The morning of stage 3 marked the annual ‘Amy’s Ride’ in support of the Amy Gillett Foundation, so our team headed out for a pedal with the hundreds of supporting riders. Despite a lengthy distance, I pulled up well and felt like I had the form of my life that afternoon around the Eastern Park long circuit. With newly surfaced roads it is now my favourite course, so I was determined to race hard and therefore found myself attacking solo in the opening minutes. As I stayed out of trouble off the front, the race began to unfold behind and 15 minutes in, a small group including Goss, Nikki Butterfield (Skilled) and Tomic were making contact. A massive crash back in the peloton then caused a halt in proceedings and as Megan Dunn (NSWIS) was taken away in an ambulance with a suspected broken collar bone, we waited on the start line, our race time ticking away to 25 minutes.
Protests began when the decision was made to re-start the race as a bunch, allowing even withdrawn riders to re-join, and in the end I didn’t care for the bickering, I simply wanted to get on with the racing. Within 10 minutes the field had again diminished due to the relentless pace set by the Skilled (pictured above) team. With the lap countdown starting, it was Goss and Butterfield still trying to break free as 20 girls remained in contention for the finish. Amy Cure (TIS) set the pace up the back straight before Rowena Fry (TIS) hit out strong into the uphill finishing straight. The chasers ran out of road before the finish, myself included, coming over Kirsty to finish 2nd in the stage. My first ever Jayco Bay Series podium pushed me to 3rd on GC =) So that night, I attended the concurrent charity auction, celebrating my result with a drink!
Stage 4 was held at the gruelling waterfront location in Portarlington, with the first 20 minutes proving sedate despite a rather nasty climb. It seemed everybody was waiting for the favourites to dictate the race until youngsters Myfanwy Galloway (Mazda) and Lauren Kitchen (NSWIS) shook up the proceedings with solo attacks. Any attempt to cross to the front, or any bout of aggression on my behalf (pictured above) saw a rapid chase from behind, resulting in a 10-up sprint for the finish. Coming into bell lap Butterfield attacked, sitting up when cresting the top of the climb. As she did, Broun swung right, taking down Goss and my VIS team-mate Kath O’Shea. After running over Goss’ back wheel and unclipping my foot I was out of the race. Broun, Chloe Hosking (Mazda) and Butterfield had already crossed the line when I rounded the final corner. I managed to chase back to 5th, demoting me to 4th on GC.
Results: Jayco Bay Series, Stage 3, Eastern Beach (Short Course)
Results: Jayco Bay Series, Stage 4, Portarlington
* Images courtesy of WomensCycling.net