Italian rider Valentina Scandolara took out the GC in Stage 2 of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic at Portarlington yesterday.
Italian rider Valentina Scandolara took out the GC in Stage 2 of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic at Portarlington yesterday. Courtesy MBCC

Blood and grit on show at the Bay Crits

THERE were crashes, blood, tears and more blood when team Orica-Scot took the wins in the men's and women's elite in stage 2 of the 28th edition Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic at Portarlington near Geelong on Monday.

This follows from Sunday's racing when Valentina Scandolara (Ale) and the UK's Ian Bibby (Condor JLT) emerged victorious from stage 1, the former adding to her stage success at last year's event and the latter taking a surprise victory after the big-name favourites crashed out on the final corner of the men's race.

Known as the Bay Crits, the event regarded as the fastest criterium series in the world, the women took no quarter when it came to sorting out a podium finish, but Amanda Spratt who won the women's event at the 2016 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race showed enormous grit and class when she almost lapped the field to comprehensibly claim the yellow jersey in the women's race.

The 2012 London Olympian was well supported by team-mates Jenelle Crooks and Rio Olympian Dutch rider who crashed and broke a vertebra, Annemiek Van Vleuten to take first, second and third respectively.

Spratt also took out second place in the general classification, behind former Orica team-mate, Italian sprinter and honourary-Australian,Valentina Scandolara of Ale Cycling and Peta Mullens (Hagens Berman | Supermint) in third.

According to veteran racing commentator Phil Liggett, Spratt's victory came down to her won hard work and that of superior team tactics.

The man who has been referred to as 'the voice of cycling' for four decades, calling the Tour de France and CEGORR, said Orica-Scot effectively shut down Scandolara.

"Team Orica-Scot rode with a plan and they stuck to it,” Liggett said.

"Amanda Spratt could win tomorrow if they plan to use the same tactics, they put the pressure on as all of the team rode in the breakaway, the five Orica riders put pressure on Scandolara.”

But Liggett said the Italian sprint star was his pick for Stage 3 of the event which is held in Melbourne's Williamstown on Tuesday January 2.

However he said Spratt was gunning for a top podium finish to put her in the right frame of mind ahead of the CDGORR later in the month.

"She really wants to defend her title.”

The men's race was also a battle after three time event winner cycling sprint star Caleb Ewan who was everyone's prime favourite to make four yellow jerseys and a hat-trick of wins came undone in a painful crash.

The two-time defending champion had led the field into the last corner at Geelong Ritchie Boulevard during stage 2 circuit for the sprint finish when he crashed heavily.

In the men's elite, Michael Hepburn (Orica-Scot) took out the yellow jersey, ahead of two-time defending champion Caleb Ewan after he crashed heavily while leading the field into the last corner at Geelong Ritchie Boulevard circuit for the sprint finish.

While Ewan appeared to have escaped serious injury, his left shoulder and hip was shredded and despite riding courageously, he could only claim fifth place.

Liggett said it was great shame as he'd acknowledged it was his own fault he crashed.

"The accident with Caleb has more or less disqualified him the taking the serries,” he said.

Event organiser and former cycling great John Trevorrow said Ewan showed a lot of grit.

"Caleb was in pain and (yet) he made the an attack early on, despite the fact he lost a lot of the skin on his shoulder,” he said.

"But the way the British riders rode, Bibby could take out the men's series.”

