Video/report: Elvin wins second Australian women’s road race title, Ewan takes Under 23 gold
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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Video/report: Elvin wins second Australian women’s road race title, Ewan takes Under 23 gold

by VeloNation Press at 10:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, National Championships, Video
Highlights from today’s races

Gracie ElvinMaking history when she became the first woman in two decades to take two consecutive national road race titles, Gracie Elvin outsprinted Lauren Kitchen (NSW) and last year’s Subaru National Road Series winner Katrin Garfoot (QLD) at the end of the 102 kilometre women’s race today.

Elvin’s success was the third straight road champs win for her Orica GreenEdge team, with Amanda Spratt winning two years ago.

“I’ve been watching cycling for as long as I can remember, so it means a lot to me to really see my dreams come true,” Elvin said at the end of the race in Buninyong.

“I heard that [she could equal Kathy Watt, who won between 1992 and 1994 – ed.], but I wasn’t really thinking about it. I guess I put a bit of pressure on myself without realising it, but I just had to trust myself once we started racing and trust my teammates.”

She fell in the critierum championships on Thursday but showed little signs of that today.

“To wear the jersey over in Europe is a pretty big deal for us. We’re the only Australian pro-team, so it’s important for us.”

One of the day’s main aggressors was Lisa Jacobs (VIC), who attacked at the bottom of the second King of the Mountains climb and build a lead of over three minutes.

Bridie O’Donnell (VIC) and Jessie Maclean (ACT) tried to get up to her but they were hauled back three laps from the end. Elvin then jumped ahead solo and caught Jacobs inside the final 25 kilometres.

However she was herself reeled in by Tiffany Cromwell (SA/Specialized lululemon) and Garfoot with fifteen kilometres left.

In turn, they were caught by the chasing group and a fatigued Elvin and Kitchen both lost contact on the final climb. They knuckled down to chase, while ahead Cromwell, Garfoot, Under 23 rider Emily Roper (QLD), Amanda Spratt (NSW) and Shara Gillow (QLD) went over the top together.

Elvin said that Kitchen was important in her getting back up. “I was holding on for dear life on that last climb. I just couldn’t do it,” she said. “I was with Lauren and was thankful she dragged me back.

“I was shaking a bit before the start and I was trying to calm myself down, but I backed myself today. I knew I wasn’t one of the strongest girls there but I knew I was one of the smartest.”

Elvin won the final gallop against Kitchen, Garfoot, Cromwell, Spratt, Roper, Miranda Griffiths (VIC) and Jenelle Crooks (QLD).

“We (ORICA-AIS) were trying to stay calm this morning and we had a good plan and I think we executed it pretty well today,” said Elvin. “We just stayed patient, it is a hard race so you have to show your cards late and I think that’s what we did and I’m really happy with the team. I just want to say, thanks to my teammates, this jersey is for them,” added Elvin.

Kitchen would have loved to have won, but accepted the result. “I’m really happy with a silver medal but of course to be so close is a bit hard as well,” she said. “I definitely wasn’t considered a contender today, having only one teammate and not being known as a climber. So I’m really happy to have looked after myself today and come away with a second place.”

As for Garfoot, she said that she was proud to be able to race as an Australian after recently getting citizenship. “My nerves went a bit wild in the last lap but I hope that will be better next year.”

Roper took the under 23 gold medal, finishing two places ahead of Crooks. Jessica Mundy (SA) took third.

She finished second in the TT earlier this week, and drew on that today. “I went into the time trial and I didn't really know how I really was going to go. I ended up second there by three seconds, so that gave me a bit of a drive for the criterium and the road race. I definitely came out here and just gave it all I got and I’m happy with the result.

“When it came down to the last lap and I made it over the hill, I’m like ‘oh my gosh I can win the elite race' but the other girls were just a bit quick in the sprint for me.”

Ewan adds men’s road race to critierum championships win:

Caleb EwanCaleb Ewan further boosted his reputation as a rider to watch for the future when he triumphed in the under 23 men’s road race, adding to the criterium gold medal he took two days ago.

The New South Wales rider, who will turn pro with Orica GreenEdge later this year, was aggressive during the 132 kilometre race but had something left for the final gallop to the line. He beat Robert Power (WA), Brad Lindfield (WA), Harry Carpenter (SA), Shaun O'Callaghan (VIC) and Thomas Hamilton (VIC) to the line

“I’m over the moon,” he said. “I’m so happy with how I went. I feel a bit more relaxed now, I couldn’t really soak it in after the crit on Thursday but to get both titles, I’m really happy with that.”

