The Phillip Island GP track hummed to pedal power today, as the opening stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and the Lexus Of Blackburn Women’s Herald Sun Tour got underway on the world famous circuit.
Commonwealth Games Gold medallist CHLOE HOSKING (Ale Cipollini) proved why she was the pre-race favourite, out-sprinting Italian sprinter Rachele Barbieri (BePink) who pushed Hosking all the way to the line.
Finnish National Champion Lotta Pauliina Lepisto (Trek-Segafredo) rounded out the podium.
Earlier in the race, Giro Rosa stage winner RUTH WINDER from the USA (Trek-Segafredo) jumped the peloton and carved out a substantial lead of over 2 minutes at the half way mark.
The breeze came up as midday approached, but Winder was untroubled by her name-sake and powered on, desperately trying to hold off the chasing peloton. A small crash in the closing laps saw some competitors taken out, but the lead group had the finish line in sight and Hosking was simply too good in the run to the line taking yellow.
“I know there’s a lot of work to go so I am actually really, it’s like a nice surprise to come away with a few wins this summer, yeah for sure, my coach will be really happy that I have managed to slowly build but keep some of my speed.”
“I think that my team comes into all the Australian races as a bit of underdogs because we have a bit of a mix here. We have one girl coming back from injury, then we have three young girls, we don’t have that experience there and that really big depth that teams like Trek and Mitchelton so we can just use the races to find form and gain a bit of experience.”
“I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing all the girls contribute to the win and I think we can take a lot of confidence from that going forward to Europe.”
Barbieri was awarded the Summer of Cycling Victoria white jersey while Winder took home the Bicycle Beer Red Jersey.
Hosking’s win also means she now leads the Gatorade sprint classification.