Road

Wood takes over as Rossner scores stage win at Geelong

Australian road champion Oenone Wood, 23, (AIS) took over the leadfrom Katie Mactier, 28, (Jayco) in the Geelong Tour on Tuesday, as PetraRossner (Team Nurnberger) scored a solid sprint win to take stage threeof the four-day Australian stage race.Wood was aggressive throughout the 77.5km stage which offered bonusseconds in three intermediate sprints and at the finish. Wood claimed themaximum three second bonus on the first two sprints to overtake Mactier’slead and also picked up two seconds on the third sprint. Mactier couldn’tcounter her rival’s attack.“I knew Katie (Mactier) would be trying

By Gennie Sheer

Australian road champion Oenone Wood, 23, (AIS) took over the leadfrom Katie Mactier, 28, (Jayco) in the Geelong Tour on Tuesday, as PetraRossner (Team Nurnberger) scored a solid sprint win to take stage threeof the four-day Australian stage race.Wood was aggressive throughout the 77.5km stage which offered bonusseconds in three intermediate sprints and at the finish. Wood claimed themaximum three second bonus on the first two sprints to overtake Mactier’slead and also picked up two seconds on the third sprint. Mactier couldn’tcounter her rival’s attack.“I knew Katie (Mactier) would be trying to get the bonus seconds becauseevery time I rode to the front she would move up as well,” said Wood whowas shadowed throughout the stage by Mactier and the Best Young Rider (U23)leader and third placed overall Katherine Bates, 21, (NSWIS).German national champion and Barcelona Olympic pursuit gold medalist,the 37-year-old Rossner took advantage of the battle for the overall leadto set herself up for a successful sprint for stage honors. She led thepeloton home in a time of 2:03:57 ahead of Sydney’s Rochelle Gilmore, 22,(Team SATS) second with Wood collecting a further four seconds bonus byfinishing third.The intermediate sprints had nothing to do with us (Team Nurnberger)as we have no chance for the overall race win,” explained Rossner. “Somy team did a fabulous job to protect me all day and set me up for thefinish.”The stage was raced under sunny skies along the picturesque Barwon Coastbut the riders were buffeted by unrelenting cross winds along the sevenkilometre beachside stretch of the 15.5km circuit. Numerous riders triedto break away but were unsuccessful as the teams of the main contenderschased them down.“I was treated like a little Queen all day with my team mates ridingbeside me to keep me out of the wind,” said Rossner. “They carried me tothe line and I just had to win.”Rossner admits she had expected Australians to win all four ofthe Tour stages because most of the international riders have come to Australiafrom winter climates and, unlike the locals who have been competing sinceearly January, do not have race form in their legs. However Rossner showedthat even without racing under her belt she can unleash a powerful sprint.But the rider with the hottest form is Wood, who left the AustralianDefence Force Academy in 2001, where she was studying for an electricalengineering degree as a RAAF officer, to pursue a cycling career. In earlyJanuary she won the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic before heading to the BMCSoftware Australian Open Road Championships in Ballarat where she clinchedboth the road race and time trial crowns. A week later Wood was again atopthe podium as champion of The Advertiser Women’s Criterium Series in Adelaide.Wood’s Australian Institute of Sport team will now plan their defenseto ensure the Canberra cyclist takes out the Tour.“I would have liked to have gained a few more seconds on today’s finishbut it will have to do for now,” said Wood who leads Mactier by a slenderseven second margin with Bates third at 10 seconds. Wood also leads thesprint Queen classification while Bates held onto her lead in the BestYoung Rider (U23) competition.Wednesday’s final stage starts and finishes in the town of Lara, northof Geelong. The 115km stage features a short but brutal climb up Mt Wallaceat the 59km mark which will test the legs of all riders. Last year fourthstage honors went to Mactier and Wood was tenth (her AIS team mate OliviaGollan won the Tour). The three were part of a lead group of 15 ridersthat broke away on the climb and maintained a lead across the undulatingfinal 50 kilometers.But Wood, has improved greatly in the intervening 12 months and thepint-sized powerhouse, will be hard to beat.The four stage, four day Geelong Tour features 93 riders representing15 countries and is the lead in event for next Sunday’s opening round ofthe UCI (International Cycling Union) Women’s Road Cycling World Cup Seriesat Geelong’s Waterfront.Geelong Tour Result
Stage 3, 77.5km Barwon Heads
1. Petra Rossner (GER), Team Nurnberger, 2:03:57
2. Rochelle Gilmore (AUS), Team SATS
3. Oenone Wood (AUS), Aus Institute of Sport
4. Tanja Hennes (GER), World Team
5. Nicole Freedman (USA), World Team
6. Frances Newstead (GBR)
7. Bridgett Evans (AUS), Freedom Machine
8. Sara Symington (GBR), Team SATS
9. Katie Mactier (AUS), Jayco
10. Miho Oki (JPN), all same timeGeneral Classification after Stage 3
1. Oenone Wood (AUS), AIS, 3:09:24
2. Katie Mactier (AUS), Jayco, at 0:07sec
3. Katherine Bates at 0:10
4. Louise Yaxley (AUS), JAYCO, at 0:17sec
5. Sara Carrigan(AUS), Qld Academy of Sport, at 0:29
6. Sarah Ulmer (NZL), at0:30
7. Kathryn Watt (AUS), Freedom Machine, at 0:30
8. Margaret Hemsley (AUS), Team Nurnberger, at 0:34
9. Deirdre Barry (USA), T Mobile, at 0:34
10. Kristin Armstrong (USA), T Mobile, at 0:35 secPoints Classification after Stage 3
1. Oenone Wood, 8pts
2. Katherine Bates, 5pts
3. Katie Mactier, 4 pts