Brown wins first race of the year
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Brown wins first race of the year

by Bjorn Haake at 5:45 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results

Graeme Brown won the first race of 2010 when he took the opening stage of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Geelong, Australia, ahead of Matthew Goss and Robbie McEwen. The race was a 50min criterium on a two-kilometer course.

It was a windy affair in the sprint. "I had to take the initiative at the end and go a bit earlier than I had planned," Brown told "With that wind down there on the curve, everyone was on edge." Brown didn't expect such a fierce battle that early in the year. "I thought we were coming in for a ProTour stage finish with those guys there. I was pretty happy to win it actually. It's a good start to the year. I am in better condition than I thought I was in."

McEwen was also satisfied. "In other years maybe I'd be disappointed with today's result but this time, it's not the case," McEwen said. "It's just nice to back in the bunch. This is the first little baby step. There is no pain, no stiffness and it should get even better as the race goes on." McEwen crashed heavily midyear in the Tour of Belgium and is now working on his comeback. "I geared up for the finish but I spent the rest of the race gauging myself."

McEwen is quite optimistic for the remaining stages. "I am here to get race fit, but if I can win a race along the way, that would be great."

Goss was just as happy as the other podium placers with his second place and promised to keep up the fight. "I am going to try and win one. I finished last season earlier than in the past and I got back into heavy training a lot sooner as a result," Goss said. "I got into the gym, and did a lot of work at home in Tassie in November and then at a ten-day camp in Spain."

Brown predicted the tough sprint conditions before the race. "Today is going to be tough to judge, with the headwind and its uphill." The men's race start was delayed for over 30 minutes as an ambulance arrived to take an injured female cyclist to hospital. In that time Brown also acknowledged that he had overplayed his aggression as a young rider against McEwen. "I showed no respect for Robbie McEwen then. That was wrong," Brown confessed.

Gilmore dominates women's race

Rochelle Gilmore dominated the women's race. She went after every intermediate sprint and then contested the stage finish. "It's really a big risk going for the sprints," she told ozcycling. "It takes a lot out of your legs but I was able to get away without having to give 100 percent in the second one and switch concentration to the finish," Gilmore said.

The team worked hard for her captain in order to take the season's main objective. "The goal is for Honda to win overall. It's all about the team. I was feeling some pressure but a little is off now after today," Gilmore said.

The 21st Jayco Bay Classic is raced over four days, concluding on Tuesday on the Williamstown foreshore.

Elite men results

Stage and General Classification

1. Graeme Brown (Urban) 12 points
2. Matthew Goss (Degani Cycling Cafe) 10
3. Robbie McEwen (Mazda) 8
4. Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) 7
5. Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 6
6. Rico Rodgers (Total Rush) 5
7. Leigh Howard (Jayco VIS) 4
8. Baden Cooke (Skilled/Lowe Farms) 3
9. Greg Henderson (Mazda) 2
10. Koen de Kort (O2 Networks) 1

Elite women results

Stage and General Classification

1. Rochelle Gilmore (Honda) 12 points
2. Chloe Hosking (MB Cycles) 10
3. Kirsty Broun (Jayco AIS) 8
4. Peta Mullens (Honda) 7
5. Megan Dunn (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) 6
6. Isabella King (Plan B Racing WA) 5
7. Rowena Fry (Degani) 4
8. Nicole Whitburn (Unattached/Vic) 3
9. Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) 2
10. Liza Rachetto (Pitcher Partners) 1


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