Friday, 10 January 2014


Yesterday turned out to be a very long day. Although not contributing to the breakaway in Portarlington, the day still took it's toll and the work I did in the last three laps had exhausted me. More specifically than that when I got up this morning my back wasn't in agreeance and I found myself downing some pain killers to ease the ache before the drive to Williamstown. It was a ripe old windy warm up (what does that even mean Peta?) and my back was only getting worse as the race neared.

Holding the sprint jersey into the final stage-eventual winner!
Photo courtesy jxp photography

The tactic was to keep everything together for the first sprint, or at the very least mark Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) to make sure she missed any moves that went, as she was now the only one who could take the sprinters jersey from my hands. From there, we planned to be in the moves but not making the moves, and stick to our winning tactic of leading Giorgia into another sprint finish.

It's safe to say that I didn't lie when I said that the girls would throw everything they had at us for the final stage of the Michelton Wines Bay Criteriums. I made a concerted effort to take the first corner on second wheel, I was NOT going to miss an early break and let the team down. The first attack came from Lauren Kitchen (Roxsolt Sydney Uni), immediately countered by Scandolara, and the final blow went to Gracie Elvin (Jayco National Team). I chased all three in the space of a lap and was absolutely pooped at the end of it! I looked down- 4minutes in - damn this was going to be a long day for me.

Orica-AIS drive the break while Linda sits pretty on the back
Photo courtesy jxp photography

I won't spend too much time re-living my accounts of the race because my experiences mainly involved struggling on the back of the bunch. I would jump around girls as they dropped out of the race and managed to get to the front maybe 3 times to do a lap turn of pace. But all-in-all I was somewhat useless today and can only commend the team for an amazing effort both physically and tactically. The European's really rode themselves into the series and I was glad to have Emilia and Lotte representing us at the front.

I'm not one to write about what happened at the front of the race when I wasn't there, but from all accounts it was a real show-stopper! A break of five including Elvin, Loes Gunewick (Orica-AIS), Jessie Maclean (Orica-AIS), Saray Roy (Roxsolt Sydney Uni) and Linda established a 20 second lead that went away in the first 10minutes. Roy and Maclean lost contact nearing the finish and the gap dropped to 10 seconds before being dragged back in the final 2 laps with an inevitable bunch sprint. Emilia had patrolled the bunch all day but it was Lotte who stole the hero title, leading Giorgia in the final laps to have her take her third victory of the series, with Lotte holding on for 8th.

Game on! L-R: Nettie, Giorrgia and Tiff
Photo courtesy jxp photography

With this result we also took the teams classification and my points allowed me to take home the sprint jersey. Giorgia was super excited to be the first ever international to win the Bay Criterium's and says that she will do her best to have it on her race calendar next year! Most of the girls have gone their seperate ways and I will miss my new friends, but watch out world when we are re-united in February for Tour of Qatar, may the shenanigans never end...

The Wigglettes: Me, Emilia, Linda, Lotte and Giorgia
Photo courtesy Barbie

It may have only been four days of racing but I'm pooped. It'll be hard to find the motivation to get through the week's preparations for Road Nationals in Ballarat, and having my back injury rear it's head again certainly doesn't help. It's times like this that I wonder if rest is the best recipe, or if I train through the week as I normally would. Time to turn to coach Damian Grundy with the tough questions! Thanks for tuning in and see you all next week in Ballarat :)

Results: Via Peloton Cafe
Race Video: Via Peloton Cafe
Photo Gallery: Via Bart Hazen and Peloton Cafe