Drenthe Races Report

Lauren has just returned from 3 solid days of racing in the North of The Netherlands and in her own words she reports the three tough days of racing:

Thursday, Drentse 8:

This race was a super fast, long and stressful race with a lot of corners and a bunch of 200 girls who all want to be in the front row on the narrow roads. I really enjoyed it. I rode the majority of the race in the front 20 riders and didn’t have any issues to move through the peloton which can be one of the biggest challenges in dutch racing. The 140k race eventuated into a group of 8 girls escaping on the small local laps at the finish of the race. My team mate Emilie, was present for Hitec and I sat with Kirsten to anticipate a bunch sprint if Emilie was to be brought back. Emilie’s group stayed away and she sprinted to 4th, which was a great start for us for the three days of racing. I finished safely in the bunch behind which had been reduced significantly with 90 DNFs recorded for day one.

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Photo: Kim Stellingwerf

Saturday, WORLD CUP:

The world cup is such a cool race, There is a short climb, The VAMburg, which we tackled 3 times, 4 cobbled sections, mostly over 2km in length and cross winds for a large section of the race. I was feeling great and made the front selection of about 30 riders over the first critical cobbles only to puncture with no support cars around. I rode the flat wheel for 5km before dropping back through 2 groups and getting a spare from neutral, as the team cars where along way behind with girls all over the place. I chased for 30km, mainly solo and came back to the front group at kilometre 95, just before the second accent of the Vamburg.

I helped position Kirsten before fighting over the climb myself. I found myself in the second group with Tatiana, I now tried to recover from my long chase to see if I could help more in the final. I was starting to feel ok again sitting in the group of about 15 riders, about 40 seconds behind the leading 15 when my heart sunk. I saw Kirsten coming back from the front group…. She had punctured. So Tatiana and I were on the front chasing as hard as we could to give Kirsten the opportunity to sprint for the win. We closed the gap with about 3km to go. We now had about 35 riders heading into a bunch sprint. I looked around to make sure we were indeed racing for the win and there wasn’t a break-away up the road before finding Kirsten to help position her as best I could. I took her to 1km to go before my legs finally shut down, I flicked my arm for her to come through and she jumped behind the Wiggle train. There were 2 crashes on the last two corners and I was then distanced from the leading 15 riders. I rolled over the finish line in 27th. Kirsten had not had the best sprint and was disappointed to tell us she had finished 11th. Even though we had not got the result we were after, I was exceptionally proud of my race. I really didn’t think that Tatiana and I could close a gap of over a minute in the final of a world cup and the fact that we did and after I had already chased all day made me proud of myself and also of my team. Kirsten believed in us and now knows for the future she can rely on us, as we proved to be one of the strongest teams out their today.

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Photo: Long chase after a puncture

Sunday, Novilon Eurocup: Today was always going to be a challenge for me, I was motivated to race but hone I got on the bike my legs seemed to have other ideas. The race started directly with crosswinds. I was out of position, I had to work super hard to get back into the race and that is what I did. I was in the first chase group with 2 of my team mates after 30km with Kirsten in the small break of 14 riders in front. But after about 40km with my fatigue setting in from yesterday’s efforts I was out of position in the wind and I found myself in the back spit of our group. We never saw the front again. It was a long day before we were the last group to be pulled from the race. It is extremely disappointing to be given a DNF, however with the high from my performance over the previous two days Kirsten was super driven to get a result for the team’s work all weekend and she delivered. Kirsten took the win from the remaining 26 riders in the race to the line, to take Hitec’s first European win for 2015 and second UCI win after my Oceania title. It was the best ending to the weekend!

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Photo: Anton Vos

Next up for me is Cholet in France this weekend. It is a hilly circuit race that I think will suit my strengths. I am looking forward to the opportunity and again racing with my Hitec Teamies again!

Lauren finishes 7th in Belgium Classic

Lauren finished 7th in the first race of her Spring Classics campaign today in Belgium. Hitec Product’s supported their in-form Aussie in the tough 120km race that looped around the eastern part of Flanders in northern Belgium.

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Photos: Anton Vos 

“I was a little unsure how I would feel today, Its been two weeks since my last race in New Zealand and it was also the first time racing for me in Europe this year”

The race departed in sunny 16 degrees, which was maybe a little strange for this time of year in Belgium, however the peloton embraced the warm weather and sunny skies and put on a great bike race on what is International Women’s day.

The race stayed mainly together for the first 40km before all the big teams set up trains into the crucial cobbled section at km 49. Hitec placed Lauren perfectly and she was third over the summit of the cobbled climb.

