Buurman takes Best Young Rider in Geelong
The peloton headed from Melbourne to Geelong where the 4th edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race took place this Saturday. The race began with perfect conditions as they riders headed away from the Geelong Waterfront with 113km ahead of them.
The race started out quite conservatively with a few small attacks. With little over 30km of the race gone the first break was established as Georgia Whitehouse and Lisa Morzenti established a gap that would rise over three minutes at times. They fought out the intermediate sprint at Torquay as Williams took the points.
With the duo out in front, the main peloton were relaxed. In previous versions of this race, the victor has usually come from a small group or a solo breakaway. The peloton accelerated as they approached the main QOM of Challambra Crescent. The duo in the lead were swallowed up and the main field reached the climb all together. By the time the peloton reached the Challambra climb we had five riders present in the main field, which was down to around 50 riders by this point.
Sabrina Stultiens (Waowdeals), Katrin Garfoot (KordaMentha Real Estate) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) went clear of the field on the climb and a few kilometres later Stultiens went solo. After the Challambra Crescent climb a reduced bunch was behind. This reduced bunch caught Stultiens just inside 5km to go and it was over to the remaining sprinters in the group to battle it out.
Kathrin Hammes and Eva Buurman were in the reduced peloton of around 20 riders after the final QOM and were to contest the finish. With big name sprinters such as Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) and Bronzini (Cylance) also in the group, the finish was guaranteed to be fast. There was a crash in the final 400m which held up a few riders whilst Chloe Hosking sprinted to victory. Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-Scott) and former World Champion, Bronzini took rounded out the podium.
Eva Buurman finished in 14th place which also made her winner of the Best Young Rider Classification.
DS, Loren Rowney commented
"The team had planned for a top 5 result, and even though we didn’t achieve this result, having two riders in the final group of 20 is promising for the coming races. When racing in a new team, with new riders, communication is always the factor that needs to be worked on most. I believe after this Australian block, the team will be conditioned and ready to tackle the European season."
Eva Buurman reflected on the race
"Personally, I am happy that I made it in the first group. The past few weeks in Australia has been good for me. I felt that I had good legs today but the first 90km was a bit too slow for me. The last part was chaotic, and I think the team could not find each other. It was a good learning experience, and I am very pleased to take the young rider jersey. However, I'm disappointed that I didn’t get to sprint due to the crash. Overall, I'm happy with my progress here in Australia."
The team now have few days rest before the last race of the Australian block, The Herald Sun Tour gets underway.