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Queensland’s Katrin Garfoot has seized victory in a sprint finish at the Oceania Road Cycling Championships in Canberra. After claiming fourth in Thursday’s Time Trial, Garfoot clinched the Elite Women’s road race crown on a testing course, while Amy Bradley (VIC) just edged 2009 national champion Carla Ryan (QLD) for second.
After staying with the group up into the looped section of the course, Lucy Coldwell (VIC) broke and found herself with a 30-second lead at the top of the hill. The Victorian retained this lead for the ensuing seven loops, increasing it to over a minute at one stage, but she was caught going into the final lap.
A bunch of six riders then headed for the finish line, led by Queenslanders Garfoot, Ryan and Ruth Corset (QLD), who powered home for a photo finish.
“It was a tough race,” exclaimed Garfoot. “There were a few breaks early and I wasn’t sure whether they were going to stick or not. But we pulled them back in so that was good.”
“Then at the end we tried to work together and that didn’t really help, but we made it in finally. It was a hard sprint!”
Despite the difficult nature of the 102km race, the Queenslander said she really enjoyed racing in Canberra.
“I love it [the course]! I hated it after the fourth lap, but now I love it. It was really tough.”
Second placed Bradley was also pleased with her result, explaining how hard the contest had been.
“It was a race of attrition really. Each lap up that climb got harder and harder and then the break got brought back on the last lap. Selection was made on the final climb and then everyone worked together to get to the end.”
Bradley also commented on the difficult nature of the contest, comparing it to the recent MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat.
“I’d say it was similar to the Nationals course, in that it was just relentless. It was always uphill or downhill, always chasing your tail and [you’re] never really recovering.”
Ryan came in narrowly behind Bradley to secure third place, while Corset finished fourth ahead of Carlee Taylor (SA – 5th) and Grace Sulzberger (TAS – 6th).
Earlier in the day Josie Talbot (NSW) edged out Alexandra Manly (SA) in the U19 Women’s Road Race, in a contest that suffered a significant crash in the opening stages.
Several riders were caught in a tangle after only two and a half kilometres, leaving one cyclist hospitalised. The peloton recovered to make it to the loops, before Talbot, Manly and local girl Madeline Marshall (ACT) broke after the 50-kilometre mark.
The three remained together for the rest of the race, before an exciting sprint finish saw Talbot clinch victory.
The 2013 Oceania Road Championships continues Sunday, with the U19, U23 and Elite Men taking to the Canberra circuit in what promises to be an exciting day of racing.
Orica-GreenEDGE’s Cameron Meyer (WA) faces a difficult return from surgery, with former national road champions Will Walker (VIC) and Darren Lapthorne (VIC) sure to challenge the West Australian for a place on the podium.