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GEELONG, Australia (CT) – A final-lap crash in the elite women’s race has cast a pall over stage 2 of the 2020 Bay Crits. As Chloe Hosking (Lexus of Blackburn) was winning the stage from a breakaway of four, a handful of riders crashed on a steep descent at the other end of the course.
Hosking’s teammate Shannon Malseed was the worst off. It took an hour to stabilise the former Australian road champion and load her into an ambulance. Race director John Trevorrow said the extent of Malseed’s injuries wasn’t clear.
“It’s bike racing, but we hate to see an accident,” Trevorrow said. “I was down there with Shannon. She was in a lot of pain. She’s a tough cookie and to see her in that much pain is pretty distressing. So our thoughts are with her. I’ll get in my car and go to the hospital to see how she is, of course.”
Emma Chilton (Roxsolt-Attaquer) and Molly Patch (Appselec) were also involved in the crash and have been taken to hospital. The nature of their injuries is not yet clear.
The 45-minute race around Geelong’s Eastern Beach was affected by strong winds which paved the way for aggressive racing. After a series of ill-fated moves, a group of four riders got clear halfway through the race. Stage 1 winner Amanda Spratt (Lexus of Blackburn), runner-up Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Appselec), Jess Allen (Lexus of Blackburn) and Alana Forster were soon joined by Hosking, Matilda Raynolds and then Peta Mullens (Roxsolt-Attaquer).
With 10 minutes remaining Spratt split the lead group to just her and Roseman-Gannon. Hosking and Raynolds battled across with three laps to go, setting the scene for a four-up final sprint. Hosking took line honours easily, ahead of Roseman-Gannon with Raynolds in third. Hosking’s win sees the Commonwealth Games champ move into the leader’s yellow jersey with one stage remaining, albeit with the same number of points as Roseman-Gannon.
“It will be really exciting,” Hosking said of the final stage. “I have a really strong team here to help me so it would be really nice to keep the yellow tomorrow, but it wouldn’t be the first time that I’ve lost it in Williamstown. So I’m pretty mindful of that.”
The final-lap crash in the women’s race saw the men’s race delayed by an hour. When it began it was shortened from 60 minutes down to 45, ensuring even more aggressive racing than normal. Many riders attacked throughout and tried to get clear, but nothing was able to stick. Ultimately it came to a bunch sprint where Nick White (BridgeLane) got the better of Brenton Jones (Lexus of Blackburn) and Jensen Plowright (BridgeLane).
White, Australia’s reigning U23 road champion, will wear the leader’s yellow jersey into tomorrow’s final stage in Williamstown, on equal points with stage 1 winner Sam Welsford (Lexus of Blackburn).
“I think it will definitely be a challenge tomorrow,” White said. “By no respect am I going to think it will be easy to hold onto this jersey, but we will give it everything we’ve got and go down swinging.”
Follow the link for full results from stage 2 of the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits.