Ruby Roseman-Gannon (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Blake Quick (Inform TMX Make) have started the 2022 season in fine form with victories on the opening day of the Bay Crits.
Riding for the composite Lexus of Blackburn team in the elite women’s race, 23-year-old Roseman-Gannon proved strongest in a small-bunch sprint on Geelong’s Eastern Beach, beating Alex Martin-Wallace (Sunshine Coast) and Matilda Raynolds (Inform TMX Make) for stage honours.
Just 23 women took to the start of stage 1 of the two-stage race, the first event on another COVID-affected Australian summer of cycling. Roseman-Gannon was off the front early on her own, but was soon reeled back in as a lead group of nine riders formed.
Roseman-Gannon’s Lexus of Blackburn teammate Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) spent roughly 20 minutes off the front of the lead group solo, but was reeled back in with about 20 minutes of racing remaining. The peloton reformed as the pace slowed, but later splintered again as the riders hit the final laps. By the time the final sprint rolled around, less than 10 riders were in contention for victory.
Roseman-Gannon’s win comes a couple weeks after winning all four stages at USC Cycle Sunshine Coast – the final event of the 2021 Australian National Road Series. She will soon head to Europe to begin her WorldTour career having recently signed with BikeExchange-Jayco.
The elite men’s race featured several early attacks but the most promising move came in the back half of the race when six riders got clear of the field. Among the six out front: Simon Clarke, still on the lookout for a contract after being left in the lurch by the closure of team Qhubeka-NextHash.
The group of six led until deep into the final lap before finally being swarmed by the chasing peloton. In the bunch sprint that followed, Quick took stage honours ahead of Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro Racing) and Jensen Plowright (Lexus of Blackburn).
The Bay Crits conclude tomorrow, also in Eastern Beach. The riders will take to the same circuit as on stage 1, but will race in the opposite direction.