SKCC Womens Crit - BikeForce points series – race 1

This week Hannah, Justyna and Jodie from the SKCC/Giant team contested the first in the four race series sponsored by BikeForce. With some big prize money and points for the series up for grabs, the fast girls were enticed to the start line with Jenny MacPherson, Nicole Whitburn and Bec Domange all there to contest.

With some fast sprinters in the race the aim was to make a break stick to avoid a bunch sprint. As soon as the scooter left the course after the first lap, the pace was on, set by Amy Bradley . Jodie was active at the start of the race getting in a few little breaks and creating a break but none of these were successful.

The race saw constant attacks throughout with everyone keen to have a go.  Hannah did a fair bit of work to cover some attacks by Jenny MacPherson and the hard working Bec Domange, who seemed to make it into every break there was.  Again these breaks were reeled back in after some hard work.

Carly Williams put in a number of big attacks throughout the race, never giving up but again none of them stuck. Towards the end of the race Justyna attacked with a final last attempt and her solo break lasted over 2 laps. But the girls were given the ‘3 laps to go’ board and the bunch pulled her back in as the speed increased ready for the final sprint. So a bunch sprint ended the day with Amma Griffiths giving Bec Domange a super lead out but Jenny was too strong taking the win over Nicole with Bec third.

 skcc-crit-231011Carly on the front, the day's most aggressive rider.

Placings – Women’s A grade
1 – Jenny MacPherson
2 – Nicole Whitburn
Most aggressive and winner of a pair of Lake shoes (sponsored by BikeForce) – Carly Williams

Points for BikeForce Series
5 – Jenny MacPherson (SKCC)
4 – Nicole Whitburn (CCCC)
3 – Bec Domange (CCCC)
2 – Delphine Astier (Footscray CC)
1 - Kate Mullarkey (Northcote CC)



What a week! 
Established in 2009, the Honda Hybrid Women’s Tour runs as the support event to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and, this year, was incorporated into the Women’s National Road Series.
Justyna and Alison from SKCC/Giant were joined by SKCC girls Marlena Klaic, Pip Read and new member Heidi Buntrock to form the SKCC team, under the administration of Team Manager Extraordinaire, Super G. 
With 61 entries across 13 teams, including the Russian National Team; VIS; Team SiS - NSW; SASI; Bundaberg Sugar; Suzuki/Trek; Pure Tasmania & Deloitte; and well known locals XOSize and TDT Bikeforce RACE, we were under no illusions. It would be an exciting and challenging 5 day tour!  
In addition to the SKCC team, the club was very well represented by members Amy Bradley (Bundaberg Sugar), Bridget Officer (XOSize), Miranda Griffiths (XOSize),  Ingrid Trotter (Team Blue) and past member Melina Bernecker (briefly back in Aus after a season racing with Herbalife La Grange in USA, also racing with the composite Team Blue).  We were also joined by familiar faces in summer crit/Northern Combine regulars Nicole Whitburn (Team Red), Chloe McConville (VIS), Lisa Jacobs (VIS), and Kendelle Hodges (VIS).

