Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gold Coast Cycle Fest Criterium

Designed by Robbie McEwen, this tight 850m criterium circuit was set up in the central plaza area of the Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium.

Not long after the start-finish line, riders entered a tight left handed corner (it almost turned back on itself), before then negotiating another tight right hander, followed immediately by another tight left hander.

This led into a straight section of around 300m which then became another slight right handed corner, which also then became a tight left hander.
This last left corner then led you back to the finish line straight.

In summary, 4 tight corners in around 1min30 to 1min45 depending on the level of attacks in the race.  That meant lots of out-of-the-saddle sprint efforts in that period of time.

From the first lap, Nikki (Koiled-Tineli) and Ellen (Holden), applied the pressure and strung out the field.

Then only a few laps in, Ellen counter attacked one of the other women on the front, and got a slight gap through one of the tight corners.  From then on, Ellen continued to attack and found herself quickly in a one person break.

Only a lap or two later, Nikki attacked the already tiring bunch, and found herself also in a one person solo effort,

chasing Ellen in front, yet being chased herself by the remainder of the bunch.

Due to the tight circuit, very soon the chasing bunch was reduced to only five riders (Rachel and myself from Koiled, Sharon, Abbie and one other).

Neither Rachel nor myself were willing to chase down a team mate (Nikki), so that left 3 riders to do the pursuing.
Not surprisingly Ellen hung on for the win (with her current terrific NRS form),

with Nikki coming in second, followed by Abbie (3rd) and Rachel (4th).

Definitely an exciting race circuit and a lovely weekend. Thanks to Pete Dunlop for the photos again (with start line photo by Stacey Bowden). 

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