Australian Road Race champion Shannon Malseed narrows her focus for title defence at Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits
Wearing the green and gold national colours of a cycling champion has been an honour Shannon Malseed has been happy to savour for the past 12 months – and she likes the feel, and wants to do it again in this coming year
So the Victorian will put the finishing touches, and really refine her focus on her national title defence preparation when she lines up at the 2019 Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits in Geelong tomorrow.
Malseed (Team Tibco) upstaged world class rivals to win the Australian National Road Race title in Ballarat last January, and claimed the famous hoops of the national champions jersey.
For three days from January 1st, the 23-year-old will fine tune her form at the fast and furious Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits.
“The Bay Crits are a really good way to get a couple of days of solid leg speed, and familiarisation of racing in a fast, and strong field just a few days out from the Nationals. This is a great tool to prepare the body, and the mind for racing for the Australian Championship title on the weekend!”
“I see the Bay Crits as an integral part of my preparation for Nationals, and I am really glad to see them back for 2019,” said Malseed.
Malseed will race with a line up that has to be seen to be believed - the Lexus Blackburn All Stars women’s team also boasts Commonwealth gold medallist Chloe Hosking (Alé–Cipollini) and Australia’s number 1 ranked female cyclist and UCI road World Championships silver medallist Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton Scott).
Rising star Sarah Gigante, German international Romy Kasper (Alé–Cipollini) and Britain’s Clover Murray round out the team.
“I am super pumped to be racing with those two legends of the sport! I'm looking forward to working with them, rather than racing against them,” Malseed joked.
“I'm keen to see what we can do together as a team. I'm sure it will be a lot of fun.”
The Lexus team will go head-to-head with the Roxsolt Attaquer team featuring 2017 champion Valentina Scandolara of Italy.
“Aside from the great depth in the field at the Bay Crits, which gives all riders a chance to race against some of the best professionals in the world; I love the Bay Crits because they are a great spectacle for my friends and family who love to come and watch me race - they always give me feedback that it is awesome to be able to see the entire race and watch some fast and aggressive cycling.
“I also really enjoy seeing and meeting up with all the people who are there racing and watching; it has been a while between races, so it is always great to have a catch up, and being the beginning of the new year, in summer in Australia - the vibe is always fun and exciting!”
The Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits run from January 1 – January 3 in Geelong and Williamstown. Click here for stage information.
The event will be live streamed on the Cycling Central Facebook Page each day. Click here for broadcast schedule.
Click here for the full entry list.
Lexus of Blackburn 'All Stars' Team Announced
Known as ‘the world’s fastest criterium series,’ The Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits has a long history of attracting some of Australia’s best WorldTour riders looking to sharpen their legs ahead of a new cycling season, and 2019 is no exception.
Leading the charge of the Lexus of Blackburn ‘All Stars’ team, will be 2014 champion Brenton Jones (DELKO Marseille) and two-time Bay Crits stage winner Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-SCOTT).
Joining Jones and Durbridge will be a trio of Bendigo riders, who will no doubt bring a strong comradery to the team. Sam Crome and Robbie Hucker – who will be teammates in 2019 for Japanese Team UKYO - and 22-year-old Julian Thompson, all hail from the Victorian country town known to be a breeding ground for professional cyclists.
Thompson will be looking to learn off his more experienced teammates ahead of his first season with Australian National Road Series team GPM-Stulz.
German born sprinter Raphael Freienstein (InForm MAKE) rounds out the team and adds some extra fire power to the sprint lead-out.
“I’m really looking forward to racing the Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits again in January, it’s a race I always look forward to and have many fond memories of,” said Jones.
“I think the Lexus team will be one of the strongest teams out there, and it will be good to race with Durbo and the other guys.”
Coming in as an ‘all star’ Sports Director will be cycling stalwart Dave Sanders who brings decades of experience and passion to the role.
“This team is more than capable of certainly winning a stage and definitely the overall event,” said Sanders, who has a long history managing Australian national teams and mentoring some of Australia’s most successful cyclists including Simon Clarke.
“I personally have worked in every episode of the Bay Crits since its inception, so it’s a special event for me.”
“It is also a very special event for Brenton Jones, who grew up working on the crew as a young fella every year, to eventually becoming the overall winner of the series.
So he has to be considered to be part of the big “family” of this exciting event.
“Brenton has to be considered one of the favourites to take out the overall honours with his tenacious and fearless sprinting abilities.
“Luke Durbridge is without a doubt one of the strongest riders to be pinning a number on and will certainly be ripping the field apart with his powerful attacks.
“The rest of the team all have fine pedigrees and will be there as both opportunistic riders and strong support for Brenton in the fast finishes.”
The Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits begin on New Year’s Day at Eastern Gardens Geelong. Wednesday January 2 sees the race move to Richie Blvd in Geelong before concluding on Thursday January 3 in Williamstown.
For more information including race schedule head to www.baycyclingclassic.com.au