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Posts from the ‘Elite Criterium Series’ Category

11
Feb

Elite Women’s Update

Round Seven Elite Women’s Series

Elite Series 2016 8a

Commitments interstate again saw the team depleted of key riders. Madeleine and Lucy had both travelled over to Buninyong for the Elite National Road Championships, while Victoria was able to remain behind for round seven as she was contesting neither the criterium nor the time trial. Being that she is of sound mind and doesn’t do crazy stuff like TT’s, Victoria was able to delay leaving for Sunday’s National Road Race until Friday.

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We may have had limited numbers, but the team was able to make the definitive moves of the race. Victoria was an attacking rider from the beginning, and the field was clearly stretched. At the ¾ mark, after the field was pulled back following one of Victoria’s attacks, there was a counter attack by Jenny Macpherson. Narelle was on the job and easily went with the break. The break was strengthened by the inclusion of another three riders.

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The commentary of the race over the loud speaker from CSA was actually quite humorous. It went along the lines of,

“Victoria is sitting on the front of the peloton, Mercedes-Benz Adelaide have a rider in the break so Victoria is not going to make any moves!”

Really! You don’t say!……..and 20 seconds later…….

“Victoria has launched a vicious attack off the front…….”

Yes, Victoria did technically chase a team member, but with good reason. The breakaway had reached a critical distance – any further away, and the likelihood of crossing the gap without bringing the entire peloton was diminishing quickly. The peloton has also just reached a headwind section, meaning that if Victoria could create a sudden gap, only a few riders were likely to be strong enough to cross with her. To minimize the number of riders within that small group, Victoria had also saved the attack for when some of those stronger riders were boxed in from pursuit. Perfect! Victoria crossed, taking only one SASI rider with her, the two riders working well together to catch the breakaway within a lap. With seven riders now in the breakaway, the success of the breakaway was assured.

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The race finished in predictable fashion between the sprinters within the group, but happily Victoria and Narelle secured 3rd and 5th place respectively.

6
Jan

Elite Women’s Update

Hell of the North

Saturday Road Race

The Hell of the North signalled round two of the Elite Women’s Series. A 50km road race on day one saw the inclusion of 18km of dirt road, with terrain that varied between corrugations, deep surface ruts and loose sand and gravel. The wind was also going to make conditions very tough, with predominantly head and cross winds.

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MBA Blackchrome went to the line with six riders, making it the largest contingent on the road. The pace was aggressive from the start, with the USG team organising an impressive drive from the front. MBA Blackchrome was also active with repeated attacks, and quick chase downs of rival breakaways. Natalie Redmond (Adelaide Uni) and Jess Mundy (SASI) rounded out a select core of riders who kept the front of the race pushing hard to the turnoff to the first dirt section.

The peloton was stretched out nearly straight away, essentially breaking the field in two. Riders with determined handling and good power output over the uneven surface took their advantage and created what would be the lead bunch to the finish. It was during this early shuffle that the MBA Blackchrome team colours shone through. Team sprinter Madeleine became separated from the main bunch at a critical point in the race, as the rider in front of her had dropped the wheel of the leaders. Team rider Taylor Ford then took control and bridged the gap back to the leaders with Madeleine in tow. The effort cost Taylor dearly and she succumbed to the subsequent pace, but had already earned the ‘Team Player of the Race’ award.

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Victoria, not having any CX experience, controlled an awesome ‘Tokyo Drift’ at one point, her bike whipped sideways in a bog of loose sand. MBA Blackchrome had three riders in the front bunch, until out of nowhere Narelle arrived – having bridged the gap with Port Adelaide’s Hannah Geelan. Port Adelaide were riding brilliantly on the dirt, but bad luck struck Annabel Cox with a puncture in the second dirt section. The race returned to the bitumen, and the attacks continued. Just prior to the last dirt section Carlee Taylor launched a well placed break that would see her take out the road race.