“My team rode so strong for me today, they placed me perfectly at the crucial moments, Im proud of how they rode today”

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The race then went on to split on the locallaps with 11 riders going clear with 20km to go, the race winning move contained both Lauren and her teammate and former world champion, Tatiana Guderzo.

“Tatiana and I rode we together in the move, she tried to help me as much as she could, Im just disappointed I couldn’t get a better result for all the work she did”

“Im satisfied with my feeling and my form now after this race, Im happy to be in the mix of the results but Im chasing something a bit more in the next block of races”

Lauren now heads to the Drenthe region of the Netherlands for 3 races including the first World Cup of the season. These races will take place on the 12th, 14th and 15th of March.

Lauren continues good form in New Zealand

Lauren has just completed the Women’s Tour of New Zealand, were she rode as part of the Australian National Team. The five rider team had big aspirations of success but a classy USA national team took the top honours in the tour.

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Photo: Women ride bikes

The team got off to a solid start finishing 2nd in the Team Time Trial event on the opening day before Lauren sprinted to 2nd on the first road stage of the Tour, which was held in and around the town of Masterton on the North Island of New Zealand.

“The team time trial was pretty solid but I think we rode really well as a team, we were beaten by a classy USA team but a strong result here is what set up our chances for the rest of the tour”

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In stage three, The Australian National team looked to set up their general classification hopes with Rachel and Katrin showing their climbing cards and finishing in the front selection with Katrin taking the stage for the team.

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In the queen stage of the tour, which included two major climbs including a 10km summit finish on top of Admiral Hill, Lauren found her way into the 9 rider early breakaway that survived until the end. Showing her all-round ability Lauren climbed to 2nd in the stage and to 4th overall on the general classification with one final stage remaining.

“I didn’t expect to be in the position on the queen stage of the tour. I am really happy with the way Im climbing at the moment and I am really proud of this second place on such a tough stage”

Stage five was an exciting battle with most teams keen to get a breakaway up the road. The aussies left it all out there as they tried to gain some precious seconds back on the USA national team girls that were staked at the top of the General Classification Leader board. After a fast and furious 122.5km the bunch arrived for a sprint, where Lauren picked up a fine 4th place to finish the tour.

“For me the tour was a big success, I knew my form was good but to be consistent each day with 3 X 2nds and 4th plus 4th overall, Im stoked”

 

Lauren will now head to Europe to prepare for the Spring Classics with Hitec Products. Her first race is Omloop van het Hageland on March 8th.

Final Results:

Stage 1 TTT – Aus 2nd

Stage 2 125km – Lauren 2nd

Stage 3 130km – Lauren 12th

Stage 4 106km- – Lauren 2nd

Stage 5 122km – Lauren 4th.

Overall

Lauren – 4th @19 seconds.

Lauren is the Oceania Road Champion

Kitchen wins big in Toowoomba

Lauren Kitchen, (Team Hitec Products) has taken arguably the biggest win of her career this morning sealing the Oceania Road Race title from a select four up sprint in Goombungee, just outside Toowoomba.

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“Im really happy with this win, Ive been close a few times to the top step so far this year but for it all to fall into place today for a big title like this, Im really stoked!”

Lauren was supported by Roxsolt’s Kelvin Rundle and NSWIS head coach, Brad McGee. The Gold medal will join Kitchen’s silver medal from the time trial event last Friday to make it a very successful weekend for the 24 year old.

“I had high hopes for the weekend but when it all works out its just fantastic! I am really thankful for the support from Brad and Kelvin over the weekend what they both are doing for cycling and women’s cycling in particular is exciting and I really owe these results to them for their support over the past few months”

“Rydges Port Macquarie and Leicht’s Tyres are both sponsors of mine back in Port Macquarie and its really nice to get a big win before heading back to Europe for them too” Lauren added.

With Kitchen wrapping up the title in Toowoomba she has taken the automatic spot for Australia for the World Championships to be held in Richmond, USA in September. Selection will still have to be met but with an automatic place Lauren can look forward to a big season ahead!

Silver lining for Kitchen at Oceania Time Trial Titles

This morning Lauren Kitchen, NSW, finished 2nd in a star studded field at the Oceania Time Trial Titles held in Toowoomba, QLD. Kitchen completed the course in a time of 33 minutes and 44 second, 49 seconds from the top step of the podium. Kitchen, who is coached by Brad McGee has chosen to focus on the Individual Time Trial event recently with the goal to become a more complete rider.

