Italian cyclist Valentina Scandolara won the general classification to take out the women's elite series of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic.
Italian cyclist Valentina Scandolara won the general classification to take out the women's elite series of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic. Courtesy Mitchelton Bay Cycling

International riders claim Bay Crits

THE Bay Cycling Classic may be an Australian institution, but the 2017 yellow jerseys were won by riders from Italy and the UK who rode as though possessed to claim their victories in Victoria on Tuesday.

Italian sprinter Valentina Scandolara (Ale) put her heart into the pedals and rode at a blistering pace to win the general classification for the elite women's series when she took out fourth place in stage 3 of the 28th edition of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Williamstown on Tuesday, making good the prediction by international cycling commentator Phil Liggett.

Swooping around the Melbourne suburban circuit, 26-year old Scandolara showed she had more than enough determination to take the coveted yellow jersey ahead of the 2012 and 2016 Australian road champion, 28-year old Amanda Spratt, who finished third in the GC and third in stage 3.

But it was 23-year old Jessica Allen riding for Orica-Scott who won the final stage, proving her ability which saw her placed third in stage one - and take out the jersey for most aggressive rider at Williamstown.

An effervescent Scandolara enjoyed the traditional bubbly spray and said it was a team effort that got her the win ahead of series favourite and former team-mate Spratt (Orica-Scott), who won stage 2 in Portarlington on Monday.

"It's great. It's a target we wanted at the beginning of the series,” Scandolara said.

"I'm really proud of my team Ale Cycling.”

Ale rider, Queensland's Ellen Skerritt, 19, took out third place for stage 3.

However, Spratt's courageous riding was rewarded when she was presented with the blue jersey indicating she won the points classification.

A good sport, she congratulated Scandolara and paid tribute to her team.

"All credit to Valentina,” she said.

"We were happy to (ride) and support Jessica.”

Italian sprint star and cycling's favourite honorary Australian, Valentina Scandolara (Ale), won the yellow jersey for the 2017 Bay Cycling Classic at Williamstown, Victoria.
Italian sprint star and cycling's favourite honorary Australian, Valentina Scandolara (Ale), won the yellow jersey for the 2017 Bay Cycling Classic at Williamstown, Victoria. Con Chronis

Union Cycliste International vice-president and former number three world champion, Tracey Gaurdy, said the women's racing had been sensational throughout the event, regarded as the fastest criterium series in the world.

"As someone who raced here decades ago, this event is the start proper of the summer of racing,” she said.

Veteran cycling commentator Phil Liggett said the women rode extremely well.

Meanwhile, in the men's elite race, records were broken as riders blitzed up to 65km with the tailwind as Australian sprint star and three-times event winner Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) took out the final stage.

Ewan, 22, who fell badly in stage 1 and came fifth in stage 2, found fuel in what his competitors must have hoped was an empty tank.

"I knew (Brenton) Jones was on my wheel in the second last corner and it's a hard one to come back from, but I had to back myself to come home early and it paid off,” he said.

"Obviously, coming into this stage without a win puts on a lot of pressure. I'm super happy with the way the team rode today.”

In stage 3, former winner 25-year old Brenton Jones (JLT Condor) and Matthew Gibson (Condor).

Cameron Bayly (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) took out the points classification blue jersey, while the most aggressive jersey went to Nathan Hass (VTwoTeam).

Hass said the circuit didn't suit his type of riding but he loved the competition.

Race director and former cycling great John Trevorrow said Ewan gave a fantastic performance and was looking good for the 2017 Cycling Australia Road National Championships which start tonight.

"Now he's the favourite going into the Road National Criterium in Ballarat,” he said.

"But Ballarat's lot harder than this - Sturt St is a sold climb -(but) still he'll be hard to beat.”

Ian Bibby (Condor JLT), 30, a former British champion, won the yellow jersey, making him the first UK rider and only the second international to win.

"It's fantastic,” he said.

"It's the first of the year and for the team, there wasn't anyone who wasn't playing a part.”

