The two winners from stage one have stormed home to take out the top titles in the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits, powered by PSC Insurance.
In the women's race two of the big teams featured prominently right from the start with Catalina Soto (Lexus of Blackburn) and Eloise Sandow (Inform TMX MAKE) jumping off the front and opening up a gap that became as large as 50 seconds.
After 20 minutes the peloton reeled them back in after elevating the pace, but there was an immediate counter attack from the same two teams albeit different riders. This time the breakaway duo had plenty fof firepower with yesterday's stage winner Ruby Rosemon-Gannon (Lexus of Blackburn) and Matilda Raynolds (Inform TMX MAKE) making the pace. The two pre-race favourites put the foot down, to open a 40 second buffer.
At the midway point Grace Brown (Lexus of Blackburn) tried to bridge the gap riding solo, and she managed to work hard enough between the leaders and the chasers to pick up third place.
The race in two came down to a sprint that Roseman-Gannon was always going to have the upper hand with and she jumped on the final corner after the uphill drag, taking the the stage win and the overall Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits title.
"There's definitely a lot of pressure I put on myself but I think once the sprint starts and I know the race is going, I just go into this mode where I don't think and it will just happen for me across the line. I've been racing for over a decade at least, having that sort of experience, I just go into automatic mode."
"The sprint yesterday was a little bit more complex and I watched it back and I couldn't remember it happened. It's like being in an exam when you're so focused on what you're doing, the time just goes by. That's how I race and that's why I love it. "
"We wanted to make it aggressive. Both Grace Brown and I are strong riders, I was hoping that move would put the pressure on bit I only heard she went solo with three laps to go and I was hoping that if I eased off the pace she would make it across but I think at that point the gap had expand a bit too much. It was a team effort today and I appreciate all the effort from my team."
Roseman-Gannon revealed it was a significant win in her career, knowing the win this week helps sets her up for the Road nationals and also her season ahead with BikeExchange Jayco in Europe
"I actually raced this race for the first time in 2015 as a first year U19 and I was racing Gracie Elvin and I was pinching myself. This event will be monumental for me as a rider and building confidence to make it the world tour."
In the mens category it was also a 'rinse and repeat' from Stage 1 as Blake Quick took out the biggest win of his career on home soil.
There was some early attacks before a single rider managed to put a gap in, and just as it ticked over 25 minutes of the hour long event the lone breakaway race leader Bentley Niquet-Olden (Olivers Racing) unfortunately pushed too hard to maintain his small advantage, going down, crashing heavily on the corner leading onto the back straight. He was conscious after the incident, and treated on site for multiple lacerations but OK.
While this slowed proceedings a little it wasn't long before Simon Clarke (All Stars) strung out the peloton, using his WorldTour legs to put pressure on the local riders. Dalton Stretton (All stars) and Liam White (Olivers Racing) energised the race and got out to a 23 second lead with 10 minutes to go.
White attacked with a few laps remaining and rolled the dice in the hope that he could gap the opposition, but in the end was unsuccessful. Clarke again animated the race before it was all joined up again and Inform TMX MAKE Took control and powered Blake Quick to the line again ahead of Jensen Plowright (Lexus of Blackburn) and team mate Brenton Jones (Inform TMX MAKE).
"It was very chaotic, everyone was racing for the last corner, obviously you couldn't make up a lot of ground, you had to slow down a lot going into the corner. Jenson on the outside, BJ on the inside, I held him out a bit and from there it was the quickest man wins."
"The run in didn't go according to plan, it just got a bit chaotic with the wind as well down the bottom, just made it very hard. Coming into the last corner was perfect, BJ and I spoke before the race and he obviously he has won this race before and he said you basically have to be first or second through that last corner and the inside always wins."
Quick by name and quick by nature. Blake Quick wins the opening stage of the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits powered by PSC Insurance Brokers, with Ruby Roseman-Gannon taking out the women’s event.
In warm, slightly windy conditions in Geelong the hour-long men’s race saw WorldTour veteran Simon Clarke (All Stars) attack at the midway point surging into the lead, taking a bunch of riders with him to form a genuine breakaway that included Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro racing) teenager Henry Dietze (Giant Racing) and Elliot Schultz (Inform TMX MAKE).
However, the peloton reeled them in and on the final corner Brisbane’s Blake Quick (Inform TMX Make), led home by teammate Brenton Jones, rode over the top of the big names to grab the opening stage. Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro Racing) and Jensen Plowright (Lexus of Blackburn) filled the placings. Quick acknowledged the efforts of his teammate Jones, a former Bay Crits champion.
“BJ was only meant to race the second day, then last night he ended up getting the call up to come in and then he said he wanted to thank me for helping out a few weekends ago on the Sunny Coast – he did an unreal job I can’t thank him and the boys enough. He gave me the lead out from heaven, I hardly even had to sprint really.”
"Yeah, it’s unreal and it breeds like that winning culture. It’s so good to have two guys just alternate and then it just breeds such good culture in the team because it doesn’t matter who it is we just want to win."
BAY CRITS 2022
2022 Lexus Of Blackburn Bay Crits
JANUARY 8-9 2022