Copyright: Con Chronis

Holden Women’s Racing has a reasserted its place at the top of Subaru National Road Series, with an overall tour win by Portland local, Shannon Malseed at the Tour of South West.

After not placing in the previous two stages, Malseed worked hard in today’s criterium to pick crucial time bonuses which catapulted her into the Tour leader, and into the overall Subaru NRS individual leader – previously held by teammate Louisa Lobigs.

“I slipped into the GC lead which was a surprising result for me but I am really happy with it.” said Malseed

“It was a classy field here at the Tour and it was just great to race against those girls and this is what we love doing, we love racing our bikes. So, when it’s really hard it’s even better. To get the GC win is fantastic for me.”

“It was an unexpected surprise to become the overall series leader, my teammate Louisa [Lobigs], held the leader’s jersey going into this so it’s cool that we kind of share it around [Holden Cycling Team]”

The Tour, the second event for women in the 2017 Subaru National Road Series (NRS), opened with Holden grabbing a clean sweep of the time trial won by reigning Subaru NRS champion Lisen Hockings (Holden) before Sophie Mackay of Specialized Women’s Racing took the win in a tough road race.

The third stage, a criterium. held in the seaside town of Peterborough featured sunny conditions, albeit extremely windy. World champion and Olympian, Ash Ankudinoff came away with the win in criterium to finish 3rd in the general classification.

Criterium Recap
After a hard day in wet and cold conditions yesterday, the riders welcomed sunny conditions in Peterborough, Victoria.

With Holden cycling leading the general classification and the team’s classification at the start of day three, it was important for riders to pick up time bonuses to remain in contention against the powerhouse that is Holden Cycling.

The conditions heading into the race were sunny but extremely windy, and with the back straight of the course flat and open, it strung out the field very quickly leaving riders with nowhere to hide.

Ash Ankudinoff (NSWIS Sydney Uni Cycling Team) set the tempo early to form a five rider breakaway, this early move set the mood for the race and led to her eventual win.

“It was a very tough race right from the go, with Louisa Lobigs going right from the gun. I positioned really well and made sure I was in the top ten throughout the whole day and it wasn’t until halfway through there was an attack and six of us got up the road.”

“I knew I had to back myself and have confidence in my sprint and it worked perfectly, I knew that if I came into a bunch sprint at the end and there weren’t many Holden girls then I’d have a really good chance of winning. It as a hard race and I am happy to come away with the win.”

The breakaway group of riders all worked hard to avoid getting caught. The breakaway consisted of Sophie Mackay (Specialized Women’s Racing), Emily Roper (High5 Dream Team), Anya Louw (TIS Racing), Shannon Malseed (Holden Cycling)