Runner-up Power was generous in his praise of the winner. “I gave it my best and this guy [Ewan] put on a show as always. Anytime I get to race with him is awesome,” he said.

“I think everyone was trying to get away from Caleb but he’s just really awesome. He stayed there and got the win. He deserves it.”

Linfield was also satisfied with his result. “Obviously it’s really good to get bronze,” he said. “Hopefully it’s good to put on the resume winning bronze in the under 23 Australian title.”

Early on five riders went clear on the second lap. Jason Loundes (VIC), Michael Crosby (VIC), Mitchell Cooper (VIC), Samuel Wood (QLD) and Jeremy Cameron (VIC) built a lead of over a minute and a half, but were reeled in 48 kilometres from the line.

A succession of breaks followed, then in the final twenty kilometres the key move went clear. With one lap to go, Ewan was in a six man group with Carpenter, O’Callahan, Hamilton, Alex Clements (TAS) and Robert McCarthy (SA).

Linfield and Power then joined up over the top of the climb. They were aware of Ewan’s speed and made multiple efforts to get clear without him. However Ewan and the others covered each move, bringing it down to a gallop which the future Orica GreenEdge rider won.

He admitted afterwards that he was suffering a lot on the final lap. “The last time up that climb I was cramping the whole way. I just had to make it look like I wasn’t going that hard when they attacked me,” he said.

“It was quite aggressive on the last climb. I was able to cover all the moves…I knew if I covered all the moves and I got to the finish with the whole bunch that I would have a good shot of winning the kick.

“That’s what I tried to do, and that’s how it worked out in the end. Just to get here in the end and win is such a relief.”

The Elite men’s road championships will follow on Sunday, with riders such as Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team), Richie Porte (Sky), former champion Simon Gerrans and last year’s winner, his Orica GreenEdge team-mate Luke Durbridge all set to take part.

The field has been described as the strongest-ever for the event.

Australian road race championships, Buninyong:

Elite and under 23 women:

1, Gracie Elvin (ACT) 102 kilometres in 3 hours 2 mins 42
2, Lauren Kitchen (NSW)
3, Katrin Garfoot (QLD)
4, Tiffany Cromwell (SA)
5, Amanda Spratt (NSW)
6, Emily Roper (QLD)
7, Miranda Griffiths (VIC)
8, Jenelle Crooks (QLD) all same time
9, Shara Gillow (QLD) at 3 secs
10, Joanne Hogan (VIC) at 16 secs
11, Lizzie Williams (VIC) at 50 secs
12, Samantha De Riter (VIC)
13, Felicity Wardlaw (VIC)
14, Taryn Heather (VIC)
15, Peta Mullens (VIC) all same time
16, Carlee Taylor (SA) at 3 mins 50 secs
17, Sarah Roy (NSW) at 4 mins 38 secs
18, Kristy Glover (VIC) same time
19, Lisa Keeling (ACT) at 5 mins
20, Jessie Maclean (ACT) at 5 mins 17 secs

Under 23 medals:

1, Emily Roper (QLD)
2 Jenelle Crooks (QLD)
3, Jessica Mundy (SA)

Under 23 men:

1, Caleb Ewan (NSW) 132 kilometres in 3 hours 23 mins 31 sec
2, Robert Power (WA)
3, Brad Lindfield (WA)
4, Harry Carpenter (SA)
5, Shaun O'Callaghan (VIC)
6, Thomas Hamilton (VIC) all same time
7, Robert McCarthy (SA) at 3 secs
8, Alexander Clements (TAS) at 5 secs
9, Jack Beckinsale (NSW) same time
10, Jack Haig (VIC) at 9 secs
11, Campbell Flakemore (TAS) at 27 secs
12, Jordan Davies (NSW)
13, Conor Murtagh (VIC)
14, Nicholas Graham-Dawson (WA)
15, Nicholas Schultz (QLD)
16, Alistair Crameri (VIC)
17, Samuel Spokes (NSW)
18, Jordan Kerby (QLD)
19, Freddy Ovett (VIC)
20, Jesse Ewart (NSW) all same time


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