Nettie Edmondson wins the Aussie criterium title
BALLARAT, Australia (CT) – Annette Edmondson has taken out the Australian criterium title in a crash-marred race in central Ballarat.
There was a flurry of attacks throughout the 40-lap, 44 km race but the bunch stayed more or less together before eventually contesting the final sprint.
A crash in the final corner took several riders out of contention before the uphill drag to the line. Edmondson managed to get through that last corner ahead of the crash, giving her a clean run at the line.
“Alex Manly hit the corner first then me and then I think the crash was about fifth wheel with my teammate Georgia Baker,” Edmondson said. “I looked behind and saw there was a big gap, so I was like ‘OK, that means that there’s not going to be a big swamp up the finish line’. I tried to wait as long as I [could] because it was a long finish with a big headwind. And then Ruby [Roseman-Gannon] kicked so I had to go. It was just a drag race from that point on.”
Edmondson hit the line a bike length ahead of Roseman-Gannon (ARA-Sunshine Coast) with defending champion Chloe Hosking (Trek-Segafredo) taking the bronze medal.
“I have come here a few times and I’ve always been hungry for this one [but] never pulled it off,” Edmondson said of her victory. “It always clashes with our track commitments as well, so we don’t often get the opportunity. So this time I really wanted to make it worth it and didn’t know if it might be my last opportunity.”
Edmondson, who has focused predominantly on her national track team commitments in recent years, said that it won’t be long before she hangs up her wheels. “I’m at the end,” the 29-year-old said matter-of-factly. “I didn’t realise I was at the end until the Olympics got postponed. And then it’s just been really tough trying to motivate ourselves without any racing when that’s all we used to do. So I feel like if the Games are on, that probably will be me done. Hence why this was so important because I don’t know how many more times I’ll be here racing.”
Despite crashing earlier in the race, Edmondson’s national track teammate Maeve Plouffe was the fourth rider across the line, taking out the U23 title ahead of Alexandra Martin-Wallace and Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM).