In a pulsating edition of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, High5 Dream Team’s Lucy Kennedy has finished fourth, narrowly missing a place on the podium after making the decisive split of the day, just 16 kilometres before the finish.
‘Fourth place stings, but I can’t really complain about being fourth in a field like that! I’m pretty stoked.’
‘In the first part of the race I actually got into a bit of trouble in the crosswinds as I was caught off guard and had to do more work than I would have liked to early on.’
As the race approached the Geelong waterfront, Kennedy made her move, escaping with Orica-Scott rider Gracie Elvin. The duo established a small break on the peloton before the fireworks of the final climb of the day.
‘The last 30-40 kilometres were really hard work, which was what I was hoping for. Once the hills started I felt like I was climbing really well so I took advantage of that where I could and actually went early with Gracie Elvin on the first long drag climb.’
‘We had a decent gap, but I wasn’t getting any help so we got caught, then it was a matter of jumping onto the moves of the riders who caught up, and hanging on, then trying to get away when I could.’
Emma Pooley, racing for Holden Women’s Cycling, looked to have made the decisive move of the day, however, she was caught with 2.5 kilometres to go, and the race would be settled in a sprint by the five leaders of the break.
‘I was on my limit when Emma Pooley went away so I couldn’t go with her, but it was one of her versus five of us who were all pretty motivated to win so I wasn’t too worried about it as we were working pretty well together.’
‘Unfortunately, we caught Emma on the final rise and there weren’t any hills left! From then on it settled down a little bit, and I was cramping by that point, so I was trying to conserve as much energy as I could and hoped that at the end of a long race my sprinting legs would get me on the podium, but I just missed out.’
The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is the final race in a busy summer of cycling for the High5 Dream Team, who will next be in action when the Subaru National Road Series gets underway with the Tour of East Gippsland on February 18 & 19.