  3. Narelle HARDS (Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Blackchrome) 16:24.6 +19.5
  4. Brittany PETERSEN (Butterfields Focus) 16:35.7 +30.6
  5. Maeve PLOUFFE (SASI – Blue) 16:37.5 +32.4
  6. Sophie EDWARDS (SASI – Blue) 16:43.9 +38.8
  7. Jessica MUNDY (Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Blackchrome) 16:47.9 +42.8
  8. Alison SKINNER (Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Blackchrome) 16:50.6 +45.5
  9. Gerogia BAKER (SASI – Blue) 16:54.4 +49.3
  10. Chloe MORAN (SASI – Red) 16:57.3 +52.2

Elite Women’s Update

Division Two: Blackchrome Butterfields

Super Series Round TwoSS2c

Beautiful conditions greeted the Blackchrome Butterfields team for the Super Series hill climb. This round leaves no-where to hide, as riders pit their time trial strength against the old freeway. Young rider and current Sprint Jersey leader Emily Hill put her climbing practise to good use. Emily had been training with Elite climbers Victoria Veitch and Narelle Hards in the lead up to the event. Emily galloped into second place with a time of 17m46s, a tiny 6.5 seconds behind first place Hannah Seeliger of the SASI Development Squad. Tessa Manning also put in a stellar performance to collect points in fifth place with a time of 18m42s. The remaining three riders of the Blackchrome Butterfields team clocked equally impressive times with Holly Chance, Aneeka Smith and Simone Niejalke finishing 14th, 15th and 17th respectively.

Overall standings see Emily sitting in 3rd, with team mate Tessa Manning in 8th, a quality effort to have two ladies sitting in the top ten thus far.


Elite Women’s Update

Division Two: Blackchrome Butterfields

Super Series Round One

2017 SSrd1c

New Kit Day! The division two Blackchrome Butterfields Team has hit the road in a Blackchrome kit that can only be described as ‘design genius’. The ‘genius’, is none other than Madeleine Steele, who will hopefully trade-in her architecture degree for a permanent job designing cycling gear! This exciting development team brings together new sponsors Butterfields, Focus and Bike Station, all of whom have been enormously supportive of the SA Cycling scene for many years.

The division two team put their Wednesday criterium practice to good use, with young hot-shot sprinter Emily Hill setting her sights on the sprint points. Emily was questioning herself when she saw the first green flag but her legs felt good, so she picked up the pace heading into the back straight, and then opened up her sprint heading past the grandstand to take line honours in the first preme. She tried to repeat the formula for the second preme, but her legs were now feeling the effects of the race and Emily was narrowly beaten into second place.

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Photo courtesy of Chameleon

The Blackchrome Butterfields team, comprising Emily Hill, Holly Chance, Simone Niejalke and Tessa Manning, worked well as a team to counter a flurry of attacks from the Port Adelaide teams. Tessa Manning played a superb team role in bringing Emily down the back straight for the finishing sprint, working nearly an entire lap to position the team sprinter. The effort cost her, but she managed to keep working to finish just off the main bunch. Emily was unluckily blocked into the final sprint, still finishing a superb 8th and taking claim of the Sprinter’s Jersey. Holly rounded-out the top ten, with Simone showing excellent promise to finish 12th.


Elite Women’s Update

Division One: MBA Blackchrome

Super Series Round One

2017 SSrd1b

Round one of the 2017 women’s Super Series kicked off with a 45 minute criterium. The team welcomed back Jess Mundy, the defending series winner for 2016. The race was animated early by some testing surges from team domestique Victoria Veitch. Jess maintained her positioning throughout the race to counter dangerous attacks from a variety of candidates mid-way through the race. At the three-quarter mark of the race, SASI had a workable break with two very strong riders. Ventou Cycling Team took up the initial work, with the ever-strong and consistent Eloise Vaughan. MBA Blackchrome rider Narelle Hards had enough speed to cross the gap, but the breakaway ran out of legs shortly after her arrival. On the next lap, another very probing breakaway with two SASI riders went. Victoria cut across the gap to join, but again the breakaway was short lived with only three riders, and more than enough very strong riders in the field willing to work to bring them back.

2017 SSrd1d

The final two laps saw an accelerated pace which inevitably stretched the field. Jess and Victoria both maintained their positions well to finish 5th and 6th respectively, a solid start for a team with only one sprinter.