THERE was plenty of drama packed into the three-day Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits, which were held in Geelong and Williamstown and came to an end on Sunday (January 5).
Both the women’s elite and men’s elite general classifications entered the final day with multiple riders on equal points heading into the final sprint.
Commonwealth Games gold medalist and 2018 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race winner Chloe Hosking took her second Bay Crits victory, while fellow Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sam Welsford won his first.
Welsford recovered to take victory in the first stage at Geelong’s Ritchie Boulevard after an early crash. He said winning the Bay Crits was very significant to him.
“There’s a lot of history in this race, I used to watch this race at home on TV as a kid, so to be on the top step and wearing this yellow jersey on the final day is pretty special to me.”
Hosking finished 32 seconds behind race winner Amanda Spratt on the opening day, but won the next two days to finish on top of the standings.
She said she was pleased to have found her rhythm in time to take the win.
“I feel like I’ve ridden into it and starting to feel more fresh, more explosive, more powerful so it’s all positive.”
The second day of the women’s elite event at Eastern Gardens was a bittersweet event. 2018 National Road Championships winner Shannon Malseed was taken to hospital after breaking her scapula in a crash on the final lap of the race.
Race director John Trevorrow reported afterwards that Malseed was “sore but in good spirits”.
Treverrow said the event was a great success overall.
“The racing has just been brilliant, as good as we’ve had in all of 31 years of the Bay Crits.”