Now many of the MBCC riders are heading to Ballarat for the national championships which finish on January 8, with Australia's best set to battle for the coveted green and gold jerseys in the criterium, time trial and road race.

Sprint star Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) overcame injuries when he crashed in stage 1 to take out stage 3 of the Bay Cycling Classic at Williamstown on January 3.
Sprint star Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) overcame injuries when he crashed in stage 1 to take out stage 3 of the Bay Cycling Classic at Williamstown on January 3. Con Chronis

Olympic Games and WorldTour star riders Rohan Dennis, Amanda Spratt, Simon Gerrans, Katrin Garfoot and Caleb Ewan will headline a stellar field that also includes former champions such as Shara Gillow, Michael Hepburn, Gracie Elvin, Luke Durbridge, Peta Mullens, Miles Scotson, Kimberley Wells and Cameron Meyer.

SBS cycling commentator Matt Keenan said his picks for the twilight criterium were Kimberley Wells and Caleb Ewan.

"Caleb's biggest threat is Brenton Jones but Jones's his biggest threat is he had no teammates to support him,” Keenan said.

RESULTS 2017 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic

Elite Women Stage 3

Time/Gap

1. 4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott) 45:24

2. 26 Lucy BECHTEL (Specialized Women's Racing) +6

3. 15 Ellen SKERRITT (Alé Cycling) +12

4. 13 Valentina SCANDOLARA (Alé Cycling) +28

5. 7 Yumi KAJIHARA (Novotel Geelong / Japan) +28

6. 2 Sarah ROY (Orica-Scott) +28

7. 11 Minami UWANO (Novotel Geelong / Japan) +28

8. 1 Amanda SPRATT (Orica-Scott) +28

9. 5 Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN (Orica-Scott) +28

10. 14 Chloe HOSKING (Alé Cycling) +28

11. 34 Désirée EHRLER (Maaslandster Veris CCN) +28

12. 20 Liza RACHETTO (Hagens Berman | Supermint) +28

13. 27 Matilda RAYNOLDS (Specialized Women's Racing) +28

14. 3 Jenelle CROOKS (Orica-Scott) +28

15. 45 Jemma EASTWOOD +28

16. 33 Kylie WATERREUS (Maaslandster Veris CCN) +35

17. 9 Kie FURUYAMA (Novotel Geelong / Japan) +35

18. 25 Madeline WRIGHT (Specialized Women's Racing) +36

19. 21 Megan ALDERETE (Hagens Berman | Supermint) +36

20. 52 Natalie REDMOND +58

21. 17 Hayley JONES (Alé Cycling) +58

22. 8 Miho YOSHIKAWA (Novotel Geelong / Japan) +1:30

23. 22 Beth Ann ORTON (Hagens Berman | Supermint) +1:30

dnf 10 Yuya HASHIMOTO (Novotel Geelong / Japan)

dnf 16 Philippa SUTTON (Alé Cycling)

dnf 28 Verita STEWART (Specialized Women's Racing)

dnf 31 Carley MCKAY (Maaslandster Veris CCN)

dnf 32 Verena EBERHARDT (Maaslandster Veris CCN)

dnf 35 Melissa ROBINSON (Maaslandster Veris CCN)

dnf 37 Tayla EVANS (Total Rush)

dnf 39 Jessica LANE (Total Rush)

dnf 40 Aimee INGRAM (Total Rush)

dnf 44 Edie HALEY

dnf 46 Ruby ROSEMAN-GANNON

dnf 47 Carina NEWMAN

dnf 48 Leeana-Kate JAMES

dnf 50 Emma PANE

dnf 51 Grace PHANG

Number of starters: 38

Riders abandoning the race: 15

General classification (final result)

