Lauren Kitchen has cooked up a storm in claiming a mighty 4th place in the overall General Classification and a podium 3rd place in the Sprint Classification of the 2017 Santos Women’s Cycling Tour that finished in Adelaide, January 17, 2017.
Kitchen was the leading rider home for the newly formed women’s cycling NSWIS Sydney Uni partnership in this Tour Down Under Classic.
Hailing from Port Macquarie, Kitchen let the other 101 riders know from the outset last Saturday she was one to watch finishing 10th overall in the tough 106.5 km, Stage 1 showdown and 7th in the Sprint Classification. Stage 1 was won in a time of 2h 51:01, with Kitchen at +1:01 in hot pursuit, just behind the first three.
A celebrated sprinter and road cyclist, Kitchen roared into 4th overall in the 32 km Adelaide Criterium Stage 2 and held 2nd position overnight in the highly-fancied Sprint Classification. Kitchen never released her grip over the final two stages, powering to steal the Lap 25 Sprint and points on offer in the last race.
Orica–Scott (Australia) rider Amanda Spratt, current Australian road cycling champion, won the Four Stage Tour in a true-grit performance retaining the Santos Leader’s Jersey after every stage. Sprint Queen, Chloe Hosking, from the Ale Cipollini team (Italy) lived up to her hype in being crowned overall Sprint Champion.
The admired Teams General Classification was captured by Orica-Scott (Australia) in a time of 21h 00:50. NSWIS Sydney Uni finished a very creditable 13th place out of the 17 teams in +6:33, knocking off two of the international outfits in the process. This was only the second time the NSWIS Sydney Uni team have raced together after their debut at the Australian Women’s Road National Championships, held in Ballarat earlier this month.
In a coordinated press release just last Thursday Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness (SUSF) and NSWIS announced a major boost for women’s cycling as they launched a combined Women’s Road Cycling Team which provides a new pathway for women aspiring to race at the highest level.
The NSWIS Sydney Uni Santos Women’s Tour team comprised of Kitchen; Kirsten Howard; Ashlee Ankudinoff; Gina Ricardo; Nicola MacDonald and Emma Roberts, with Katie Brown as Team Manager. In the strongest field yet, the Santos Women’s Tour pitted 17 teams of six riders against each other over four stages from January 14 to 17, 2017.
The Tour encompassed two Adelaide city Criteriums, Stages 2 and 4 along with stages in the Barossa and Adelaide Hills. The fourth and final Criterium stage, mercifully held in the early evening of a sweltering Adelaide day, was bonanza for spectators who thrilled at the speed and intensity of the top riders going for broke around a 1.2 km course.
Following Kitchen, Howard was the next highest finisher with 37th place in the General Classification and Ankudinoff not far behind in 52nd position.
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