Stage 1 Trophee d’Or, France
Trophee d’Or has been on the womens cycling racing calendar for many years, dating back to 1997. Some of our past great Aussie female cyclists have fared very well here in the overall standings:
- 1999: Tracey Gaudry 1st and Alison Wright 3rd
- 2001: Sara Carrigan 3rd
- 2002: Emma James 2nd and Hayley Brown (nee Rutherford) 3rd
- 2003: Olivia Gollan 1st and Oenone Wood 3rd
- 2004: Alison Wright 2nd
Our Aussie line up for 2013 consists of Grace Sulzberger, Emily Roper, Chloe McConville, Amy Cure, Taryn Heather and guest rider Rachel Neylan. It is great to welcome Rachel into the team after what has been a tough year dealing with injury.
The 5 day, 6 Stage tour is all based in one region in France, Cher, which is smack bang in the middle of France! The town in which we are staying (Saint-Amand-Montrond) loves its cycling and also hosted the finish of Stage 13 of the Tour de France this year, where Cavendish won! We had a win even before the tour started in scoring team car number one for the convoy, certainly a good omen for a great tour!
Much of the terrain in this area involves narrow, twisty and undulating roads exposed to the wind, making for tough racing. The race headed North-West today so the solid westerly wind meant crosswinds for most of the race, and it certainly played its part in splintering the field.
In the last 30km, the peloton had split into 4 groups fighting the wind, we had 4 girls in the 2nd split and 2 who made the front group in Chloe and Emily! Chloe put herself in the race and went with the attacks from this front group but in doing so dipped too much into the red, which left her wanting and dropped back to the group behind with her teammates… but an awesome effort!
Amy bridged across to join Emily in the front group which had split again with a breakaway of 5 riders off the front. Emily worked her turns for Amy in the chasing group before dropping into the bunch behind. A special mention for this lady today, a classy ride well beyond her tender age of 19, well done today Em!
The front breakaway of 5 riders went to the finish line with a minute lead and Marianne Vos celebrated the win. Amy sprinted 3rd in her bunch for 8th place overall on the stage.
It’s a double stage day tomorrow with a 17.8km TT in the morning and a 78.3km road race in the afternoon.