Day 1 saw us lining up for 7 laps of the flat and fast, 6 km, Lake Wendouree (Ballarat) circuit.  Being the first stage, we had anticipated some twitchiness in the bunch as riders settled in for the week of racing, and the first lap did not disappoint.  Unflagged street furniture  proved challenging and lead to a crash-marred stage.  SKCC team members successfully avoided the early crashes,  although the bunch was well split by then with only Heidi  remaining in the lead group .  Sitting  in an impressive position coming into the final kilometre she too had an unfortunate encounter, clipping a witches hat  and coming down.  Fortunately she was able to roll through and finish the stage.   Given the number of riders affected by crashes,  Commissaires made the decision to  give almost all riders bunch time.  Placings:  Sue Forsyth (Team SiS - NSW), Chloe McConville (VIS Womens Road Team), Loren Rowney (Bundaberg Sugar)
Day 2 we headed to the purpose built criterium circuit at Belmont Common (Geelong) for a fast & furious 40 laps of the winding 1 km circuit.  They went out hard from the gun, first lappings occurring after 6 laps, and more than ½ the bunch were pulled off the course by 20 laps. The remaining 20 riders  put on  a first class exhibition of criterium racing. Nearing the last 3 laps, many riders were brought down in a crash just over the start/finish line, including Nicole Whitburn and Melina Bernecker.  Both were able to continue after a lap out, Nicole missing the back of her knicks and Melina yet to learn that her frame was cracked.  The stage saw Loren ROWNEY (Bundaberg Sugar) cross the line in first place, followed by Sue FORSYTH (Team SiS - NSW) and Emma LAWSON (Pure Tasmania & Deloitte).
Day 3 brought a 13km out & back Team Time Trial on the rolling hills between Drysdale and Portarlington. The team was looking forward to working together in the Team Time Trial, and it was likely to be a stage free of drama.  We travelled to Drysdale to recce the course.  Pip, Heidi, Justyna and Marlena didn’t mind the somewhat lumpy course, Alison with her known well known preference for the other side of the hill had a somewhat different opinion of the course to the rest of the team. 
 We got going from a held start (notably Rochelle Gilmore on duty to set Justyna off the line). Pip dropped her chain on the start line, but was able to pedal it back on and catch the rest of the team.  Justyna, Heidi and Pip crossed the line together, stopping the clock at 22:26 putting us in 10th position for the stage, only 2:08 outside Suzuki/Trek’s winning time.  Marlena and Alison rolled in a minute or so behind.   2nd place to VIS (Kendelle Hodges, Lisa Jacobs, and Chloe McConville) and Team SASI (Sinead Noonan, Rebecca Werner and Jess Mundy) into 3rd.
(Photo credit – Leanne Cole Photography)


Australian Masters National Road Championships
Alison and Jodie from the SKCC/Giant team have just completed all 3 events (Time Trial, Criterium and Road Race) in the Australian Masters National Road Championships held in Ballarat. Unfortunately Alison and Jodie are in the same age group (WMAS3) which meant they were competing against each other.
On the first day of competition was the 18.7km Time Trial, an out and back course starting at the Arch of Victory. The road is slightly down hill on the way out and with the added tail wind it was a fast out and not so fast return. Jodie was the first rider off with Alison 1 minute behind Jodie. Alison the TT master passed Jodie at about the 12km mark and powered her way to the finish taking Gold! Jodie managed to hold onto Silver with Melissa McKinley from Mt Gambier taking the Bronze.


Time Trial SKCC medals – Pip Read, Gold (WMAS6), Alison the Gold (WMAS3) and Jodie the silver (WMAS3). Photo courtesy of Alison.


With the commencement of daylight saving the SKCC criterium season kicked off in full swing. The first crit race of the season saw fantastic numbers in the women’s races with SKCC now offering Women’s A, B & C grades! The women’s races have been extended with A grade now racing for 45 minutes plus 3 laps.

Justyna, Alison, Hannah and Jodie from SKCC Giant Women’s team met at Cafe Racer for pre-race coffee and rode to the start line together. Women’s A grade had 20 starters and a good turn out from both the Prime Estate and T.D.T BikeForce Race women’s teams. This week, three SKCC Giant team members lined up on the start line - Justyna, Alison and Hannah. Jodie supported the team from the side lines, Lisa did a great job on the registration desk and Karen competed in another duathalon.

The pace started early in the race with Kate Finegan (T.D.T BikeForce Race) getting an early solo break. This strung the field out and Alison Raaymakers (SKCC/Giant) looked to be the main chaser with the bunch hot on her wheel.

Once Kate was bought back into the fold, a notable breakaway was formed with all the teams represented including Justyna from SKCC.  The non-team racers were keen not to let this one go and Carly Williams and Ingrid Trotter worked hard to bring the break back.

