In the women’s elite event Ruby Roseman-Gannon has got one hand on the title after taking out the opening stage. The 23-year-old Victorian has started the year with the win, fresh from being announced as a new signing for Australian owned Women’s WorldTour outfit Team BikeExchange for 2022 and 2023.
The race activated after twenty minutes with 29-year-old Grace Brown (Lexus of Blackburn) making a move off the front and opening up a 10-second gap over a chasing pack of eight riders including Melbourne to Warrnambool winner Matilda Raynolds (Inform TMX make) Courtney Sherwell (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) and team-mate Roseman-Gannon.
That was shut down at the mid-point of the race, the nine riders maintaining a small gap before it was completely bunched up with three laps to go.
Stage one became a reduced sprint finish with the more polished riders emerging at the front before Roseman-Gannon pounced to beat home Alex Martin-Wallace (Sunshine Coast) and Raynolds.
“I didn’t know whether or not I had it in the last little bit there, it was tight around that final corner, but when you’ve got a rider like Grace Brown riding for you in the Lexus of Blackburn team, she is one of the best riders in Australia you just can’t let her down, so I went for it.”
The win yesterday helps set her up for a shot at gold at the Road Nationals next week, after finishing on the podium for the last three years without taking the top step.
“Yeh, I think I’ve got the legs, so I’m hoping I can pull it off in the criterium next week, that’s a bit of an itch to scratch for me as I’ve been close last three years”
Eastern Gardens Geelong is hosting this year’s Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits, with both stages on the same course, clockwise today and anti-clockwise tomorrow - a move that brings several steep rises and long straights into play.
The winner in both the men’s and women’s events will be crowned tomorrow, with the elite racing starting at 2pm The Bay Crits are live streamed on SBS On Demand and Facebook.
First held in 1989, The Bay Crits has been an innovator over the years - taking the race to the people is what it has always been about. The superstars of Australian cycling cut their teeth in the Bay Crits. Names such as Cadel Evans, Stuart O'Grady, Robbie McEwen, Brad McGee, Baden Cooke and Caleb Ewan and later in the women's Kathy Watt, Anna Wilson, Oenone Wood, Rochelle Gilmore and Tracey Gaudry.
This year our naming rights sponsor LEXUS OF BLACKBURN will help the 'Bay Crits' go GREEN with the lead car a brand-new electric Lexus UX 300e, reducing the carbon footprint of the event and a healthy event now taking on the social responsibility of a healthy globe.
‘Pedal Power Meets Electric Power’ - With no harmful tailpipe emissions, the UX 300e is helping to protect the planet while maintaining power and performance. On the road, fast-charging DC stations fully charge the vehicle in about 80 minutes. And our launch superstars inspected the new vehicle that will be leading the 'electrifying' racing!