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“I’ve really wanted to work on my time trialling over the last year or so as I think its a discipline that I needed to improve in and with Brad’s guidance I knew I had a good environment to do this”

Lauren was the 6th rider off in a relatively small field however the quality was high, with Commonwealth Games Bronze medalist, Katrin Garfoot (QLD), taking the top honours.

“To be within 50 seconds of Katrin was really a boost for me as I now know I can be more competitive if I focused more on the event”

“Im really happy with this result and Im now focused on Sunday to have another top performance”

Lauren will compete in the Road Race event on Sunday to be held in Goombungee, approximately 40km from Toowoomba.

Lauren in the mix in The Ladies Tour of Qatar

Lauren Kitchen, riding her first international race for 2015, found herself at the pointy end of the bike race on stage 3 at the recent Ladies Tour of Qatar, centred around Doha in the middle east.

Riding for the Norwegian team, Hitec Products, Kitchen sprinted to 6th place from a select group at the end of the 95km stage from Doha to Al Khor on Thursday.

“It was a really hard day, There was a lot of wind and I was motivated after missing the key move on stage two” Lauren explained of her first UCI top 10 result for 2015.

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photo: peloton magazine

“My team mates, especially our captain, Tatiana, looked after me so well in the whole tour, it was really a team effort and I owe it to them” Tatiana is a previous world champion and will look for guide Lauren and the team which is made up of mostly Scandinavian riders through the 2015 season.

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Riding as the protected rider is a new experience for Lauren, a rarity in the past , however after a successful recovery from surgery on her external iliac artery at the end of 2014, she is looking forward to more chances from the team as the season moves towards the Spring Classics.

“Im really looking forward to getting into more racing and proving myself after a season plagued with injury last year”

“I have a really good support team around me now and Im working really well with my coach, Brad Mcgee to make 2015 a good year.”

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Photo: Lizzie Armistead wins stage 3, Lauren 6th.

Next up for the 24 year old is the Oceania Championships which begin on February 13th in Toowoomba before she joins the Australian National Team for the Women’s Tour of New Zealand from the 18th to the 22nd of February. Lauren will then return to Europe to prepare for the important spring classics where she will begin to consider World Championships and Olympic Selections.

“This is an important year for sure, Next Year are the Olympics, they only come around every four years and I want to give myself the best opportunity and environment to gain selections for Australian Teams.”

“This is a good start to the year but Im hungry for more” This is Lauren’s 10th top 10 result already for 2015.

 

Kitchen Claims Sprint And Mountain Jerseys In Opening Stage Of Santos Women’s Cup

After an already successful summer racing campaign which includs major victories at the Stan Siejka Cycling Classic and the Shimano Super Criterium the Roxsolt Racing team has again left an impact on the women’s racing scene. Lauren Kitchen earned the Santos Women’s Cup sprinter’s jersey and Loren Rowney claimed the mountain jersey in the 59km opening road stage from Woodside to Murray Bridge in the Adelaide Hills.

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Continuing on from her impressive performances at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic and National Championships Lauren Kitchen sprinted to second on the first stage of the Tour and has a narrow lead in the race’s sprint competition after picking up precious points in the only intermediate sprint of the day.

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After an aggressive day of racing that saw Roxsolt Ladies rider Loren Rowney take out the mountain sprint of the day and the field shattered in cross winds Kitchen outsmarted some of the best sprinters in Australia to take out the bunch kick for the minor placings after Orica-AIS’ Italian recruit Valentina Scandolara took an impressive solo victory.

The stage was raced exceptionally fast with the peloton finishing minutes ahead of the predicted schedule.

The Roxsolt Ladies team, which is in it’s second summer racing season, had a clear goal leading into the four day tour.

“Our plan going into the race was to be aggressive and highlight women’s racing on the world stage at the Tour Down Under,” Lauren said.

“Finishing second was great, I didn’t know if I would have the legs to mix it with the sprinters so I was happy to win the bunch kick,” Lauren continued.

The team isn’t putting any pressures on themselves for the rest of the Tour, however.

“We want to have fun racing at the Tour Down Under,” Lauren said.

“We are looking for an exciting race and look forward to the next few stages!” she said.

The Tour continues tomorrow with a 40 minute criterium in East Adelaide.

Roxcycl Media Officer: Chloe Hosking ⎢ +61405062021 ⎢ chosking@roxsolt.com.au

Director Sportif: Kelvin Rundle ⎢ +61414880244 ⎢ krundle@roxsolt.com.au

Australian National Championships Blog

So the Australian Road Nationals are done for another year,

This year I decided to contest all three national championship events with different goals for each one. First up with the National Crit title. After only one day to freshen up from the four day Bay crits series I was on the start line for the 5th time for 2015. I was pumped but relaxed. The course int he centre of Ballarat can offer an exciting race however with a limited number of teams in the race I wasn’t expecting an overly aggressive race.

