Bronzini and Dempster triumph on day one of Michelton Bay Cycling Classic
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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Bronzini and Dempster triumph on day one of Michelton Bay Cycling Classic

by Shane Stokes at 6:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Top female and male pros back in action in Australia

Giorgia BronziniThe triple world road race champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) and surprise victor Zak Dempster (SASI Cycling) each got their seasons off to successful starts in their first races of the year at the Michelton Bay Cycling Classic.

Bronzini won one of her three rainbow jerseys in Geelong in 2010 and returned to the same city to triumph again today. She beat Annette Edmondson (Orica AIS) and Specialized/Securitor’s Tiffany Cromwell to the line, with Chloe Hosking (Roxsolt), Gracie Elvin (Jayco National Team), Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor), Sophie Williamson (Vanderkitten) and Kristy Glover (Bicycle Superstore) completing the top eight.

Cromwell had put in a late attack but was overhauled before the line.

“Tiffany had a good tactic on the final (lap), she tried to surprise us,” said a pleased Bronzini after the race. “I'm surprised about that, my shape. It's good for the track, because next month I will be in the track worlds.

“It’s my first experience racing at this time of year, but maybe Geelong brings me luck. I have some good memories of Geelong, so I’m happy to win again in this area.

“It was a really fast race and it was a tough crit because there were two corners and you had to sprint out of them every time, so there was a little stress on the legs. But after the first 15 minutes I felt really good on the bike. I said to girls that I was good, and every girl worked to try to keep control of the breaks.”

Bronzini spent two weeks in Sydney preparing for the race and said that she believed that this helped her to be in good shape today. She also took second and then first in the two intermediate sprints, ensuring that she finished the day atop the points classification. The overall lead takes precedence, though, and she will wear yellow heading into tomorrow’s second race.

Her Wiggle Honda team rode well as a unit and the efforts by Peta Mullens, Linda Villumsen, Charlotte Becker and Swedish champion Emilia Fahlin saw the squad take the lead in the team classification.

“Today obviously went well,” said the team manager Rochelle Gilmore. “We had the ambition to make the race really hard from the start, and the girls did that really well, especially Peta Mullens who just set the race alight.

“Peta did three really strong attacks, and spent a bit of time off the front, and Linda Villumsen was also really, really strong today so she was being the policewoman of the bunch; bringing some stuff back and just being at the front.

“Giorgia felt good the whole way through the race. We would have liked to have had a breakaway today, but it didn’t happen, so Giorgia had a sprint. Obviously, she’s always up for a sprint if it comes back to a sprint.”

She said that she hoped tomorrow’s race would be more aggressive and thus tougher.

Dempster outfoxes WorldTour rivals:

Meanwhile the Elite men’s race didn’t go the way of last year’s day one and final overall winner Caleb Ewan, who suffered a training crash in the buildup to the race and said that he was uncertain about his form.

He missed out on a break which dominated the event, with eventual winner Dempster joined by SASI Cycling teammate Harry Carpenter, Orica GreenEdge pair Matt Goss and Luke Durbridge, Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT), Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics’ Cycle Racing Team) and Luke Parker (Jayco VIS).

Australian national TT and road race champion Durbridge used his horsepower to drive the break along. Goss looked in the perfect scenario to benefit from his team-mate’s riding but things didn’t go to plan for Orica GreenEdge; instead Carpenter led Dempster out and he blasted home ahead of English and Jones. Parker, Durbridge and Goss completed the top six, while Carpenter and Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEdge) were next home.

Dempster was delighted with the outcome. “I couldn't be happier. January second and one win, so it's one more than last year. I felt pretty good. I could tell after the warm up I was in good shape and after all the training I've done in the last two months.

“I was just trying to stay in the first five basically on this course because you're only on the pedals for twenty seconds and then you get a rest around the corners.”

"You could see guys like Gossy just labouring a little bit as he comes into shape for the Spring Classics. I could see that earlier on so we tried to put the pressure on with Carpenter attacking. That really played in my hands ‘cause I got a rest for a bit and so I felt strong on the last lap.”

Ewan got little help in getting the break back. He attacked repeatedly in a bid to get up to the move but each time he was reeled in by the bunch. They were all eventually lapped by the break, putting them out of the race before the final sprint.

Tomorrow’s second day of racing will see the riders scrap it out on a two kilometre circuit at Geelong’s Eastern Park. It is described by the organisers as being slightly more suited to road riders than today’s tighter circuit. Those who lost out on day one will try to get back into the frame.

2014 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic:

Stage 1: Ritchie Boulevard, Geelong Eastern Beach

Elite men:

1, Zakkari Dempster (SASI) 12
2, Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT) 10
3, Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics) 8
4, Luke Parker (Jayco VIS) 7
5, Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) 6
6, Matthew Goss (Orica GreenEdge) 5
7, Harry Carpenter (SASI) 4
8, Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEdge) 3
9, Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor JLT) 2
10, George Tansley (SASI) 1

Elite momen:

1, Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) 12
2, Annette Edmondson (Orica-AIS) 10
3, Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized Securitor) 8
4, Chloe Hosking (Roxsolt) 7
5, Gracie Elvin (Jayco National Team) 6
6, Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor) 5
7, Sophie Williamson (Vanderkitten) 4
8, Kristy Glover (Bicycle Superstore) 3
9, Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) 2
10, Lauren Kitchen (Roxsolt) 1

Sprint ACE Classification:

Elite Men:

1, Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT) 9
2, Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics) 3
3, Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) 3

Elite Women:

1, Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) 5
2, Lizzie Williams (Specialized Securitor) 5
3, Gracie Elvin (Jayco National Team) 1

2014 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic - remaining races:

Friday, 3 January, stage 2: Eastern Park, Geelong
Saturday, 4 January, stage 3: Portarlington
Sunday, 5 January, stage 4: Williamstown


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