The pace into the finish ramped up with Madeleine, Victoria and Narelle sitting in good positions. Lucy led the pace into one of the final turns, helping to keep the group from bunching up. Madeleine took the perfect line on the final corner and blitzed past everyone to grab second place. Jess Mundy and Victoria were fatiguing, at which point Narelle blasted past both for 4th, Victoria in 6th. Lucy rounded out points in 11th position. The effort places MBA Backchrome in 2nd place overall for the series thus far.

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Sunday Criterium

Another glorious day greeted the riders for a 35 minute criterium around a rather treacherous Kadina town square. Two corners in particular were very technical with spoon drains, raised concrete, loose surface and traffic divider humps. The race was set up in the first 20 seconds. The start line was close the first nasty corner. The four riders who dashed to the corner first, set up the breakaway that would stay away for the entire race. Back in the field, Lucy and Victoria were left with no other option but to work without help at the front of the chase group for nearly the entire race. They did so well enough that at the end of the race on ten riders in total had survived the pace. The rest of the filed had been pulled from the circuit. Victoria sprinted to 5th place with Lucy rounding out the numbers in 10th.

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6
Jan

Elite Women’s Update

Elite Series 2015 Round One

Elite Series Round One 3

Round One of the 2015 Elite Women’s Series was a 35 minute criterium at Victoria Park. This was the first race for some new faces for the EMBA Blackchrome team. The SASI team this year has a full roster of eight riders, so they were always going to be tough to filter past.

Victoria, covered in patches and dressings from a reasonably serious crash on the Sunday before the race had done her rain dance all day – hoping the race would be cancelled and her very painful knees given another week to recovery. Fate would not happen – the women raced, while the Elite Men’s race was called short because, you guessed it, it started to rain!

Several attacks went off the front from the beginning, with riders seeking early vulnerability in the legs of the field. Lucy did well to animate the race, while Victoria covered any serious counterattacks to protect the position of team sprinter Madeleine.

At the ¾ mark however a dangerous break went, initiated by Jenny Macpherson and taken up by Carlee Taylor. Victoria and SASI’s Danni McKinnery were both able to join the break. The pace cost Jenny after a few laps and she fell off the group, but was replaced by Jess Mundy who had crossed the gap. With two SASI riders now joined, the work fell to Carlee and Victoria to keep the break away, which they did with strong persistent turns on the front. The four kept away and the sprint finish saw Victoria nab third place. Madeleine had a strong sprint finish to take points in 7th place.

Elite Series Round One 1 Elite Series Round One 2

22
Mar

Elite Criterium Series

EMBA – Ozone Cleaning Specialists –Elite Women’s Team

Race Four

The team which raced the Elite Women’s Criterium Series came together a few weeks before racing commenced. The first race was the first time our ladies had ever raced together and few had team’s racing experience, while the one rider who had raced as a Tour Lead Rider for EMBA, Victoria, had zero criterium experience. Possibly not a magic formula for a successful first attempt at the series.

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We had a slow start to the series, but as can be seen from our previous updates, the ladies had enough overall strength to make up ground very quickly. Going into the fourth round the objectives were quite complex for the team and would have to involve excellent execution of team tactics. The situation was as follows:

  • We had a fragile hold on Third Overall for the Team’s Trophy
  • Victoria was sitting precariously in second place for the Masters Leaders Jersey – having to beat three riders to stay there.
  • Victoria had a one point margin for Third Overall for the General Classification Leaders Jersey, with none other than ex-Orica rider Carlee Taylor breathing down her neck.
  • So, Victoria had to beat four riders, and the team had to make sure that none of those riders were assisted into breakaways, preferably letting Victoria take care of her rivals in the bunch sprint.

