LEANNE DAVIES (NCC) KEEPING A WATCHFUL EYE ON EVENTUAL WINNER OF RED GRADE NATALIE REDMOND (SLCC).
The Skinny Lattes Cycling Club's Women's Series achieved its goal on Sunday when 40 women contested graded criterium racing in the heart of Adelaide. The strong focus of this series has been to build skills and confidence in the women and provide a platform for them develop the craft of racing.
Whilst all grades were fiercely contested there has also been a strong spirit of mentoring within the series. Club President Felicity Laing was thrilled with the support the series had received from female riders within South Australia and is already in the thick of planning the clubs Women's Tour in 2014. "It is almost impossible to pick a highlight from today's racing as there were so many riders who turned themselves inside out" Laing said.
Leanne Davies had a clear lead going into the final round of the series and was unbeatable in the Red Grade. Davies, who recently returned from Masters National Championships with a fistful of medals, had a point to make and tried to meet all of the challenges thrown down by the impressive line-up of women. However, Natalie Redmond used her track experience to time her attack and jumped clear to take the win, with Kellie Hards 2nd, taking the bunch sprint from Leanne Davies 3rd.
Wendy Gordon 1st, who had been missing for most of the earlier races, came out early and flagged her intention to win with her persistent attacking. This was finally rewarded and she was able gain a sizeable gap to take out the race in Yellow Grade. Seasoned sprinter Vicki-Lynne Birks 2nd worked to create distance from series leader Michelle Crick 3rd, who had constantly nipped at Birks heels all season. However, whilst Birks dominated the bunch sprint, Crick earned enough points to take out the season win.
Tension was tight across the first four riders in Blue Grade as they were so tightly grouped that they series win could have gone to any of them. First time racer Danielle Stevens was out to test the waters, whilst Ilona Double tried a spirited early break to force the hand of Heather Barclay, Sandra Ladyman and Diane Tattersall. Double's attack was eventually bought back and Barclay 1st timed her escape to perfection to take a clear win from Stevens 2nd and Ladyman 3rd.
With her eye firmly on Masters National Track Championships next year Sharee Faulkner provided strong competition for series leader Caroline Wilksch. Wilksch who was not only leading the Series for the Black Grade but her consistent performance across the entire series saw her dominating the Overall Series Table. Faulkner 1st took the event win from Wilksch 2nd, and Abbey-Leigh Dalton 3rd.
Junior competitor Alison Double was undeterred by the sometimes terrible weather conditions the riders had faced during the series and had amassed an unstoppable lead in the Junior Series. Double looked to keep in check the efforts of Oliver Wheeler 1st, but Wheeler got Double 2nd, on the line from new comer to the sport Emma Seeliger 3rd.
Click here for Hand Cycle Report
CAROLINE WILKSCH OVERALL SERIES WINNER KIM CLARKE MOST IMPROVED RIDER OVER TIMED EVENTS
Points were awarded to each individual grade and all points were then put into a pool and the highest pointed rider across the series was awarded Series Trophy.
Click here for Criterium Photos
ONLY ONE POINT SEPERATED THE TOP FOUR PLACINGS IN BLUE GRADE HEADING INTO THE FINAL EVENT.
SHAREE FAULKNER SHOWED A STRONG SPRINT TO TAKE OUT THE HONORS IN BLACK GRADE.
WENDY GORDON'S CONTSANT ATTACKING GAVE HER THE SOLO WIN IN YELLOW GRADE.
LOCAL HAND CYCLISTS COMBINDED WITH SKINNY LATTES FOR THEIR OPENING EVENT IN THEIR SUMMER SERIES.
K Hards 2nd, N Redmond 1st, L Davies 3rd. M Crick 3rd, W Gordon 1st, V Birks 2nd.
C Wilksch 2nd, S Faulkner 1st, A Dalton 3rd A Double 2nd, O Wheeler 1st, E Seeliger 3rd
G Allen 1st Brian Moldenhavn 2nd
A Tscharke Simon Brockhoff 3rd