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I felt great and was sitting pretty until about the half way mark where I crashed quite hard on the top corner. I lost my front wheel in what appeared to be an oil patch on further inspection. This could have put me out of the race, however it had the opposite effect and I got fired up. I nearly immediately attacked across to an established break of 5 before it was reeled in before getting into possibly the ‘break of the day’ with Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS) and Ruth Corset (total-rush). I thought this would stick and I was committed to driving it forward in the dwindling laps. However without much assistance from the other girls the break was reeled in a 1.5laps to. Carlee Taylor made a bold last lap flyer but it wasn’t to be and we had to sprint for the medals. I was happy to finish with a bronze however I was very frustrated at the lack of cohesion in the break and the negative nature of the majority of the riders.

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National ITT was up the next day. My goal in this race was to improve my time trialling ability. I didn’t really expect anything here but want to work on becoming a well rounded bike rider and I know this requires work. Surprising myself and probably others I was int he bronze medal position at the half way mark before struggling with my pacing on the way home and having a ‘bonk’ moment on a challenging climb. I finished a average 13th. There is work to be done here however it was very encouraging to be in the mix for part of the race!

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National Road Race. This is something I have thought about for a long time. I really want that jersey. After being close last year I was determined to race well and give myself that chance. knowing I have a good finish on me I was confident to wait and let the race unfold and hang on and use my sprint at the end for a good result. I was feeling strong and fresh and coming into 2 laps to go, surprisingly fresh. Over the top of the second last climb Peta Mullins and Rach Neylan sort of snuck off the front. I remember thinking Greenedge will chase this, I don’t need to, just wait. This was a mistake. Peta and Rach stayed away to the end. On the last climb I found myself right at the pointy end and even threw down a big attack in the final part of the climb. With a small group over the climb the girls looked at each other and no one would commit to ride. I wasn’t going to drag them back into the race and at this point the race was done. In the closing 500m our small group was caught by about 15 girls and I finished 9th overall.

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A very disappointing result after 2nd last year and with the feeling I had on the day. However I am very proud to have made it back to the competitive level only 3 months after major surgery and after only 6 weeks on the bike. I am pumped for the next block of races and for the 2015 season!

Thanks to Kelvin and Tegan for all their help all week, without their support I wouldn’t have achieved anything close to these performances. Thanks to Brad Mcgee my coach and NSWIS’s support. Thanks to my mum for being a mum and looking after me and to my dad for watching me race for 10 days on the road! Thanks to my cousin and manger Henry for his support and belief in me to get back to this level so quickly.

Thanks to my sponsors Leicht’s Tyres and Auto and to Rydges Port Macquarie! I love representing my local businesses around Australia!

Kitchen Cements Sprint Jersey And Moves In On Yellow

Roxsolt Racing’s Lauren Kitchen continued her strong performance at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic today finishing third on the tough Port Arlington circuit, securing her lead in the sprint classification and moving within two points of the overall series lead.

B6eq0VACcAEI7FnAfter finishing second on the opening stage of the series on Friday and fifth in yesterday’s second stage Lauren started the penultimate stage of the series in the green sprinters jersey and in third position overall behind race leader Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Down Under) and Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS).

The race was fast paced from the beginning with the peloton splintering as the riders tackled a challenging climb each lap. While a number of riders tried to sneak of the front of the peloton it wasn’t until Peta Mullens launched a brave solo breakaway after the first intermediate sprint of the day that anything escaped.

Mullens extended her lead to more than 20 seconds on the chasing peloton and finished comfortably ahead of Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Down Under) and Lauren on the stage.

B6eYbIfCUAM-v77.jpg-largeBy the end of the day Lauren had earned herself an unassailable lead in the sprinters competition leading into tomorrow’s final stage in Williamstown and had moved within striking distance of race leader Chloe Hosking who now holds yellow by a slim margin.

“We’re really happy to have retained the green jersey and have locked that up for Roxsolt as that was a big goal for us at the start of the week,” an ecstatic Lauren said after the stage.

“It was great to get on the podium again for Roxsolt but of course we’ll be hoping to build on that tomorrow,” Lauren said alluding to the team’s intentions to make a serious play for the yellow jersey tomorrow.

“I definitely couldn’t have done this without the support of my team,” Lauren continued.

“A big thanks has to go to Kelvin for putting the team together and giving me the opportunity,” she finished.

Article by Chloe Hosking

Professional cyclist