On a weekend that saw the High5 Dream Team put on a teamwork masterclass, Rebecca Wiasak has taken back to back stage wins to seal overall victory in the 2016 Amy’s Otway Tour. Wiasak also takes home the Sprint Classification, while her teammate Lucy Kennedy won the Mountain Classification. The exclamation point on a dream two days of racing was the Teams General Classification victory, almost two minutes ahead of their closest competitors.
Known more for her sprinting prowess than her climbing, Wiasak used the inspiration of the leaders’ jersey to climb with the best riders in the National Road Series, picking up bonus seconds to extend her general classification lead to forty-three seconds as she crossed the finish line victorious.
‘It’s been an exciting weekend for the High5 Dream Team, we won the Queen of the Mountain, Sprint Classification, two stages, overall General Classification and Teams General Classification, so it was a brilliant weekend all around.
‘In the commentary yesterday Ian Maher said I couldn’t climb over a cherry nut so I wanted to prove him wrong, and I think the leaders’ jersey gives you super powers! I was on a pretty light Willier bike and I had my teammates around me as well in support.
‘It was fairly controlled up the first climb, I was positioned well, and I was kicking myself that I didn’t go for the QOM points there so I made sure I picked up some time bonuses at the sprint point and second QOM as well. Once it was all together approaching the Great Ocean Road I just needed to stay relaxed and focussed on the finish to pull off the second stage win.
‘In the last 10 kilometres I was really nervous, my legs started to cramp a bit on the approach into Lorne. It’s a little bit undulating so every time the road rose up someone tried to go away. There was a really solid attack with about five kilometres to go, but the bunch had been whittled down by then, and it was Ruth (Corset), Lisen (Hockings) and I just following each other’s wheels. Ruth and I were on either side of Lisen (Hockings) and both went at about the same time, but I was able to get the jump first and go head down. I didn’t even salute today, I wanted to make sure I finished it off,’ said Wiasak.
Lucy Kennedy has made a habit of taking Queen of the Mountain jersey home from National Road Series events, and she continued that tradition today, picking up points on both intermediate climbs on the stage.
‘I’ve gotten into the habit of winning the Queen of the Mountain jersey now, so I always want to win it now.
‘The first climb today was a strange climb as everyone was still together, so it wasn’t until the last 500 metres that I found a good spot to attack. That one was a pretty clear win, then for the second one Justine (Barrow) was up the road so it was a bit more of a fight for second, but I needed the points to take the jersey.
‘It was a really successful weekend for the team, Beck had an absolute blinder, and it was really fun to support her towards the end today when I was doing a lot of work to chase down anyone who attacked , so I had a lot of fun doing that. It’s good fun when you have a really strong teammate that you’re working for and I had a lot of confidence that she would pull it off today.
‘I’m really excited about the National Capital Tour next weekend, it’s a short turn around, I’ll go home for three days, then pack up and head to Canberra. It’s going to be an interesting tour because there is a hilly time trial then a stage finish up Black Mountain, then the rest of the tour is pretty flat, so again it will be interesting to see which cards we play,’ said Kennedy.
The High5 Dream Team will be back in action from Friday 16 September at the National Capital Tour, where hometown hero Rebecca Wiasak will look to continue her winning ways.
Images copyright Con Chronis