Road

Ulmer scores stage win, Wood takes overall at Geelong

New Zealand Commonwealth champion, Sarah Ulmer, 27, sprinted home fora win in the final stage of the Geelong Tour on Wednesday but it was Canberra’sOenone Wood, 23, (Australian Institute of Sport) who celebrated overallTour victory.The 2004 dual Australian road champion, Wood, took over the lead onTuesday from Victorian Katie Mactier, 28, (Jayco) and went into the finalstage with a slender seven second lead. But the strong support of her teamin countering all threats saw her successfully defend the leader’s bluejersey. Mactier finished in second place six seconds behind while KatherineBates,

By Gennie Sheer

New Zealand Commonwealth champion, Sarah Ulmer, 27, sprinted home fora win in the final stage of the Geelong Tour on Wednesday but it was Canberra’sOenone Wood, 23, (Australian Institute of Sport) who celebrated overallTour victory.The 2004 dual Australian road champion, Wood, took over the lead onTuesday from Victorian Katie Mactier, 28, (Jayco) and went into the finalstage with a slender seven second lead. But the strong support of her teamin countering all threats saw her successfully defend the leader’s bluejersey. Mactier finished in second place six seconds behind while KatherineBates, 21, (NSWIS), claimed third overall at eight seconds.“There were lots of attacks today but my Australian Institute of Sportteam looked after me really well,” said Wood.Wednesday’s stage covered 115 kilometers from Lara, north of Geelong,out past the You Yangs Regional Park and up Mount Wallace. Several groupstried to break from the main field but as was the case yesterday the teamsof the main contenders ensured they didn’t get far.On the first intermediate sprint for the day in Glenmore at the 50kmmark Tina Mayola-Pic (Jayco) took the maximum points ahead of Japan’s MihoOki, with Queenslander Lorian Graham (AIS) third.Graham kept driving at the front to crest the summit of the climb firstbut her team mate Wood powered up the hill to keep the pressure on herrivals.“The climb seemed easier this year but maybe that’s because I’ve hadanother year of racing experience and after last year I knew what was coming,”said Wood.That wasn’t the case for all the women with a repeat of last year whichsaw several riders opt to push their bikes up the hill rather than ridethem.After the climb the leading three came out to play on the second sprintwith Bates picking up the bonus three seconds, Mactier two seconds andWood one second setting the scene for a possible tie on the overall classificationdepending on the result at the finish line.“I wasn’t planning to go for the sprints but when I saw the others movingup I thought I should have a go,” said Wood who knew she would have toshadow Mactier and Bates down to the last meter.But as it turned out none of the three figured at the front as Ulmersurged through for the win in a time of 3:04:27. World Team’s Nicole Freedman – an American now licensed in Israel – was second and German star, Petra Rossner, 37, (Team Nurnberger)  added a third place to her tally.“The finishing sprint was crazy with riders everywhere,” said Wood.“I was pushed into the gutter twice so I just concentrated on staying uprightand safe.“It was up in the air (victory) right up until I crossed the line,”she said. “That’s when I finally knew I had won.”Wood also claimed the sprint classification while Bates was named BestYoung Rider (U23).The diminutive Wood, who at 158cm and 54 kilograms is dwarfed by mostof her rivals in stature but not in talent, has achieved a near clean sweepof every event she has entered this year including victories in Januaryin the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic, double gold at the BMC Software AustralianOpen Road Championships in Ballarat and overall honors in The AdvertiserWomen’s Criterium Series in Adelaide.“It’s certainly been an amazing two months for me and an exceptionalstart to the season,” said Wood. “I couldn’t have asked for more.”Wood’s short term goal is success this Sunday in the Geelong World Cup,the opening round of the UCI World Cup Series, and with her current formshe’ll go in as one of the favorites.“The main aim this year is gaining selection for the Olympics whichis going to be tough because there is so much talent around,” said Wood.Geelong Tour Result
Stage 4 – 115km Lara to Lara
1. Sarah Ulmer (NZL) 3:04:27
2. Nicole Freedman (ISR)  World Team
3. Petra Rossner (G) Team Nurnberger
4. Miho Oki (JPN)
5. Katie Mactier (AUS),  Jayco
6. Tanja Hennes (G), World
7. Rachel Heal (GBR)
8. Sara Carrigan (AUS) QAS
9. Alison Wright (AUS) Nobili – Fanini
10. Hayley Rutherford (AUS) – Nobili-Fanini, all same timeFinal General Classification
1. Oenone Wood (AUS), AIS 6:13:50
2. Katie Mactier (AUS), Jayco, 0:06
3. Katherine Bates, 0:08
4. Louise Yaxley (AUS), – JAYCO, 0:18
5. Sarah Ulmer (NZL), 0:21
6. Sara Carrigan (AUS), – Qld Academy of Sport , 0:30
7. Kathryn Watt (AUS), Freedom Machine, 0:31
8. Margaret Hemsley (AUS), Team Nurnberger, 0:35
9. Deirdre Barry  (USA), T Mobile, 0:35
10. Kristin Armstrong (USA) T Mobile, 0:36
Final Points Classification
1. Oenone Wood – 9 pts
2. Katherine Bates – 8 pts
3. Katie Mactier – 6 pts