With the girls not content to sit in and roll around, Kate went on the attack again. This time she was bought back fairly quickly, only for Alison to then counter attack. The bunch was attentive and quick to chase. The race ended with a bunch sprint - Nicole Whitburn (Prime Estate) with her killer kick winning the race followed by Kate and Nicole’s team mate Rebecca Locke.

 Alison starting to launch her attack through the finishing straight. . (Photo courtesy of Robbie Moore)


 Hannah and Justyna in A grade women’s field. (Photo courtesy of Robbie Moore)

It was also good to see two of the SKCC Development Squad ladies step up to A grade after racing B grade last criterium season. Well done Grace and Nadine!

Results – Women’s A grade (20 starters)
1 – Nicole Whitburn (CCCC)
2 – Kate Finegan (Hunter District - NSW)
3 - Rebecca Locke (Coburg)

Results – Women’s B grade (12 starters)
1 - Chloe Baggs (Blackburn)
2 - Clare Morgan (3RP)

Australian Masters National Road Championships
Three of SKCC Giant team will be racing at the Australian Masters National Road Championships this week. Jodie and Alison are contesting all three races (criterium, time trial and road race) and are in the same age group (WMAS3). Justyna will be contesting the road race next Sunday in WMAS2. Best wishes to all the team and SKCC members competing.


A sunny day greeted us at Broadford on Saturday.  Sadly the wind was not our friend, the shape of the course ensuring we would be facing a head or crosswind for most of the race with the only relief being a short stretch at the beginning of each lap!

SKCC members were very well represented, making up the entire start list of 14.  This number had however dropped to 10 by start time (We did hear of two who found themselves doing a detour via Kyneton instead of Broadford….lucky it was a nice day for a drive…and we believe the coffee was good there too! Laughing).  While we were very pleased with the SKCC turnout, we strongly encourage the girls from the other Northern Combine clubs to come out and join us next year.

A last minute wardrobe malfunction for Justyna was quickly resolved thanks to Mark Guirguis (Sole Devotion), gentleman that he is, lending a jersey for the race.  (Justyna was relieved to learn she wasn’t alone in this endeavour…see pic below).  In hindsight Justyna wondered if she should have borrowed Mark’s legs too. 


On the start line –Miranda Griffiths, her XOSize team-mate Bridget Officer, Amy Bradley, Cristine Foster, Lisa Byrne, new SKCC member Lucy Millar (returning from injury and switching to cycling to compete in her first ever road race), Eliza Bergin, Fiona Carden and SKCC Giant team represented by Alison and Justyna.

The first 10kms were uneventful.  As expected, Miranda launched an attack on the first short pinchy rise, Bridget not far behind, Amy and Cristine making up the four.  Unable to hang on, Justyna joined by Alison, Fiona and Lucy, chased hard with the front group teasingly just out of reach. 
Although they kept the front group in sight for much of the first lap, the relentless wind and dwindling numbers in the chase group eventually took its toll and it became painfully clear that the leaders were slowly moving out of sight and the race was done.

Congratulations to Miranda who solo-ed the 2nd lap for gold, Bridget kicked on the second last rise to the finish and got silver, Amy held off Cristine for bronze.

Women: 2 Laps/66km           
1 3 Miranda GRIFFITHS  (St Kilda) Elite  1h56:22
2 7 Bridget OFFICER  (St Kilda) Elite  +3:22 
3 15 Amy BRADLEY  (St Kilda) Elite  +3:31 
4 12 Cristine FOSTER  (St Kilda) WMAS3 +3:54 
5 5 Justyna LUBKOWSKI (St Kilda) Elite  +11:37 
6 13 Alison RAAYMAKERS (St Kilda) WMAS3    
7 14 Fiona CARDEN  (St Kilda) WMAS4 +15:08

Team Activities for the week ending 25th of September

Jodie trained around the Frankston and Beach road area plus did the SKCC monthly meander on Sunday.

