Women's Grand Prix series - Round 3
Maybe it was nervous energy or maybe it was the fast Mayfair Park Estate track at East Bendigo, but the speed was high from the gun in the Division 2 race in round 3 of the Cykel Events Women's Grand Prix racing series on Sunday
The Southern Masters were represented by the quartet of Carolyn Phillips, Helen Bean, Joanne Lumsden and Jane Ollerenshaw.
The Grand Prix Series has consistently attracted strong fields and large crowds and displayed a feast of quality women's cycling action. Women riders from all over the state have been attracted to ride in the series, and the Bendigo race included some local women determined to perform well on their home circuit.
The Mayfair Park course is over 900 metres. From the start line, riders travel 80 metres before taking a sharp left hand turn. The back straight is fast, then there's a short rise before another sharp left hander. The circuit then runs east before dipping downhill into the finishing straight.
Following an initial prologue, a smart Division 2 field of 23 riders was away for 40 minute plus three laps race. The furious pace was kept high by the relative newcomer to racing, Joanne Lumsden, who applied the pressure from the front in the early stages. This led to a thinning of the pelaton as several exhausted riders headed for the pits. Unfortunately, a big week of mountain bike training for the Australian MTB championships in Adelaide later this month meant that Jane had to cut her race short.
Following the intermediate sprint, Carolyn Phillips made her move and attacked strongly causing some panic in the field as they reacted to chase the popular Southern Masters rider before gathering her in within a few laps of the finish. In the sprint to the line, Carolyn placed a close up and very creditable fifth while Joanne and Helen did well to finish just behind with the main bunch.
Ultimately, it was a pleasing result and a great showing by the SMCC ladies in a very strong field at Bendigo. Well done, girls !
The final race in series is on Saturday 3 March 2012 at National Blvd, Campbellfield. If there are any ladies interested in representing Southern Masters in the remaining Women's Grand Prix Series events, contact Carolyn Phillips or Bill Upston.