Sydney Uni Staminade dominated at the weekend’s NSW Criterium Championships held in Lansdowne Park in Sydney’s Western Suburns with Georgia Whitehouse and Gina Ricardo taking out first and second place ,respectively.
Stunning as always in their now-familiar kit, the Uni team were well represented at the Championships with Emily Watts representing the team in the Junior (Under 19) women, and Georgie Whitehouse, Gina Ricardo, Chloe Heffernan, Amy Vesty and Abby Sneddon turning up the wick in the Elite women’s race.
Also competing in the Elite women’s race was Jen Darmody, representing the Sydney Uni Velo Club.
In the U19 women’s race, the representatives from the Illawarra, St George, Hunter Valley, Sutherland and the ACT stuck together until the last lap, when 3 riders, including our Watt Bomb (well, Emily) went off the front.
Having been active all race, Emily was unfortunately outsprinted by her breakaway companions, and had to settle for the bronze medal, although only by the shortest of margins. Emily will be back next year, still under 19 and ready to make amends.
The elite women’s race saw the sun really start to shine and the conditions became a perfect match for the hot racing that ensued. After a few laps together, Georgie Whitehouse and Gina Ricardo decided to slip off the front of the peleton, and quickly put 15 seconds into the remainder of the field. Not to be left behind, and in a very promising move, Jen Darmody wearing the Velo Club colours bridged across to make 2 into 3. A stacked podium suddenly looked possible, when Jen (after a short break to catch her breath) started to pull 2 Gs on the front.
Sadly, it was not to be, and Jen fell back to the field having obviously dug very deep to bridge that gap. The 2Gs up the front were also taking no prisoners, with their gap going quickly from 20, to 50 seconds and then well over a minute. Back in the peleton, the 3 remaining Sydney Uni Staminade women proceeded to gather together and patrol near the front, protecting the lead of the 2 up the road.
With a couple of laps to go, and the top 2 podium spots in the bag, Georgie went for a further effort to confirm her position as the champion women’s criterium rider for 2018. Gina finished 21 seconds behind in second, with Chloe and Abby finishing 4th and 5th with the remainder of the peleton. Chloe was just pipped for third, almost completing a trifecta for the team. Amy, having worked hard throughout the race, did well to finish with the pack in 12th place.
Our hard-working Club rider, Jen Darmody, also finished in a very creditable 9th place.
All in all, it was a very successful day for our women at the races. After having warmed up by riding out from the inner west to the race, most of our riders turned around and cooled off by riding the 20km back into the city. All in a day’s ride, really.
In other news, the Velo Club’s men waved the flag in the Elite men’s race, with James Nicol finishing 5th, Robert Car 14th, Chris Miller 22nd and Ed White 25th in a very full field.
In the U23s, Toby Orchard again showed promise of things to come with a strong 2nd place in a tightly bunched sprint finish.
Next week is the Orica Kermesse on Saturday, and the KFC Central Coast Women’s Criterium at the Ourimbah campus of the University of Newcastle.
Stayed tuned for more great results!