Hannah was the ride coordinator on the Thursday ride from Racer; she was joined by Alison and Justyna.  The ride was low on numbers (6-8) but high in energy and enthusiasm.


None of the team raced this week, however some of the team will be at the Northern Combine Road Championships this coming weekend.
Plus on Sunday the team will be attending the SKCC Women’s Networking BBQ.

Alison, Hannah and Justyna went on a training ride together to Mt Eliza.

Other places the team could be seen training this week –

Lisa is having a bit of a rest at the moment.

 Alison also was training at Kew, Beach Rd.

 Justyna was also training in Kew, Beach Rd and Dandenongs.

 Hannah was training at the Dandenongs

 Jodie was training around Frankston, Beach Rd and Kyneton area.

 Karen was training at Kew and commuting to uni at Footscray Park and St Albans.


This week the team raced at the Northern Combine Hawthorn Trophy Race. Unfortunately only 3 of the team were able to make it to the start – Justyna, Alison and Jodie.

The forecast for the day was hail, rain and strong winds. Luckily it was dry but the winds were strong. This became a telling factor in the race as the bunch split as it made it particularly hard to chase and rejoin.

The race for Women’s A grade was 8 laps of the 8km course, however with the start/finish ½ around the course at the top of the climb that meant 9 laps in total. The climb is just over 1km long and averages 5.6%, with KOM (or Queen of the Mountains in our case) for lap 2, 4 & 6.

Before we started there was a depleted field in Women’s A grade, with 3 DNS and 1 rider dropping down to B grade there was only 8 contesting the Hawthorn Trophy Race with no Hawthorn women in sight! However there was Lisa Jacobs (VIS/AIS), Stephanie Ives (Cycling-Inform), and SKCC’s Ingrid Trotter and Amy Bradley – a quality field! Heading out to the start a few km around the course the pace already seemed high – and this was neutral. Alison advised there was a tail wind but I knew this was not going to be an easy day in the saddle.

At the top of the climb first time we got the call ‘your now racing’! The pace lifted a little and the whole bunch started working together with Lisa letting us know which side to roll through on as the wind was getting us from all sides. About ¾ the way though the first lap we unfortunately dropped our first rider – Von who was contesting her first A grade race, top effort Von for having a go on a tough course with some quality riders. The rest of us stayed together until first QOM lap, near the top Stephanie kicked it up with only Lisa able to follow. However, it was enough to split the field with Ingrid and Amy not too far off, then Jodie just ahead of Justyna. Alison had dropped off a bit before the first QOM.

Jodie managed to chase back onto Ingrid and Amy and they were working well together until Jodie stopped due to a red flag from the corner marshal. After just having chased, Jodie just could not catch them again. A bit further behind Alison rode solo to get back to Jus then helped Jus rejoin Jodie only to drop off again. Justyna and Jodie talked about chasing – Ingrid and Amy, that seemed like a good idea until the wind picked up and they were just not making any ground.

In the end Jodie and Jus decided that the goal was to finish, Alison with one of the biggest engines around rejoined AGAIN! and the SKCC/Giant team motivated each other to continue. Hearing the bell signalling only 1 lap to go was pure joy, before we knew it we were approaching the rise heading to the corner to tackle the last climb. Jus and Jodie side by side rode across the line together with Alison not too far behind. Finishing out of the placings but happy that it was over!

The final results:
1 – Stephanie Ives
2 – Lisa Jacobs
3 – Ingrid Trotter

Other Activities
Alison, Hannah and Justyna attended “Understanding Bike Racing” – presented by Bec Domange in Melton.  The session was well atttended by women from clubs around Victoria, including many from St Kilda.  We would like to thank Bec for her time and effort, and Gaelene for her continued effort in helping racing women (and also for the marvellous catering on a cold and windy day).

