Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley - Stage 2 - Criterium

8:57 pm Unknown 0 Comments

Criterium at Wangaratta Airport

After my last crit I knew that I needed to balance all the TT work I have been doing to deal with the short sharp efforts to attack and recover.

Secretly I love a crit on a nice wide track that is not too technical to interrupt the racing where the riders make the fun. Maybe that is part of the appeal of the St Kilda Crits that will start up soon enough in October again.

Stage Center - Von in flight down the main straight

There was the usual tussle for the front line of the start and I made some ground from third row once we were underway. You could feel the nerves of the bunch and as I had not ridden the course before, I was a little concerned as to how tight the corners for the Hotdog were going to be.

What I was more concerned about before the first turn was the surface of the circuit. I'm not sure if they had newly laid the tarmac, but they had certainly not swept it. With 85 ladies ripping over the top, there were missiles of rock being flicked up and all I could think of was popcorn and magic gum. I was hit on the face, helmet, sunnies, and all over really. We compared battle scars after with little nicks from the rocky impact.

The race was pretty slow with nothing getting away. All breaks were chased back, the bunch was so big you could sit in the slip stream and stay out of trouble, I got to try out moving up the bunch with team mates in tow for the first time - no problems with plenty of tarmac to get around on.

Minda and Von take on the WORLD with our S-Works

The hairpin turns were hilarious at the beginning, most people were dive bombing straight at the barriers, washing off all their speed and having to sprint out of the corner to get back up to bunch pace. After a while it was apparent the best line was the usual racing line where you come in fast and wide, wash off a little speed and scoot around wide and fast out of the turn.  Thank goodness there were no crashes on that cheese grater surface it would not be pretty.

We managed to launch my team mate Tayla Evans off the front into the headwind alone for a solo breakaway. She is a gun sprinter and managed to pick up a few points during the intermediate sprint laps.

The final sprint

All in all I was pretty happy with the crit and managed to make up 1 place in GC to come in 26th overall and in the bunch kick for 44th across the line.

Stage 2 Full Results

Check out the SBS wrap up mini movie of the stage here:

Photo and SBS footage bike supplied by Thule!

You Might Also Like