The day didn’t disappoint. Natalie and Kerianne were aggressive from the outset. Initially they were chased down, but as most of the leading riders were marking Victoria, some leniency was developing in the attempts to bring back breakaway attempts and Kerianne was able to launch a strong move off the front with a muted response from the bunch. Kerianne was joined by a further four riders who formed an organised working group, but Kerianne was clearly pulling the majority of the work. Kerianne finished her first class effort with a strong sprint to second place. Back in the main bunch, the fight for the bunch sprint for 6th-10th place was still determining final standings on the podiums. Without hesitating, Victoria wound up early and held off the bunch to take 6th place. Most surprisingly this also secured for the team equal First Place for both the Overall GC Rider and Masters Leader. While both Jerseys were lost on count back, it was an unexpected bonus for the team to have a rider equal first on points across the two podiums. This also meant, that having secured Third Place for the Team’s Classification, EMBA Ozone Cleaning Specialists were the only team to occupy space on all three Championship Podiums. Kerianne’s Second Place for the stage, was the icing on a very big cake!

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EMBA – Ozone Cleaning Specialists –Elite Women’s Team

Race Three

The third round of the Elite Women’s Criterium Series saw a return to Victoria Park for the short circuit – expected to put the bunch on edge through tighter turns. There was blood in the water for more than just course technicalities. The SASI flight back from Melbourne had been cancelled which meant their ENTIRE team was a no-show, and the other teams would always clamour to take advantage and claw back their significant lead!

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Early on into the race, international rider Carlee Taylor seemed to be signalling that she was going to use the race in her Nationals preparations – or at least it seemed that way to the rest of us mortals when she broke away…..and stayed away for the remainder of the race. Team Rider Natalie Redmond made a gutsy move and crossed the gap with another rider, but the effort cost her and she was eventually reeled back in. With first and second place decided, it all came down to the bunch sprint for third.

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Team Rider Victoria Veitch, as the team’s highest placed rider for GC and the Masters Leaders Jersey finished out a strong sprint to finish fourth and now sits impressively in Third Overall on GC.

EMBA – Ozone Cleaning Specialists –Elite Women’s Team

Race Two

The second round of the Elite Women’s Criterium Series gave the newly formed EMBA Ozone Cleaning Specialists Team the opportunity to strengthen their coherence as a team and bring to the fore their impressive firepower. Round one saw three riders caught behind a crash, but in round two there were no such setbacks. Narelle Hards having ridden an impressive race as reserve in round one, was listed as a team rider for round two. Along with Holly Ranson the two girls had a strong influence over the pacesetting of the race.

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For whatever reason, the overall speed of the race was a far more conservative affair than round one, but the attempted breakaways were no less fierce. All breaks were covered by at least two of our girls at all times.  The flying bell lap sounded and our team used their experience to good advantage with a lead-out formed for the sprint. Victoria Veitch led Lucy Barker and Natalie Redmond into the finishing straight. An aggressive launch saw Victoria finishing Third, and Natalie grabbing valuable points in 5th.

Round three kicks off on Sunday 21st December at Victoria Park. The team has moved into Third overall for the series with team rider Victoria now placed Fourth overall and equal First on points for the Masters Leader’s Jersey.

EMBA – Ozone Cleaning Specialists –Elite Women’s Team

Race One

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The Euride Mercedes-Benz Adelaide Team has launched the first of its planned sub-squads. The EMBA Ozone Cleaning Specialists elite women’s squad took to the road for the Elite Criterium Series hosted by Cycling SA.The course for the first outing on the 9th November, was an incredibly technical road circuit within a Port Adelaide industrial zone.  The EMBA Ozone Cleaning Services team lined up against close to 40 riders in their brand new strip.

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Six locally sponsored teams had five women each on the start line, plus a few individuals, namely Carlee Taylor of Orica AIS women’s professional cycling team.  A number of attacks set the pace high from the start, especially active at the front of the race were EBMA – Ozone Cleaning Specialists, USG and the small but dominant SASI quartet, which included Wiggle’s women’s professional cycling team newest addition, Jess Mundy.

The team took the race right up to the powerful SASI team and was able to finish with 2 riders (Victoria Veitch and Holly Ranson) in the top ten. Three riders were caught behind a crash, but reserve rider Narelle Hards was positioned well to avoid the incident and remained strong to finish just outside the top ten.  There are three races left in the series, and the team will be looking to push more riders into the top ten and hopefully consolidate points in the Masters Leaders Jersey.

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