Places the team could be seen training this week –
Lisa was training around Beach Rd and Elwood area.
Justyna was training in and around Melbourne.
Jodie was training around Frankston, Mornington and Beach Rd.
Alison’s training this week had been Beach Rd, Kew & wind trainer.
Hannah was training in the Dandenongs on Saturday, and easy spins on Beach Rd mid week


The big news this week is that Hannah is back from her long European vacation and took no time to get back to the familiar Beach Rd training.

With no racing this weekend the team focused on training.

Places the team could be seen training this week –

Lisa did some training at Kew and the Dandenongs.

Justyna has been training on Beach Rd and Frankston area. Justyna also lead the Thursday SKCC kit ride and was supported by Alison.

Jodie was training around Frankston, Mornington and Beach Rd. Plus ran the Cycling-Inform indoor cycling classes on Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Alison was training at Kew, Mt Eliza and Beach Rd.

Karen was training at Kew Blvd and Beach Rd.

Hannah was training around Beach Rd.


SKCC Road Championships.

A sunny but cool day greeted a record turnout for the SKCC (World) Road Championships, with a field of 20 lining up for the start of the women's race.  As well as competing for the title of SKCC Road Champion, Masters 2/3 and Masters 4/5 women were also vying for age group honours.  The first section of the race was under control and a good thing too! The badly scarred road was a bit of a surprise to those of us who have raced this circuit before and crosswinds gave us a hint of the challenge we were to face as the race played out over following 3 laps.


It didn't take long for the attacks to begin. Bridget Officer launched proceedings but was quickly brought back by Justyna Lubkowski.  Clearly the xosize girls would need to be marked closely!  It wasn't an overly hilly course, but it was expected that Miranda Griffiths would take advantage of a steep section half way around the circuit to make her attack.  When the bunch didn't react quickly enough she got away on the rise.  Amy Bradley, Tanya Matthewson and Justyna Lubkowski, keen to bring back the break, were vocal in their encouragement to organise a paceline for the chase.  They were soon joined by Nadine Le Mescam, Cristine Foster, Alison Raaymakers and Marlena Klaic.  The girls put in solid turns and could see Miranda up the road.  By the second half of lap 3 it was clear we were now racing for 2nd and 3rd.  As we neared the last climb, the back of the bunch found a renewed energy to fight it out in the sprint.  It was a well deserved win to Miranda Griffiths who raced solo for 50 kms, her team mate Bridget Officer in second place, and Nicole Justice in third.  The Masters 2/3 category was dominated by SKCC Giant with Jodie Batchelor proving too strong in the sprint for Justyna Lubkowski and Cristine Foster and the Masters 4/5 title was claimed by Fiona Carden.

Elite/Masters 1 Masters 2/3 Masters 4/5

Miranda Griffiths
Bridget Officer
Nicole Justice

Jodie Batchelor
Justyna Lubkowski
Cristine Foster

Fiona Carden

Overall results for the SKCC Giant team –
5th Jodie Batchelor
6th Justyna Lubkowski
13th Alison Raaymakers
16th Lisa Coutts

National Duathlon Series - Canberra Edition

Karen headed to Canberra on the weekend to compete in the Canberra edition of the Australian duathlon series (5km run/30km ride/2.5km run).
The race start was split up, with females under 50 going off 4 minutes before the guys under 50. The girls set a cracking pace at the start, but I was determined to  race my own race and not get caught up in the frantic start. It paid off, as a few of the front runners started to tire, I was able to reel a few in. Coming out of T1 and onto the bike I was in 6th place.

The bike leg was 3 laps of an undulating course with a slight head wind in one direction. The course was  hillier than I expected, which was to my advantage. I could see where the girls in front of me were and I slowly picked them off. I was able to push the hills and head wind hard and really capitalise on the tail wind. By the second lap I had made up 3 places and was feeling strong so kept on powering along to catch the girl in 2nd place by the start of the 3rd lap. By the end of the 3rd lap I had caught first place and we came into T2 together.

