Promising start for the High5 Dream Team as Australian Criterium Champion Kimberley Wells sprints to 12th place in the opening stage of the Santos Women’s Cup NRS event.
The first day of racing was full of excitement for all involved – marked by constant attacks, halted due to a train and ending with a sprint finish which came up a lot quicker than many of the top sprinters may had thought.
Despite the drama, Italy’s Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) escaped from a lead group of riders containing High5 Dream Team’s Kimberley Wells and three time Junior World Track Champion Georgia Baker with less than 20km remaining of the 59km stage to ride to the finish line in Murray Bridge solo.
Kendelle Hodges and Jessica Mundy crossed the line closely behind, safely in the main peloton.
Although the team didn’t pick up a win, team director Donna Rae-Szalinski was pleased with how the rider performed on their debut outing.
“Our goal for the tour is to chase stage wins.
“We made some mistakes today which ultimately cost us having more riders in the front group at the finish but at the end of the day, I am very pleased with the way the girls worked together as a team.
“The riders are loving their new Wilier bikes and have accustomed really well to the new super record electronic EPS componentry.”
The race continues tomorrow evening with a 40 minute criterium in East Adelaide.
“Tomorrow is a new day and with it being a criterium race it obviously suits our strengths quite well. We are definitely going to be giving it a good crack.”
Santos Women’s Tour, 17th – 20th January
Stage 1: Jayco Road Race – Woodside to Murray Bridge, 59km
Stage 2: Jarvis Subaru Criterium – East End, Adelaide, 40 minutes
Stage 3: Jarvis Subaru Road Race – Tanunda to Campbelltown, 71km
Stage 4: Jayco Criterium – Victoria Park, Adelaide, 1 hour 10 minutes