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16
Dec

Elite Women’s Update

Division Two: Blackchrome Butterfields

Super Series Round Ten

Report courtesy of CSA

A booming category Two Women saw some of the most contested racing of the day. The Over 50’s, Sprint and Young Riders classifications were almost all completely wrapped up, but the overall GC was going to come down to the wire. The two main protagonists of the series Emily Hill (Butterfields Focus) and Hannah Seeliger (State Development) were locked in a tight tussle. With two laps to go Hill went on the attack, charging off the front of the bunch. However, it wasn’t to be. With a bunch of riders hungry to take something out the series they never let Hill get far, and it was Seeliger’s teammate Chelsea Holmes who slipped off the front of the bunch to take a comfortable victory

Joining her on the podium was Annoushka Sathianathan (PACC Silver) and Seeliger’s third teammate Staci McCudden. This move pushed Sathianathan up to second overall with Hill slipping to third. Hill would receive a consolation prize, taking the Overall Sprint honours. Sathianathan would claim the Master’s Category to go with her second place after a hard-fought battle with Bronwyn Dolman (PACC Black). Margaret Easson (PACC Silver) was a clear winner in the Master’s O50 Competition, claiming maximum points in five of the eight rounds. Seeliger would take home the Overall and the Young Rider’s Classification making for a very successful series for the promising rider.

16
Dec

Elite Women’s Update

Division One: MBA Blackchrome

Super Series Round Ten

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Race report courtesy of CSA

With the dominant SASI team unable to attend Round 10 due to track commitments, it was the perfect opportunity for other riders to pounce. Breanna Hargrave after only just regaining the leader’s jersey, and holder of the masters, and sprint classification, could do little but hope that things would fall her way in her absence.

This was not going to be the case. Madeline Steele (Butterfields Focus) was in touching distance of the sprinters classification. Five points behind and with a maximum of six points on offer, she would need to take the opportunities on offer. Despite Jessica Mundy (Mercedes-Benz Adelaide-Blackchrome) pushing her on both, Steele took the honours in the two sprints, demonstrating the skills she picked up as a former track sprinter, and Claiming the classification over Hargrave in her absence.

Unfortunately for Hargrave it would be a similar story in the overall classification. This time she would fall from first to third, with Jessica Mundy claiming the series after placing second on the stage. This makes back to back wins for Mundy after taking out the 2016 series. Hargrave was also passed by Victoria Veitch, who came in with a crafty third on the stage, and making it a 1-2 for MBA-Blackchrome.

The stage honours would go to Jenny Macpherson, with a well-executed move. MacPherson, riding for Ventou Cycling Team, is also a CSA development coach, showing that our future stars are in good hands. Hargrave managed to hang onto the Masters Classification, and her teammate Maeve Plouffe took a comfortable victory in the young rider’s classification 10 points clear of her next closest competitor.

 

10
Dec

Elite Women’s Update

Division One: MBA Blackchrome

Super Series Round Eight

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It was the first truly warm round of the Super Series with temperatures above 38 degrees, and a fair degree of humidity. Unfortunately the field was also fairly hot, with a slew of State and National track representatives on hand to make the competition aggressive. The SASI riders had made calculation on the gap to the leader’s jersey, and had clearly come out to take it. As expected the attacks were fast and plentiful, with the SASI teams having more than enough candidates to keep pushing the pace. Alison, Jess and Victoria were well organised and met the high accelerations. Half way into the race, the pace and the heat were starting to thin the field. Jess was feeling reasonably ambitious and led out a break attempt with three laps to go. The elastic band stretched and heaved, but did not break with the top fifteen riders surging into the last two laps. Alison was only just off the pace with a small chase bunch which was working hard to close the gap heading into the final lap. The effort of her earlier attack left Jess out of gas, finishing just outside the top ten. By some miracle, Victoria’s legs were functioning as she grabbed points in 8th place. SASI were confident of grabbing the leader’s jersey, but had miscalculated, leaving Jess to carry the yellow for another round.

Super Series Round Eight

This was the round we would lose the leader’s jersey, with Jess unavailable, but we still needed to consolidate point for the overall team’s classification. The contrast to the previous race could not be more obvious – cold, windy and drizzly. Alison, Narelle and Victoria were flying the flag, but none are suited to criteriums. This criterium in particular was awful! The SASI teams and the Orica track riders made things very difficult from the start. The concurrent attacks led to a break by the halfway point of the race. Victoria hung onto the break for two laps, but was the weakest link, fatigue rearing its ever-persistent head, especially in a format requiring maximal power. Frustratingly, Victoria had to let them go. Just behind her was Narelle, so the two riders regrouped and waited for Elouise from USG, Madeleine from sister-team Butterfields/Focus, and Danielle and Olivia from SASI. Narelle, Eloise and in particular Olivia, were pulling very effective turns. Victoria was pulling, but limply, and was at times, at risk of getting dropped from the chase. The lead bunch of seven riders could be seen less than a third of a lap ahead. Someone must have tranquilised them, because they clearly feel asleep as some point. With three laps to go, the chase bunch came within 20 metres of closing in on the lead bunch before they woke up and surged into the final two laps. Narelle made an epic attempt to cross the gap. She couldn’t get to them, but she didn’t get caught either, skipping across the line in 8th. Victoria had to be predatory, something which she isn’t really used to, but her current strength and fitness leaves her without the strength to close gaps herself. Eloise was pulling brilliantly, trying to close in on Narelle. Madeleine made the smart move to jump the chase bunch. Victoria cringed as she left Eloise on the front to chase, and when in striking distance to closing in on Madeleine, Victoria jumped them both, rounding the last corner in true hubbard form, but managing to hold onto 9th place.

10
Dec

Elite Women’s Update

Division Two: Blackchrome Butterfields

Super Series Round Eight

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Round eight was a tough learning curve for the Butterfields Blackchrome team. Emily was out for points in the sprint classification, but found herself in trouble after the first point. Her effort left her unable to hold onto a counter attack and she was left off the back. In stunning team unity, riders were sent back to get her. They worked together but were unable to bring her back to the bunch. Tessa Manning had been left with the lead bunch, and in an epic sprint finish, grabbed third place.

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Super Series Round Nine

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Pressure was felt in this critical round with so many jerseys still close in the points calculations. The team was also looking to redeem some ground in the overall team classification, with round eight seeing only one rider grabbing points. Division two is a development grade for the women, catering for women who are reasonably new to racing. This created an additional level of anxiety, as the conditions were the most inclement of the rounds so far. The winds were very high and gusty, and the track itself providing some very technical corners which were subject to cross winds. The race had its fair share of attacks, but wasn’t as aggressive as the week before, with the wind keeping the field mostly muted. The race was unfortunately marred by a crash in the last lap, which certainly tested handling skills – riders were ducking and weaving all over the place. Tessa and Emily were able to make their way clear of the fray, with Tessa giving Emily a draft on the way to the finish line. Emily made her move on the approach to the line, pulling past Tessa to grab third place. Tessa maintained her speed to hold onto 6th, a brilliant result in such tough conditions.