Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic Stage 2
The Bay Crits aren’t the best place for pros or amateurs to race if you’re looking for an ego boost. The hot dog circuit held in Geelong last evening is a good example of what happens to poorly positioned riders, but this Portarlington course is just plain hard.
It was a great day for Orica-GreenEDGE with Tiffany Cromwell and Luke Durbridge delivering their first wins of the 2013 season.
Cromwell won in a similar fashion to the way she did two years ago on this same course. “The way I won today was quite similar to my win two years ago,” Cromwell said. “I got into a breakaway early two years ago, too. Both times it was about getting into a good rhythm to hold off the field.”
Cromwell jumped from the bunch early on in the nearly 46 minute race. After a few attacks softened the field, Cromwell timed her move to perfection on lap three and immediately opened up a gap.
“The rest of the girls organized behind Cromwell,” explained Sport Director David McPartland. “Because they were well organized [i.e. Orica-GreenEDGE AIS], Tiff was able to grow her gap to 30 seconds really quickly. By the mid-point of the race, her gap was holding steady and I was confident that she would win.”
Cromwell crossed the finish line with a 29 second gap on the group behind to take her second Portarlington Criterium win.
This was also the same circuit that Durbridge was outsprinted by Giacoppo last year when they got such a gap that most of the field was pulled. Durbridge wasn’t about to make the same mistake again.
“I attacked myself silly at the start,” said Durbridge. “Inside the final two laps, I thought that I might have gone too hard too early. I didn’t think I’d get the win. I went for it with one lap to go and ended up staying away.”
Durbridge was part of a group of favourites that forced a split in the field ahead of the first intermediate sprint. Shortly after the first sprint lap, he attacked the front group and managed to stay away alone for nearly 20 minutes.
As the laps ticked down, Durbridge, Kristian House (Rapha Condor JLT) and James Oram (Grays Online) gained a 20 second advantage on a chasing, shattered peloton with Steel Von Hoff nearly bridging across. Durbridge attacked on the bell lap knowing that he had a better chance at riding away from House and Oram rather than letting it come down to a sprint.
Tomorrow is the final stage of the Bay Crits in Williamstown. If you’re in the area this one is well worth coming over and watching. The Support Men start at 11am, Support Teams at 12pm, Elite Men at 1pm, and Elite Women at 2:15pm. That evening will see the opening 4.8km prologue ITT also in Williamstown as the beginning of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. The temperature is going to reach 36C, so come early to find some shade!
Stage 2 Results: The Esplanade, Portarlington
Elite Men’s STAGE Results
|1||Luke DURBRIDGE||Orica GreenEDGE||12|
|2||Kristian HOUSE||Rapha Condor JLT||10|
|3||James ORAM||Grays Online New Zealand||8|
|4||Steele VON HOFF||Huon Salmon – Genesys Wealth||7|
|5||Leigh HOWARD||Orica – GreenEDGE||6|
Elite Men’s GENERAL CLASSIFICATION Results
|2||Luke DURBRIDGE||Orica – GreenEDGE||12|
|3||Graham BRIGGS||Great Britain||11|
|4||Kristian HOUSE||Rapha Condor JLT||10|
|5||Leigh HOWARD||Orica – GreenEDGE||10|
|6||Jens MOURIS||Orica – GreenEDGE||10|
|7||James ORAM||Grays Online New Zealand Team||8|
|8||Thomas SCULLY||Grays Online New Zealand Team||8|
|9||Steele VON HOFF||Huon Salmon – Genesys Wealth||7|
|10||Greg HENDERSON||Degani Bakery Café||6|
Elite Women’s STAGE Results
|2||Melissa HOSKINS||Orica GreenEDGE – AIS||10|
|3||Peta MULLENS||Anytime Fitness Trek||8|
|5||Carla RYAN||Crino Cycles – Casa & Bottega||7|
Elite Women’s GENERAL CLASSIFICATION Results
|1||Melissa HOSKINS||Orica GreenEDGE – AIS||20|
|2||Peta MULLENS||Anytime Fitness Trek||13|
|4||Kimberley WELLS||Specialized Securitor||12|