1. 13 Valentina SCANDOLARA (Alé Cycling) 24 pt

2. 4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott) 21

3. 1 Amanda SPRATT (Orica-Scott) 18

4. 7 Yumi KAJIHARA (Novotel Geelong / Japan) 16

5. 2 Sarah ROY (Orica-Scott) 14

6. 19 Peta MULLENS (Hagens Berman | Supermint) 13

7. 53 Shannon MALSEED 12

8. 5 Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN (Orica-Scott) 11

9. 26 Lucy BECHTEL (Specialized Women's Racing) 10

10. 3 Jenelle CROOKS (Orica-Scott) 10

11. 15 Ellen SKERRITT (Alé Cycling) 8

12. 14 Chloe HOSKING (Alé Cycling) 8

13. 11 Minami UWANO (Novotel Geelong / Japan) 7

14. 21 Megan ALDERETE (Hagens Berman | Supermint) 2

Most Aggressive Rider

4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott)

Intermediate Sprint 1

1. 2 Sarah ROY (Orica-Scott) 3 pt

2. 14 Chloe HOSKING (Alé Cycling) 2

3. 4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott) 1

Intermediate Sprint 2

1. 26 Lucy BECHTEL (Specialized Women's Racing) 3 pt

2. 4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott) 2

3. 15 Ellen SKERRITT (Alé Cycling) 1

Sprint Ace Competition (final result)

1. 1 Amanda SPRATT (Orica-Scott) 9 pt

2. 2 Sarah ROY (Orica-Scott) 6

3. 26 Lucy BECHTEL (Specialized Women's Racing) 5

4. 14 Chloe HOSKING (Alé Cycling) 4

5. 4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott) 4

6. 3 Jenelle CROOKS (Orica-Scott) 3

7. 20 Liza RACHETTO (Hagens Berman | Supermint) 2

8. 15 Ellen SKERRITT (Alé Cycling) 1

9. 13 Valentina SCANDOLARA (Alé Cycling) 1

10. 53 Shannon MALSEED 1

Teams classification (final result)

1. Orica-Scott 66 pt

2. Alé Cycling 40

3. Novotel Geelong / Japan 23

4. Hagens Berman | Supermint 15

5. Specialized Women's Racing 10

2017 Elite Men Stage 3

Time/Gap

1. 1 Caleb EWAN (Orica Scott) 1h00:00

2. 21 Brenton JONES (Condor JLT) +0

3. 84 Mathew GIBSON (Condor) +0

4. 26 Ian BIBBY (Condor JLT) +4

5. 13 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) +4

6. 42 Samuel SPOKES (Total Rush) +4

7. 22 Ed CLANCY (Condor JLT) +6

8. 5 Mitch DOCKER (Orica Scott) +6

9. 25 Alex FRAME (Condor JLT) +10

10. 24 Ali SLATER (Condor JLT) +14

11. 73 Benjamin HILL (GTR) +16

12. 43 Jake MAGEE (Total Rush) +16

13. 2 Michael HEPBURN (Orica Scott) +19

14. 64 Joel WALSH (Team 7 Eleven RBP Continental) +21

15. 14 Neil VAN DER PLOEG (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) +31

16. 71 Koen DE KORT (GTR) +31

17. 23 Jon MOULD (Condor JLT) +31

18. 83 Edmund BRADBURY (Condor) +46

19. 82 James GULLEN (Condor) +48

20. 31 Nathan HAAS (VTWO Team) +54

dnf 4 Damian HOWSON (Orica Scott)

dnf 11 Scott SUNDERLAND (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness)

dnf 16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness)

dnf 32 Steele VON HOFF (VTWO Team)

dnf 33 Nathan ELLIOTT (VTWO Team)

dnf 36 Nicholas WHITE (VTWO Team)

dnf 41 Zakkari DEMPSTER (Total Rush)

dnf 45 Joseph LEWIS (Total Rush)

dnf 46 Joel STRACHAN (Total Rush)

dnf 51 Paul JONES (Maker Flanders)

dnf 52 Nicholas NORDEN (Maker Flanders)

dnf 54 Steven CUSWORTH (Maker Flanders)

dnf 56 Jack SUTTON (Maker Flanders)

dnf 61 Jesse EWART (Team 7 Eleven RBP Continental)

dnf 62 Josh BERRY (Team 7 Eleven RBP Continental)

dnf 63 Tristan WARD (Team 7 Eleven RBP Continental)

dnf 72 Michael FREIBERG (GTR)

dnf 75 Calvin WATSON (GTR)

dnf 81 Robert MCCARTHY (Condor)

dnf 85 Max BEYER (GTR)

