Elite Women – Defending Champ Moran Lands a Double Blow

October 23, 2019 CyclingSA

In 2018, Chloe Moran started off the series slowly, missing out on points in the opening round. After this opening missed opportunity, she then found her self on the podium in three of the remaining six rounds, to take a respectable 14 point win in the overall title. Although Moran’s performances in the opening rounds were good, it did not appear that she was coming into the series with the same dominant form that she had in 2019. However any thoughts of missing form were quickly displaced over the weekend at the Copper Coast Cup as Moran took back to back wins in the Wallaroo Road Race and the Moonta Criterium.

How it unfolded:

5CS Wallaroo Road Race

The lead group clear of the chasing riders on the second dirt sector.

The Elite Women’s Saturday Race was always going to be a tactical affair with several of the early series pace setters overseas racing. It would be Butterfields Racing’s Jill Seeman taking the early initiative keen to hit the dirt road sections before the rest of the field to avoid the expected carnage. This move would also put the pressure on the other teams to ride in the wind. Unfortunately, a puncture would see these well-placed plans come unstuck.

A very much reduced bunch managed to survive to the end of the first sector, but with only 10km before the second sector, it didn’t leave much time for the riders to recover. Coupled with a headwind the roads home weren’t as fast as they have been, and riders who were starting to feel the pinch would quickly find themselves distanced. Come the second sector – 5 riders broke free of the chasing bunch, with Moran the only rider supported through Prochem Teammate Eloise Vaughan. Also making the selection was USG’s Amber Pate, Hailey Mason (Butterfields Racing Pink), and Kernich rounding out the quintet. It was Kernich’s Cyclocross skills that were largely responsible for shredding the remaining riders as she took advantage of the opportunities that the terrain offers. The final saw Moran delivered to the line by Vaughan, with Pate coming in second and Kernich rolling in third.

Magic FM Moonta Criterium

Moran (Prochem) taking one of the many corners of the Moonta Criterium

The Moonta Criterium is one of the fastest on the calendar. The tight courses mean that the riders would need to maintain position or risk missing vital moves. This makes for very aggressive racing as every move off the front can quickly become a race defining action. On a high after winning the on the dirt roads of Wallaroo, Prochem’s Moran was on a mission and was responsible for taking a group clear early. In this move once more was Moran’s lieutenant Vaughan, Madeleine Steele (Butterfields Pink), Amber Pate, and Jess Mundy. Mundy had recently returned from racing the criterium circuit in the USA had been a prerace favourite for the technical crit.

Pate was the aggressor of the bunch, taking both the intermediates of the day, and was the one doing most of the work. The new leader of the Adelaide Advanced Physiotherapy’s Sprint classifications efforts were enough to dislodge both Steele and Vaughan who were swallowed up by a rapidly reducing chase bunch in the closing laps.  In the final sprint of the day, Moran showed a clean pair of heels to Pate and Mundy, who were both unable to come over her in the finish, with Pate ending up second for the second time in two days. Anita Marquart came home in 5th to take the lead in the Chateau Yaldara Masters Riders Competition.

Moran takes a very comfortable 24-point lead into Round 5, but Prochem will need to be at their best to make sure they can defend this buffer with four very difficult rounds to come! Moran’s performances were enough to secure Prochem the Copper Coast Cup in their inaugural season.

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