Lauren has just completed the Women’s Tour Down Under, which ran from the 16th to the 19th of January in the Adelaide region of South Australia. With the support of her Hitec Products teammates, Lauren secured the final spot on the overall podium behind Orica-AIS rider Katrin Garfoot and American Shelly Olds. The final podium positions were decided on a count back as the top four riders in the four day race finished on the same time over the four stages.
“I am very happy to be on the final GC podium, this race was well contested among the Aussies and I think shows Im on the right track heading into the season. I am most proud of my performance on stage 3 where I really had to show I was physically at a good level along with ride smart and control Orica-AIS, who had the numerical advantage in the breakaway that had formed over the toughest part of the course.”
Lauren also finished 3rd on the 3rd stage, to give Hitec its first two podiums in a UCI road event ofthe year. Lauren was consistent across the four race days with her results being 4th on stage 1, 5th stage 2, 3rd stage 3 and 8th stage 4
“Im happy with where I’m at right now, I have shown that I am ready very competitive and my form is good, now I have to rest for a few days and prepare for Cadel’s next weekend, before heading overseas.”
Next up for Lauren is Cadel’s Great Ocean Road Race which takes place on Jan 30 in Geelong. Then she will travel to Qatar for the Ladies Tour of Qatar before onwards to Europe.
Photos: Kirsty Baxter
Lauren began her national championships campaign on Wednesday night with a Bronze medal ride in the women’s Criterium title. She also sealed the Sprint jersey competition on the way. The Crit title was Lauren’s first race since the World Championships last September so she was pleasantly surprised with her form after a long break and training block.
“I really didn’t know where I was at, I a hadn’t even done a local race since September, so Im also a bit relieved to see Im around the mark heading into the season”
This was Lauren’s third Bronze medal in the event in a row and her 6th medal in the event over the past 6 years. It is no longer an event that Lauren can fly under the radar despite her having no teammates she was always a favourite.
“I have a good track record in this race, I guess the course suites me with the tough drag to the line and my ability to race it in different conditions over the years. I won it in 2011 and then I think I have 4 other Bronze medals (3 Elite and 1 U23 along with a gold U23) so I am little bit sick of standing next to the winner to be honest, so in some ways I am disappointed, but the aim was to have a good hit out for the weekend’s important Road Race and that was defiantly achieved.”
The race came down to a breakaway of 9 riders which included 4 Orica-AIS riders. However it was Sophie Mackay who stole the show, just getting over Orica’s Lizzie Williams on the line.
“I think Orica had a bit of a mix up in their leadout and Lizzie had a big gap on their sprinter out of the last corner, I was behind Sarah Roy, their Sprinter and when I saw the gap, I realised I had to go really early, so that really wasn’t great for me. I was happy to get to Lizzie on the line but didn’t quite get there to take the title”
Next up for Lauren is the Road Race on Saturday where she has been named as a favourite. The race can be seen in the early afternoon on Channel
Lauren has recently just arrived in Ballarat ready to start her 2016 season with the National Championships which begin tomorrow evening. Lauren will compete in the Criterium (33km) and the Road Race (102km) in this year’s Championships and is looking to start the season on a high after a long build up phase of training.
“I am really keen to get into some racing, I have had about 10 weeks of solid training now, I have been really focused and I really want to put that to good use and start the season with some good results”
“ I am competing in the Criterium on Wednesday evening along with the Road Race on Sunday morning. I think I can really be int he mix for both events and I am really looking forward to laying it on the line to try and achieve the best possible”
Lauren will be up against tough competition for both events but it is to be expected being 2016 and an Olympic year.
“It’s a big year this one, A lot of girls are in the mix for selection and I hope to be right up there on that list”
Lauren will then travel to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under where she will race with her trade team Hitec Products.
The Road Race will be on the Nine network in the early afternoon on Sunday the 10th of January.