Bay Crits 2015 Preview

It’s the new year and that means one thing, time to head down to Geelong to get stuck into some fast and furious criterium action at the Bay Crits. This will be my eighth Bay Crits having competed every year except one since I was U19. I love starting the new year and the new season here and this year Im just as excited as if I was that 16 year old kid again.

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In 2015 I will be racing with the Roxsolt team for the second year. We have a super strong team this year with; Kimberley, Loren, Tiff, Carlee, Jo and myself and we are being led by our owner manager Kelvin Rundle. So whats going to happen this week? Well here is my prediction;

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Having a slightly changed format with teams now allowed to start 6 riders instead of 5 this will for sure change the dynamic of the racing with teams having more cards to play on different courses. Teams are now also able to pick and choose which days they race different riders, this will give some teams an advantage with rested riders coming in later in the series, while I believe most riders will race all four criteriums, there are a large number of individuals just targeting one or two days, most likely to perfect their nationals preparation.

Day 1 is Ritchie Boulevard, an infamous heart-pumping hot dog course at only 600m long, it results in about 100 standing starts in 45 minutes. What is great about this course is it is not only a great spectacle, it can be a great tactical race that has been won from nearly every situation. Roxsolt will have a few cards to play here as we expect to be one of the most inform teams, but if it comes to a sprint we will be looking to set up Kimbers against the likes of the Hosking-Bronzini duo of Wiggle Downunder. Giorgia won here last year with Kimbers taking it in 2013 and Hosking in 2012.

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Day 2 we move to the Botanic Gardens where we are faced with a more open course where the wind is defiantly a big factor. This course has a touch little climb just before a long finish straight so in the past has lead itself to a tough long sprint with Hosking (then of Roxsolt) taking the win here last year. This is an important day for us as we will also be celebrating Kelvin’s 40th Birthday! We will be racing to get Roxsolt out there on day two and we hope you see one of us with our arms in the air at the end of the day.

Day 3 is Portarlington. I have a love hate relationship with this course. You can’t hide here. This is the race where it shows your form. Back in 2007 Gary Sutton told me, “this course will suit you” so as a 16 year old I toughed it out and I finished. I was the only rider from my team that year to do so and it was my biggest achievement of the week. Since then the course has changed slightly a few times but we have always seen a tough race. Tif has won here twice and last year Jo was 4th on this circuit. I have had my best results here with a 1st (2008) and a 2nd (2011). This course will suit our team. You can look for us at the front trying to force the break in Portarlington.

Day 4: Last day is Williamstown. The is a great spot to finish, with a trendy Melbourne vibe and cute cafes lining the course, by day 4 a coffee fuel up is a must. Being a dead flat square course we normally see a bunch sprint, however its day four, so anything can happen. Roxsolt will want to go out with a bang and we are aware we have one of the fastest girls with us so I think Williamstown might be about Kimbers lining it up.

There are two other super strong stacked teams for 2015 with Wiggle Downunder and Orica AIS. So Im sure it will be really exciting racing. Our main goal is to have fun, but we are a competitive bunch of girls so hopefully you will see us on the podium.

Now to catch a plane

Lauren

Kitchen has Leicht travel’s ahead

Local business supports local cycling champion.

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Leicht’s Tyre and Auto has partnered with Lauren Kitchen to support her to train and attend Australian races while she is back home for the summer. The local cycling star has recently returned to Port Macquarie to prepare for her assault on the international 2015 season.

Peter Leicht from Leicht’s Tyre and Auto has know Lauren Kitchen for over a decade. He has watched the local girl find cycling success from a local to international scale and is very excited to be supporting Lauren as she rebuilds after a injury ridden 2014 season.

The partnership will allow Lauren the opportunity to focus 100% on her training commitments to give her the edge over her competitors. Lauren is recovering from a major surgery that she had just 10 weeks ago after suffering through the majority of the 2014 season with iliac syndrome.

“Basically I had one leg, I would be riding hard then bang my left leg had no power” Lauren explained, “The muscles just weren’t getting any blood flow as the artery was so built up with scar tissue” she added.

The injury has no doubt held up Lauren’s career but she is motivated to regain her status in Australian Cycling. In 2014 she finished 2nd at the Australian Championships as well as a series of top 10s in Europe before losing her power in her left leg. The support from the Local business will allow Lauren that opportunity.

“Having Leicht’s support is an awesome opportunity for me, He and his family have followed my career since I began and to be able to represent their business while I train on home roads in Port is like a dream come true” Lauren exclaimed.

The next major goals for Lauren are the Australian National Championships in January and the Women’s Tour of New Zealand in February. You will see Lauren out training around Port Macquarie over the coming months sporting a new white and pink jersey thanks to Leicht’s Tyre and Auto and to Soft Edges in Port Macquarie.

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Stan Siejka Criterium Weekend

Last friday I traveled to Launceston in the North of Tasmania with my Roxsolt summer team to compete in a weekend of fast cycling circuit action. I was pretty excited to return this year having one the race last year and having the honour to wear number 1 for the event.

The team for the weekend consisted of Kimberley Wells and Chloe Hosking from Canberra, Steph Lord and Sarah Roy from Sydney and myself. We were all pumped to pull on our new Roxsolt jerseys for our first race together.

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On Saturday morning we rode our as a large peloton to a motor racing circuit to compete in a kermesse style event. With three major teams making up the majority of the field when a break of three went with each team represented they quickly build up a considerable lead and fought for the podium places with Chloe Hosking taking the race and our first victory for the 2014-2015 summer! Go Team!

We had a nice relaxing afternoon and evening with a visit to the movies and a pub style dinner. Sunday morning we had a cafe breakfast ride before getting focused for the evening’s criterium. The criterium is the weekend’s main event and this year was even televised live around Australia, thanks to SBS!

The crit was an exciting race with a lot of aggressive moves and tactics coming into play. We weren’t so happy with the situation of only one rider in a break of 7 at the mid way point and put out efforts into a chase. However the break managed to stay away and our sprinter Kimbers outsmarted the break and took a convincing win! Woohoo two for two!

It was a massively successful weekend for the Roxsolt team! We were very lucky to have the support of Andrew and Leslie Fisher to look after us and of course Kelvin and Tegan for their ongoing support from Roxsolt!

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Next week we will be back for more at the Shimano Super Crit! Look out St Kilda Roxsolt is coming!

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