The MetroMap Super Series is continuing to maintain it’s growth trajectory, with the 2021 Series set to be bigger, faster and more fun than ever before. The crown jewel of the South Australian Road and Criterium calendar clips in this Saturday, 11th of September with RD I: HOYTS AUSTRALIA CRITERIUM @ PAKAPAKANTHI, with racing from 9 in the morning through to 4:30 PM, starting off with our future stars and culminating in the Elite Races.
The Elite Women’s field continues to prosper, and despite a small decrease in the number of Olympians present, the number of potential Olympians only keeps on growing. The National Road Series Team ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast enters the series for the first time, and has a stacked roster of riders capable of taking the win. Although Maeve Plouffe is the name that will likely draw the most attention, a small break after Tokyo2020 will see her likely take a backseat to her team-mate Ruby Roseman Gannon. The Gannon Cannon has been in dominating form, winning the SA State Road Title, and pretty much every other race in South Australia in the past three months.
Roseman-Gannon is excited to be part of the 2021 Series. “It’s a privilege to be in South Australia and able to race when a large part of Australia is battling COVID-19 including my hometown Melbourne. I’m super grateful to be lining up with my ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast teammates this weekend for the first round of the MetroMap Super Series. It’ll be great to use these races to continue to develop team tactics and racing skills both personally and as a team. The depth and size of the overall women’s field in Adelaide is growing and it’s exciting to see the strength of some of the young talent coming through, who I’m sure will put it up to us!”
There are several other riders to watch in the Elite field, with two time series winner Chloe Moran also a firm favourite. Moran, a teammate of Roseman Gannon, will have to hit the start line hard if she wants to take over team leadership early in the 2021 Series. Potentially the best credentialled rider in the whole series is Ash Ankudinoff, who like Plouffe will be returning from the Tokyo2020 Olympics. Ankudinoff heads up a reformatted KOM – Tactic by Cervelo, a team which has demonstrated their ability to take out the honours in the past. It is guaranteed to be a blockbuster start at the Hoyts Round 1 Pakapakanthi Crit.
The Elite Women’s Race will commence at 14:50.
The top two spots from the 2021 Super Series will not be on the start line for Round 1, with Kell O’Brien chasing opportunities in the World Tour, and Leigh Howard on a post-Tokyo pause. This will leave 2021 Series podium holder Cam Scott as a firm favourite. Scott is undeniably one of the strongest riders in Australia, with COVID and a nasty crash at the end of 2020 likely the only things stopping him from taking the step up to the professional ranks. Scott is in hot form, dominating the recent State Road Title, but will have his work cut out for him as he’ll be entering the series without team support.
Keen to upstage Scott is the U23 State Road Champ, Tristan Saunders. Saunders who took the Series in a consistent display in 2021 is coming into a rich vein of form and will be well supported by his team, Butterfields-Insurance Advisernet p/b VDR. The South Australian based NRS team is in one of it’s strongest incarnations yet, with years of developed depth.
“We’ve been a bit light on with racing thanks to all of the travel restrictions, so I think everyone locally has really been focusing on the Super Series as an opportunity to get some consistent, hard racing in. Although we don’t have the full national track team here, I don’t think the series will be any slower and every point is going to count.”
Saunders and Scott will have one rider to contend with from Tokyo2020, multiple Olympic Medallist, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, and World Champion in Sam Welsford. Welsford joins ROKiT Racing providing the young team with a true team leader capable of taking the series honours. He’ll be well supported by the likes of Matt Fox, a rider on the rise, and Lucas Hoffman who has become one of the true engines of South Australian bike racing.
The curtains will roll back on the Elite Men’s Race at 15:45.
There’s one thing for sure, the 2021 MetroMap Super Series is going to be so hot it’ll pop its own popcorn (I’m sure there’s a Butterfields joke in there somewhere).
Prizes for this week’s round have been generously put up by HOYTS Australia! Podium places in all grades from Junior D to Elites will receive a double pass to relax and catch a flick at any of the 4 HOYTS locations in SA – Arndale, Norwood, Tea Tree Plaza and Salisbury. Get yourself on the podium in your race, then put your feet up in one of their plush recliner seats as a treat!
Click here for full Round Info and a link to download Start Lists and check out your competition!