RESULTS Top 10 Elite Women Stage 2 at Portarlington

1. 1 Amanda SPRATT (Orica-Scott) 45:14

2. 3 Jenelle CROOKS (Orica-Scott) +1:37

3. 5 Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN (Orica-Scott) +1:38

4. 19 Peta MULLENS (Hagens Berman | Supermint) +1:38

5. 7 Yumi KAJIHARA (Novotel Geelong / Japan) +1:38

6. 13 Valentina SCANDOLARA (Alé Cycling) +1:40

7. 2 Sarah ROY (Orica-Scott) +1:40

8. 11 Minami UWANO (Novotel Geelong / Japan) +1:40

9. 53 Shannon MALSEED +1:40

10. 4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott) +1:40

RESULTS Top 10 Elite Men Stage 2 at Portarlington

1. 2 Michael HEPBURN (Orica Scott) 1h00:23

2. 26 Ian BIBBY (Condor JLT) +6

3. 84 Mathew GIBSON (Condor) +6

4. 21 Brenton JONES (Condor JLT) +8

5. 1 Caleb EWAN (Orica Scott) +8

6. 42 Samuel SPOKES (Total Rush) +8

7. 13 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) +8

8. 73 Benjamin HILL (GTR) +9

9. 16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) +9

10. 31 Nathan HAAS (VTWO Team) +9

RESULTS Support Men Stage 2

Time/Gap

1. 50 Angus LYONS (Ballarat / Sebastopol) 44:53

2. 9 Patrick BURT (Hawthorn) +13

3. 8 Isaac BUCKELL (Bendigo & District) +33

4. 42 Thomas JONES (Carnegie Caulfield) +35

5. 40 Cameron IVORY (Hunter District) +59

6. 38 Evan HULL (Carnegie Caulfield) +1:15

7. 37 Caiden HULL (Carnegie Caulfield) +1:15

8. 72 Godfrey SLATTERY (Blackburn) +1:15

9. 29 Riley HART (Brunswick) +1:15

10. 19 Rowan DEVER (St Kilda) +1:15

11. 13 Nicholas CANTERBURY (St Kilda) +1:15

12. 79 Ben WALKERDEN (Carnegie Caulfield) +1:15

13. 67 Jordan SCHMIDT (South West) +1:15

14. 63 Allan SATCHELL (Stawell-Great Western) +1:18

15. 61 Liam PINO (Brunswick) +1:18

16. 23 Liam EDWARDS (Shepparton) +1:20

17. 26 Alexander EVANS (Bendigo & District) +2:07

18. 2 Sam BASCOMBE (St Kilda) +2:17

RESULTS Top 10 Masters Stage 2 at Portarlington

1. 9 Tom LEAPER (Blackburn) 25:39

2. 7 Damien JONES (Carnegie Caulfield) +35

3. 8 Stephen LANE (Coburg) +35

4. 17 Mitchell VERVAART (Norwood) +1:34

5. 19 Marcus WARNER (Alpine) +1:57

6. 11 Robert PARKINSON-CUMINE (Southern Tasmanian) +2:24

7. 18 Adrian VIZZARI (Coburg) +2:24

8. 21 Cam WOOLCOCK (Hawthorn) +2:26

9. 23 Craig EASTWOOD +2:26

dnf 3 Mark BUCKELL (Bendigo & District)

dnf 13 Craig PEACOCK (Cycling Victoria)

dnf 16 Andy SCHEP (Geelong)

dnf 20 Joshua WILLIAMS (Geelong)

dnf 22 Robert YOUNG (Albury-Wodonga Panthers)

Race time: 25:39

Number of starters: 14

Riders abandoning the race: 5

RESULTS Juniors Stage 2 at Portarlington

1. 4 Samuel BUCKELL (Bendigo & District) 24:47

2. 16 Angus MCLEAN (Wangaratta) +0

3. 9 Graeme FRISLIE (Brunswick) +0

4. 8 Harry MORGAN (Blackburn) +2

5. 12 Joshua HEATHER (Carnegie Caulfield) +4

6. 3 Jesse NORTON (Ballarat / Sebastopol) +11

7. 5 Kaleb HENERY (Bendigo & District) +11

8. 14 Bill SIMPSON (Carnegie Caulfield) +11

9. 6 Sam GALLAGHER (Blackburn) +1:56

10. 10 Henry DIETZE (Brunswick) +1:56

11. 11 Ben JONES (Carnegie Caulfield) +1:56

12. 13 Ben FOSTER (Carnegie Caulfield) +1:56

13. 21 Neve BRADBURY (St Kilda) +1:56

dnf 1 Malachi COVINGTON (Marconi)

dnf 2 Noah DOWLING (Vics)

dnf 7 Jonathan MARR (Blackburn)

dnf 15 Anakin WILLIAMS (Carnegie Caulfield)

dnf 17 Rebel BROOKER (Wagga Wagga)

dnf 18 Olivia SENS (Bendigo & District)

dnf 19 Elizabeth NUSPAN (Brunswick)

dnf 20 Isla BRADBURY (St Kilda)

Race time: 24:47

Number of starters: 21

Riders abandoning the race: 8

7. 18 Adrian VIZZARI (Coburg) +2:24

8. 21 Cam WOOLCOCK (Hawthorn) +2:26

9. 23 Craig EASTWOOD +2:26

dnf 3 Mark BUCKELL (Bendigo & District)

dnf 13 Craig PEACOCK (Cycling Victoria)

dnf 16 Andy SCHEP (Geelong)

dnf 20 Joshua WILLIAMS (Geelong)

dnf 22 Robert YOUNG (Albury-Wodonga Panthers)

Race time: 25:39

Number of starters: 14

Riders abandoning the race: 5

RESULTS Para Cycling January 1, 2017

1. 54 Lachlan O'BRIEN (Preston) 6 min 19:36

2. 53 Gabriel BOURIS (Brunswick) 2 min 30 sec +41

3. 52 Alexander WELSH (Leongatha) Scratch +41

4. 51 Michael TAYLOR (Echuca/Moama) Scratch +0

Race time: 19:36

Number of starters: 4



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