Spring has sprung and the Subaru National Road Series basked in all its glory in the Surf Coast Shire today, as the 2015 Amy’s Otway Tour got underway with a criterium in front of huge crowds on Mountjoy Parade in Lorne.

The race was animated with multiple attacks and strong head winds but it was Tasmanian Georgia Baker of the High5 Dream Team who sprinted to victory ahead of Subaru NSWIS NKC Team’s Ashlee Ankudinoff with Total Rush Hyster rider Ruth Corset in third.

An injury to Tessa Fabry reduced the High5 Dream Team to only three riders, making Georgia Baker’s win all the more thrilling, with thanks sent to her tireless teammates, Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) and Kendelle Hodges (Vic), for their contribution to her win.

‘That was one tough race, that’s for sure! I definitely wasn’t feeling it that entire race and I was just hanging in there to be honest, so I tried to look after myself.’

‘I’m glad I’ve got great teammates here who helped me out.’

‘It all came down to positioning in that last 300 metres and I’m lucky I could come up the inside where there was less wind, and hold off Ashlee (Ankudinoff), so I’m really really happy.’

The race started in a carnival atmosphere. Fans and locals lined the hotdog circuit drinking in the sunshine and were treated to a flurry of attacks early.

Specialized Securitor, Holden Women’s Cycling Team and Total Rush Hyster were well represented in the early breaks, and it was Bridie O’Donnell in particular who was controlling the peloton when she wasn’t launching her own solo attacks.

Holden’s Laurelea Moss made the most of the cracking pace, picking up points in three of the four intermediate sprints to lead the Sprint Championship after Stage 1.

Going into the 109km road race tomorrow, Georgia Baker has a ten second lead over both Ashlee Ankudinoff (NSW) and Laurelea Moss (Qld) with Subaru National Road Series leader Ruth Corset (Qld) a further fifteen seconds back.