Jessica Pratt has put Nationals disappointment behind her to take out the Under 23 Women’s Oceania Road Race in Canberra today.
Pratt finished fourth overall, with High5 Dream Team teammate Lucy Kennedy finishing third to claim two medals from the championships.
The Holden Women’s Racing Team had strength in numbers, going 1-2 in the race with Lisen Hockings and Shannon Malseed, which made the race hard going for Pratt.
‘After being forced out of Nationals due to cutting my knee open with my spoke, I’m really happy to win the Under 23 title today!’
‘It was a very Holden dominated field, they were really strong out there. It was also hard as I was racing for the Under 23 title, which made it a race within the race.’
With strong crosswinds as well as a strong field, Pratt held her nerve, finishing with the cream of the elite women’s crop, and almost six minutes ahead of her closest Under 23 competitor.
‘Going into the race, I was quite nervous. I really wanted to win the Under 23 title, however, I knew there were quite a few very strong Under 23’s in the field, so I knew I was going to be in for a hard day!’ concluded Pratt.
For Oceania Individual Time Trial gold medallist Lucy Kennedy, it was a day of mixed emotions as she crossed the line in third place, picking up her second medal in two days.
‘I think when the dust settles I’ll be happy with two medals. Today was always going to be difficult with Holden Women’s Racing making up 20% of the field, and they played their advantage well.’
‘It was a bit of a frustrating race for me. I felt really strong and third was the best I could manage on the day.’
‘Overall it was a positive couple of days of racing. I’m now going to enjoy a few days off the bike before getting ready for the next block of National Road Series races with the High5 Dream Team,’ added Kennedy.
Images courtesy Kim Palmer