Supported by The Rural City of Murray Bridge, the Round Nine of the #SuperSeries17 was run around Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge on Sunday. The 1km criterium circuit along the picturesque Murray River provided a backdrop of house boats and paddle-steamers for the 185 riders racing for all important General Classification (GC) points before the AV Jennings Corsa Dello Stivale Grand Finale in two weeks’ time.
Category 1 Elite Men
Early on, Angus Maddern (IsoWheySports SwissWellness) and Angus Dixon (USG) formed a strong breakaway blew out to almost a minute over the main bunch. Caught in the final laps after a huge run off the front, Maddern and Dixon well and truly earned the joint Most Aggressive title.
Chris Harper (IsoWhySports SwissWellness) and Tom Kaesler (Lightsview) looked strong in the dying minutes but it was Chris Luxton (Lightsview) who took the win in a sprint finish over Russel Gill (Focus Attaquer) and Jarrad Drizners (SASI).
Luxton claiming his second win for the Series in Murray Bridge admits the technical criterium circuit was a target race of his along with Copper Coast Cup Moonta Criterium and the upcoming St Clair AV Jennings Corsa Dello Stivale “when I saw the program, I was really counting on those three races to boost my points”.
A former pro-cyclists himself, Luxton comments on racing with some of today’s elite “it’s great to be out here with the hitters like Sam Welsford, Alex Porter and the IsoWheySports Swiss Wellness boys, Tim Roe I spend a lot of time with – It’s a really cool sport in that regard, I mean with footy you can’t go have a kick with the Crows but with us we get to go swap off with them during the week and on weekends.”
Category 1 Elite Women
Olympian and 2-time World Champion, Ashlee Ankudinoff pushed off the front to win the first of the Preme Sprints before being brought back to the bunch. Soon after, a seven-rider breakaway formed, Jenny Macpherson (Ventou Cycling Team) outnumbered among six South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) riders.
Alex Manly, Maeve Plouffe and Georgia Baker lead the breakaway into the second Preme Sprint. A strong lead out by Plouffe saw teammate Breanna Hargrave grab the sprint points.
Coming into the end of the bike race, Sophie Edwards (SASI) looked dominant, attacking off the front, her attempts to breakaway foiled by the experience of the Cycling Australia HPU rider, Ankudinoff.
In the final lap, Baker lead the SASI team down the back straight, Manly jumping from the back to take a convincing win. Young Rider leader, Maeve Plouffe managed to place second and Breanna Hargrave third.
Young rider, Plouffe commented “my first race back after Oceania’s the legs are a little bit heavy but I am pretty happy with second place, it came down to a sprint at the end and with that big spoon drain in the last corner it made it really challenging but I was really happy with my sprint at the end”. Having just come back from New Zealand, Plouffe’s Super Series result is after a third in the Team Pursuit and Madison and fourth in the Omnium at the Oceania Track Championships.
Category 1 Masters
Lightsview riders Tim Decker and Stephen Kavanagh lead from the whistle, using their key experience to push the field on the technical course. Matthew Dorian placed in both Sprints pushing the Lightsview rider into the overall Sprint lead. Jarrod Currie took out the second Preme Sprint before launching an attack that saw him stay away for over six laps. Strong pacing from Matt Franks (Keystone Cycling) brought the bunch back to the breakaway rider. Considering Currie already has a couple of wins under his belt from the series, this was definitely a smart move. Craig Yates (Lightsview) jumped to the front in the back straight, leading out teammates Decker and Cameron Spears (Lightsview) who finished in third and fourth place. Jason DeRoss (PowerOn Iocane) came through with a powerful sprint finish to launch into first place, Phil Dixon (Keystone) just behind in second.
Category 2 Men
A hotly contested bike race, Gravier CC X Spin Cycle Clothing drove the pace, dropping riders all before the first Preme Sprint won; by Adelaide University – Form Physio Racing’s Jordan Hanna. After a short lived three-man breakaway, Frank Smith (Norwood Cycling Club) and Isaac Rosenzweig (Gravier CC X Spin Cycle Clothing) fired off the front in a move that would prove bountiful. Kyran Tidswell (Cycling SA State Development) and Matthew Bird (Gravier CC X Spin Cycle Clothing) seeing the potential of the breakaway, attempt to bridge the gap with just a few laps to go, but this proved ultimately unsuccessful.
Smith sprinted to take his first win of the Series, and the second for Norwood CC, Rosenzweig crossed the line in second and the counter attack paying off for Bird who finished in third. Mark Sampson (Gravier CC X Spin Cycle Clothing) pushes high speeds on the bunch kick sprint finish to place fourth.
The winner Frank smith said of the race ‘The plan was to more or less, just stay up the front knowing that the wind was going to break it apart. Just trying to hold on to third in GC, in some ways it was easier to be up the front.
Isaac was super strong all day, a great partner to work with. It took a while to get the break established, we weren’t prepared to drag Harry Askew with us so we had to wait until it was just the two of us.
I gave Isaac a bit too much on the last corner but came over him for the finish and I’m stoked to get the win.’
Category 2 Women
Jazz Martin (Coffeelosophy Cycling Team) and Aneeka Smith (Blackchrome Butterfields) attacked early but the bunch proved too strong pulling the two back. Strong Series performer, Emily Hill (Blackchrome Butterfields) took the first Preme Sprint and Martin the second.
An exciting bunch finish of 9 riders, saw Hannah Seeliger (Cycling SA State Development) sprint to first, Annoushka Sathianathan (Port Adelaide CC Silver) second and Emily Hill (Blackchrome Butterfields) third.
“I felt like when we were racing if there was a breakaway it wouldn’t really last long and I was thinking it would have bunched up at the end for a bunch finish. There wasn’t too many attacks but even if there were they would have been chased.” When asked about her sprint finish, Seeliger said she was ”improvising trying to get in the right spot to go for the line”.
Seeliger extends her lead going into the final round, with a top 10 result guaranteeing her a win in what has been one of the most fiercely contested categories.
Category 2 Masters
Early breakaways have proven an effective strategy for the ADX Depot team and after the first Preme Sprint Matthew Caldersmith, Todd Rolton and Nicholas Chabrel made their move off the front. Having seen this strategy before and not wanting to miss out again, Team Scyon riders Anthony Meade and Robert Spaven bridged to the breakaway riders at their first opportunity.
Todd Rolton took out both Preme Sprints and first place, pushing absent teammate Brad-Lee Bennett out of the overall Series lead and the yellow jersey. Matthew Caldersmith placed second and Anthony Meade third.
Round winner Todd Rolton said “The goal was to keep it together and take the first preme and then the gap just opened after that. We thought we would give a few guys an easier ride and then go for it in the second half. That’s two wins in a row, now we are just trying to win as many as we can.”
Cycling South Australia would like to thank the generous support of the Rural City of Murray Bridge in hosting a successful event enjoyed by all.
Join us Sunday 10 December to enjoy the Super Series Grand Finale AV Jennings St Clair Corsa Dello Stivale Criterium – one not to miss!