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Posts from the ‘Elite Women’ Category

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.

16
Nov

Elite Women’s Update

Division Two: Blackchrome Butterfields

Super Series Round Seven

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Race Report Courtesy of CSA. Photo courtesy of Chameleon

In the Category 2 Women, a similar situation existed. The State Development Team held the leader’s jersey through Hannah Seeliger. But with only two teammates to support her in Staci McCudden and Chelsea Holmes, it was going to be difficult for them to defend this lead in what has been the tightest battle across the series. Despite calculated riders from Blackchrome Butterfields and the three Port Adelaide Teams, the State Dev Team showed their strength to take the win in a time of just over an hour. Blackchrome Butterfields held onto second 1:13 further back, with Port Adelaide Silver just 13 seconds behind.

12
Nov

Elite Women’s Update

Division One: MBA Blackchrome

Super Series Round Six

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The round six criterium was the first time on the short course, and in mild conditions. The team was represented by Jess, Victoria, and Emily Hill again promoted from division two. Emily had a crack at the sprint points, but then experienced the difference in strength between division one and two, finding herself in trouble after the sprint as the bunch continued to counter attack. Victoria was not doing any better, caught napping and poorly positioned as a break went after the second sprint point. With Victoria relegated to a chase bunch, it was left to Jess to ride like she belonged in division one, staying alert to the moves of the bunch and positioning well. Jess grabbed vital point mid-field, and inched closer to the Leader’s Jersey. Luckily for Victoria, Breanna Ryan had been crushed by testing at SASI that day (thank you SASI), allowing Victoria’s hapless performance to still keep her in the Masters Jersey.

Super Series Round Seven

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Race Report Courtesy of CSA. Photo courtesy of Chameleon

Mercedez-Benz Adelaide-Blackchrome Dominant in the TTT and Mitchelton-Scott deliver on expectation

In the Elite Women, Mercedez- Benz Adelaide – Blackchrome stormed home to take the win. It was no surprise that they took this victory, but few would have predicted their almost 2 minute winning margin. The two SASI teams were close to each other, with SASI-Red coming home in second and SASI Blue taking third. For the third time in the series the leaders jersey changed hands, with 2016 series winner Jessica Mundy (MBA-Blackchrome) taking it off the shoulders of SASI’s young gun Maeve Plouffe. Currently second overall, former leader Breanna Hargrave (SASI) will have a battle on her hands to overcome her deficit on Mundy with only three rounds remaining.

9
Nov

Elite Women’s Update

Division Two: Blackchrome Butterfields

Super Series Round Four – Copper Coast Road Race

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Road race: Report by Emily Hill

The beginning of the road race was frustrating as there were a dozen people taking turns while everyone else was hanging out at the back to avoid the hard-work in the wind. After a while, a few riders willing to take a chance decided to make a break. USG and Blackchrome/Butterfields were the only teams strong enough to stretch the field. The first couple of attacks didn’t quite stick, but the strategy was clearly bringing to breaking point, some of the girls who were just hanging on. A few kilometres from the first gravel section, and with the help of some gentle undulations, an attack instigated by USG and Blackchrome/Butterfields finally stuck. This lead bunch would stay together until the end, apart from a few girls who crashed during the gravel sections. The last couple of kilometres was very quick and yielded a flurry of attacks. When I saw the cones for the final corner I decided to make my attack, which allowed me to enter the corner first. I sprinted to the finish line, but was outpaced by Jaz of USG who snatch first by less than a wheel.

Super Series Round Five: Copper Coast Criterium

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Criterium: Report by Emily Hill

The criterium was held in very windy conditions which was going to test the handling skills of the division two ladies. Those with experience and strength against the wind made their mark very early into the race, with a splintering of riders from the end of the second lap. A steady stream of riders was being pulled from the course as they were about to be lapped by the leading bunch. In some respects, it was very difficult for the officials to gauge which riders were leading and which were being lapped by the multiple small splinter groups out on the course. When I made a break away for the sprint points, one of the marshals was pointing for me to exit the course, but I was confident that I was the front of the race and just road past him to take the sprint points. My tactic was to not break around the corners, and this worked in gaining some distance from the group with each turn, forcing the lead bunch to work and constantly close small gaps. The wind on the back straight was tough and punctuated with strong gusts, which often caused me to ride my bike sideways. A very clever solo move was made by Bronwyn Dolman of the Port Adelaide Black team. There was not enough cohesion from the chase bunch to bring the move back, turning the race into a game for second place. Using my cornering skill again, I was able to get around the final corner without touching the breaks, and stepped on the gas to grab second place.

29
Oct

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

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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.

14
Oct

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.

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“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
14
Oct

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.