Number of starters: 40

Riders abandoning the race: 20

Final result

1. 26 Ian BIBBY (Condor JLT) 29 pt

2. 84 Mathew GIBSON (Condor) 24

3. 1 Caleb EWAN (Orica Scott) 18

4. 21 Brenton JONES (Condor JLT) 17

5. 13 Anthony GIACOPPO (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) 16

6. 42 Samuel SPOKES (Total Rush) 14

7. 2 Michael HEPBURN (Orica Scott) 12

8. 12 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) 10

9. 16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) 9

10. 34 Patrick LANE (VTWO Team) 5

11. 22 Ed CLANCY (Condor JLT) 4

12. 5 Mitch DOCKER (Orica Scott) 3

13. 24 Ali SLATER (Condor JLT) 3

14. 73 Benjamin HILL (GTR) 3

15. 76 Alistair DONOHOE (GTR) 3

16. 25 Alex FRAME (Condor JLT) 2

17. 31 Nathan HAAS (VTWO Team) 1

18. 11 Scott SUNDERLAND (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) 1

Most Aggressive Rider

31 Nathan HAAS (VTWO Team)

Intermediate Sprint 1

1. 31 Nathan HAAS (VTWO Team) 3 pt

2. 42 Samuel SPOKES (Total Rush) 2

3. 16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) 1

Intermediate Sprint 2

1. 16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) 3 pt

2. 73 Benjamin HILL (GTR) 2

3. 23 Jon MOULD (Condor JLT) 1

Intermediate Sprint 3

1. 25 Alex FRAME (Condor JLT) 3 pt

2. 4 Damian HOWSON (Orica Scott) 2

3. 5 Mitch DOCKER (Orica Scott) 1

Sprint Ace Competition

1. 16 Cameron BAYLY (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) 16 pt

2. 73 Benjamin HILL (GTR) 8

3. 2 Michael HEPBURN (Orica Scott) 4

4. 1 Caleb EWAN (Orica Scott) 3

5. 25 Alex FRAME (Condor JLT) 3

6. 31 Nathan HAAS (VTWO Team) 3

7. 12 Jesse KERRISON (IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness) 3

8. 4 Damian HOWSON (Orica Scott) 3

9. 42 Samuel SPOKES (Total Rush) 2

10. 35 Robbie HUCKER (VTWO Team) 2

10. 72 Michael FREIBERG (GTR) 2

12. 5 Mitch DOCKER (Orica Scott) 2

13. 3 Luke DURBRIDGE (Orica Scott) 2

14. 23 Jon MOULD (Condor JLT) 1

Teams classification (final result)

1. Condor JLT 52 pt

2. IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness 35

3. Orica Scott 33

4. Condor 24

5. Total Rush 14

6. GTR 6

7. VTWO Team

2017 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic

Masters Support Race: Williamstown

1. 7 Damien JONES (Carnegie Caulfield) 29:50

2. 14 Sam PICKERING (St Kilda) +0

3. 8 Stephen LANE (Coburg) +3

4. 19 Marcus WARNER (Alpine) +29

5. 17 Mitchell VERVAART (Norwood) +29

6. 11 Robert PARKINSON-CUMINE (Southern Tasmanian) +29

7. 15 Pierre PINO (Brunswick) +29

8. 22 Robert YOUNG (Albury-Wodonga Panthers) +29

9. 20 Joshua WILLIAMS (Geelong) +33

10. 2 Matthew BOWMAN (Ballarat / Sebastopol) +37

11. 21 Cam WOOLCOCK (Hawthorn) +1:15

dnf 1 Lynden BLACKLEY (Melbourne Cycling League)

dnf 5 Brad EASTICK (Brunswick)

Race time: 29:50

Number of starters: 13

Riders abandoning the race: 2



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