Hallelujah and ring those bells!! The multi-coloured peloton are back and racing on the hot tarmac roads of sunny Australia. We’ve got action from the women at the four stage Santos Women’s Tour, while the men kicked off with the fast and furious People’s Choice Classic.
Well I say we’ve got action, there’s definitely been fantastic racing at both events, but only one of them has had any official race organiser highlights to view.
Stage 1, Santos Women’s Tour: 95km Mount Torrens to Mount Torrens
Katrin Garfoot (Orica-AIS) claimed an extremely well worked victory to claim the first leader’s jersey. Coming into the finish in a group of five riders, all of them arguably better at a sprint finish, the new Aussie TT champion jumped with 500m to go and held her advantage to the line. Shelly Olds (Cylance Pro Cycling) took second,with Wiggle High5’s Dani King rounding out the podium.
Stage 2, Santos Women’s Tour: 20.4km Adelaide to Adelaide
High octane racing on the Adelaide streets came down to a big bunch finish where positioning and team work was everything. Wiggle High5 played a blinder to pull off the perfect one-two finish with Nettie Edmondson taking victory from her lead out chief Chloe Hosking. Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS) placed third, and with team mate and race leader Katrin Garfoot finishing safely in the top ten, the team retained control of the leader’s jersey.
Stage 3, Santos Women’s Tour: 100.8km Lyndoch to Lyndoch
With a parcours consisting of four laps of distinctly lump 25.2-kilometre circuit, including the wonderfully named climb Whispering Wall, today was always going to provide some dynamic racing. Lizzie Williams (Orica-AIS) took a fine solo win riding away from her six breakaway companions with four kilometres to go. Katrin Garfoot and Lauren Kitchen (Hitec Products) placed second and third, and Dani King (Wiggle High5) stayed in the polka dots for the King of the Mountain competition. It’s all to play for going into the final stage tomorrow.
General classification (after Stage 3)
1. Katrin Garfoot (Orica-AIS) 5:49:06
2. Lauren Kitchen (Hitec Products) same time
3. Shelley Olds (Cylance Pro Cycling) s.t
4. Dani King (Wiggle High5) s.t
5. Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon SRAM Racing) +0.14
King of the Mountains leader: Dani King (Wiggle High5)
People’s Choice Classic: 51km Adelaide to Adelaide
The traditional prelude to the Santos Tour Down Under provided all the thrills we’ve come to expect. With speeds averaging over 50kph the peloton tore around the Adelaide street circuit chasing down the early break. In the final reckoning it was red-hot favourite Caleb Ewan (ORICA-GreenEDGE) with that characteristic low crouch over the bars who got his front wheel over the finish line first. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) claimed second from Tinkoff new face Adam Blythe.
Header: Jersey holders from Stage 1 of the Women’s Santos Tour