Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Liv-AlUla-Jayco) continued her usual early season winning ways, claiming her second elite women’s criterium at the Federation University Australian Road National Championships on Friday with a long-range attack.
The rider, who now has a three-year streak of winning her first race of the season, initially struck out early with Team BridgeLane’s Gina Ricardo, not really expecting it to be the winning move.
“We had the freedom to be aggressive, it was part of the plan to be aggressive, but it’s usually unlikely that a two-person breakaway stays away for as long as it did. If you look at the track history of this race it’s usually won from a small bunch sprint or a bunch sprint so that’s why it was an unlikely scenario,” said Roseman-Gannon.
With the gap to the field shrinking and just two laps to go, it looked like the typical sprint scenario might just play out once again, but Roseman-Gannon jumped and finished it off solo, just the way her DS of the day, Jess Allen, did when she won the title in 2017. In the meantime, the peloton swept up a flagging Ricardo, leaving Roseman-Gannon’s teammates to sprint for the final podium places, with Georgia Baker sweeping up second and Alex Manly third.
“With our team we have four strong girls that could win the race today. Any situation we knew that we could handle so were really happy for Ruby to be up the road,” said Baker.
The first U23 rider to cross the line was Team BridgeLane’s Keely Bennett in fifth. She claimed the U23 title ahead of Keira Will (ARA Skip Capital) and Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM).
The criterium played out on the regular Sturt Street course, totalling 33km as riders took on 30 laps of the regular 1.1km hot dog course in the centre of the regional city of Ballarat, with crowds turning out in force to farewell the race – which is set for a change of venue in 2025.
More to come …
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