Soeder takes early Geelong lead

Austria's Christiane Soeder leads after the first day of the Geelong Tour thanks to victory in the p

Austria's Christiane Soeder leads after the first day of the Geelong Tour thanks to victory in the p

PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM

Austrian Christiane Soeder (Univega) claimed opening honours in stage one of the Geelong Tour today, an 8km time trial at Portarlington. Soeder, who in a former athletics career claimed the German title in 800m and 1500m and has medalled twice at the World Duathlon Championships, posted a time of 11-07.510 to defeat Russian Svetlana Bubnenkova by five seconds, with New Zealand's Melissa Holt third.

Soeder, a qualified doctor, has been in Australia during the summer to take advantage of the good weather and training conditions in her bid to be in top form this year with her eye on the road World Championships being staged in Salzburg, Austria in September. But her early season training has already paid off.

"It was really nice for me to win here because there are very strong riders here," she said. "We held a training camp in Melbourne for six weeks, so we are looking forward (to performing well this week)."

Holt, one of New Zealand's Commonwealth Games hopes, was happy with her third place in the breezy conditions. "You always notice the wind and there was a definite headwind going out and a tailwind coming home but the conditions were pretty perfect really for time trialing," said Holt. "We're five weeks out from the real big competition for the Commonwealth countries and hopefully the form is coming."

In the second stage, a 30km criterium also at Portarlington, Australian Rochelle Gilmore sprinted to victory ahead of 10-time German champion Ina Teutenberg with world number one and defending Geelong Tour champion Oenone Wood third.

"It was pretty fast and you had the Nrnburger and T-Mobile girls up there trying to get a lead out for their riders and it was obvious that Oenone and Ina Teutenberg would be the two fastest sprinters there," said Gilmore. "I just felt confident at the finish with a lap to go, I knew that I'd done the work the last few weeks I've had a good preparation and great support from my coach Warren McDonald."

Gilmore rides with the Safi Pasta Manhattan pro team and has several of her team-mates with her for support in Geelong where last year she won the opening round of the World Cup Series. In addition, Australian cycling legend Phil Anderson has stepped in as team manager for the week.

"Training with Phil Anderson and Simon Gillett I've had the perfect preparation and if I had not have won I would have been questioning why because the work was there. I've had so many good people supporting me, everything the last few weeks has been running perfectly."

Wood, for her part, was mostly happy with the day but a little disappointed with the final sprint in the second stage. "I stuffed the sprint a little bit this afternoon, I ran into Ina's back wheel and luckily I held it up but it didn't help me for the finish," said Wood, who is now three seconds off race leader Soeder overall. "I was happier with this morning which gave me an indication that I'm on the right track and I'm a lot better than I was in January.

"I've got the World Cup at the end of this week, that's a major goal, the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games and then the rest of the European season, I've got a couple of big months ahead," said Wood, who has claimed the World Cup for the past two years. "We want to win it this weekend, so that's going to be a big ask because there's a lot of awesome riders here."

Soeder finished safely with the front group on the second stage to maintain her overall lead, but the margin has slimmed with Wood now only three seconds in arrears after picking up bonus seconds for the intermediate sprints and third place on stage two, with Holt sitting third, four seconds off the lead.

Stage 1, Portarlington time trial

1 Christiane Soeder (Aut) Univega 8km in 11.07.51 (43.11kph)
2 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Russia 0.05
3 Mellisa Holt (NZ) Bike New Zealand
4 Oenone Wood (Aus) Nrnberger Versicherung 0.11
5 Natalie Bates (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport 0.14
6 Sarah Ulmer (NZ) Bike New Zealand 0.18
7 Katherine Bates (Aus) Nrnberger Versicherung 0.21
8 Kristen Armstrong (USA) USA 0.25
9 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Univega 0.27
10 Judith Arndt (Ger) T-Mobile 0.34

16 Olivia Gollan (Aus) Nobili Rubinetterie 0.40

Stage 2, Portarlington criterium

1 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) 30km in 56.55 (31.63kph)
2 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) T-Mobile
3 Oenone Wood (Aus) Equipe Nrnberger
4 Hayley Brown (Aus) Chase Sydney
5 Joanne Kiesanowski (NZ) Univega
6 Sarah Ulmer (NZ) Bike New Zealand
7 Kate Nichols (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport
8 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Cheerwine
9 Gina Grain (Can) Giant
10 Tina Mayola-Pic (USA) USA

Overall

1 Christiane Soeder (Aut) Univega 1.08.02
2 Oenone Wood (Aus) Nrnberger 0.03
3 Mellisa Holt (NZ) Bike New Zealand 0.04
4 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Russia 0.05
5 Natalie Bates (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport 0.14
6 Sarah Ulmer (NZ) Bike New Zealand 0.16
7 Katherine Bates (Aus) Nrnberger Versicherung 0.21
8 Kristen Armstrong (USA) USA 0.25
9 Priska Doppmann (Swi) Univega 0.27
10 Ina Teutenberg (Ger) T-Mobile 0.28

14 Olivia Gollan (Aus) Nobili Rubinetterie 0.40

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
  • Discipline: Road, Mountain, Urban, Womens
  • Location: UK, USA, Australia
Back to top