In her final race with the High5 Dream Team, Kendelle Hodges charged home to finish fourth in the 2016 Shimano Supercrit, narrowly missing out on the final podium spot to Peta Mullens.
After being positioned towards the front of the peloton throughout the hour long criterium, along with her High5 Dream Team teammate Rebecca Wiasak, Hodges was disappointed to finish off the podium in her last race with the team.
‘I would have liked to have placed a little higher than fourth, especially since it was our last race together, it would have been nice to sign off with a big result.’
The race started with a flurry of attacks from the Total Rush team, but with the firepower in the 70-rider strong peloton, it was always going to be difficult for a break to get away. Lucy Bechtel of Specialized Women’s Racing leapt off the front of the peloton in the final third of the race to take the second sprint preme and went on with the job, finally being reeled in with just two laps remaining.
‘I have not ever raced a St Kilda club criterium where a breakaway succeeded. Given the quality of the field, I was fairly confident it would come down to a bunch sprint at the end. There were a few solo attacks and a couple of small groups that had gaps but they couldn’t stay away, leaving it for a big bunch sprint.
‘The peloton had really strung out by the last corner with Nettie Edmondson and Chloe Hosking taking the lead into the final corner. If only Nettie had got the correct line to the sprint finish she would have been a good chance to take the win. Congratulations to Valentine Scandolara on coming round them to finish first.’
For Hodges, it is now time to step onto a bigger stage in 2017, when she will race in the USA with Colavita Bianchi.
‘The Supercrit was my last race with the High5 Dream Team. It has been a fantastic two years full of great memories. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to be part of the team. I’m not the only one moving on next year and I think it is exciting to see what 2017 will bring for those moving on to new teams and those who will be with the High5 Dream Team again in 2017. Personally, I am really excited for the new challenges and race opportunities with Colavita Bianchi in 2017 and thank the team, staff, and sponsors for my time with the Dream Team.
Australian Madison Championships
In a full weekend of racing, Saturday night saw four High5 Dream Team riders in action at The Austral and Australian Madison Championships.
Georgia Baker, also racing her last High5 Dream Team race before joining Orica-Scott in 2017, finished fourth in the Australian Madison Championships, narrowly missing out on a podium finish with her teammate Amy Cure.