The Canberra local was too strong on the last run and was able to take the overall female win. I came in 2nd female and won my age group. This was a good result considering I couldn’t train all week due to an infected blister on my little toe and my foot not fitting into any shoes until the Friday. And I figured if my foot could fit in my shoe I should be right race.

Other places the Team could be seen:

Jodie: could be seen training at Cycling-Inform Indoor Training Sessions and Beach Rd/Frankston area.
Lisa: was training on Beach road and Kew Blvd.
Alison was the Thursday ride coordinator, joined by Justyna playing the role of gatekeeper.  The ride was well attended and partcipants were really pleased with the agenda for the ride and the follow-up email from Alison with pointers on bunch riding and rolling turns.

Karen managed a training session at Albert on Saturday before heading to Canberra.




SKCC/Giant Team report – week ending 21st August 2011.

Pop Stewart Handicap
It was a perfect day for a bike race; blue skies and little wind.  I'll be honest, I don't love handicaps, but they are good training.

Joining me in the 16min bunch was fellow SKCC chick Eliza Bergin. 16 mins was called up, we pushed off and rolled steady turns.  I was happy to play a part in the effort.  My memory is vague but maybe three-quarters of the way into the 1st lap the 14 min group went past and we surged up, it got a bit messy.  I rolled a couple of turns and knew that I wouldn't be able to hold that pace, decided to sit in.

Michael Sparke was unhappy to have passengers and attempted to shell the back of the bunch several times.  I should have been paying more attention, I tried to chase back on but couldn't do it.

So I rolled on, eventually with some others who had been dropped, and then more kms on my own.  I knew that there were still faster bunches behind me, but wasn't certain that I'd be able to hang onto them.  A lap and a half on your own is not fun but I wanted to finish.

As a fast bunch went past I managed to get onto the back of it, I think I probably stayed there for half a lap, they were moving well, I was sitting too close to the back and getting in the way, with a hill approaching I knew I was about to get dropped.  I enjoyed the scenery until the finish line.

So there it is; my perspective on the Pop Stewart Handicap at Kyneton. (by Justyna Lubkowski) 


Justyna looking relaxed pre race.

Women’s Criterium – Casey Fields
Blackburn hosted their first Women’s criterium at Casey Fields. They are trying to make this a regular feature on their race calendar when they are racing at Casey Fields. There were 11 women that competed in this first event including Jodie Batchelor from the SKCC/Giant team plus other SKCC members Amy Bradley and Grace Phang.
The women’s race was 35 minutes plus 2 laps. The race was on the bottom circuit turning at the top of the small climb each lap as the juniors were racing on the small front loop. However for the last 2 laps the women had the full course. 


 Jodie and Grace in the women’s criterium – photo Still Waters Photography.

A few of the ladies struggled with the pace as the field split into a few groups, however the lead group had 7 riders. Everyone was watching Carly Williams (CCCC) and Amy, as they were setting the pace and looked like they were working together. However all of the leading 7 riders were still together when it came to the final lap. This resulting in the pace dropping right off and the field rode around 4 wide using the full width on the circuit. The sprint was started by Carly with Amy on her wheel but young Chloe Baggs from Blackburn a track rider and W15 State criterium champion powered past her with Hannah Bush (Footscray) also a track rider following closely. Final placings were Chloe, Hannah, Jodie and Emma Lyall (CCCC).

Places the team could be seen training this week –
Lisa did some training at Kew and the Dandenongs.
Justyna has been training in and around Melbourne.
Jodie was training around Frankston and commissaired at the Rob Vernon Memorial on Sunday.
Karen could be seen on the burbs ride Thursday night, Kew blvd Saturday and finished the week off with a loop from Richmond/Lillydale/Mt Evelyn/Monbulk/Emerald/Ferntree Gully/Richmond.
Alison this week has been training at Kew, Beach Rd, and some quality time with her wind trainer.


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