A week back in the big smoke after Hell Fire cup we headed south again this time with the Road Bikes for the Stan Siejka Launceton Classic. Always a big event on the calendar, attracting big names in the past the Classic this year had attracted extra attention due to the inclusion of Richie Porte and his team Sky team mate Tour de France winner Chris Froome. It’s fair to say the crowds came out in full force, even with less than ideal weather, It was an all seasons in one day Tassie day!
The Women’s field had also attracted a big name and team field, including the Wiggle and Orica professional teams. The media had come out in full support for the event, including the womens race where for the first time in Australia there was a live broadcast across Australia and further.
Not letting the crowds down the racing was on from word dot, in testing very windy and gusty conditions there was attack after attack. Eventually a selection was made and stayed clear, Bec made the break, which included multipal Orica and Wiggle riders and herself and Kimberley Wells one out.
The Race continued to be fast and attacking right to the line as the leaders tried to get away from each other, and in the main field the same occurred as riders tried to get across to the break. The break held on to the line and despite all the efforts of Wiggle and Orica, Kimberley and Bec held off all the one two attacking to stay in there, and the race come down to a sprint. Kimberley Taking the win, from Gracie Elvin and Eileen Roe, Bec crossing the line for forth in a very hard and exciting race.
The Rain held off for the women, the guys were not so lucky with the first few drop starting as they were presented to the start line. Then a downpour that turned the fast hot mix circuit into a Ice rink, with the pace on it became a matter of staying upright, and as you would expect the field naturally thinned as more and more riders crashed, lots more than once including the eventual winner. Froome and Porte were both involved in crashes and eventually they were a casualty of the hectic contitions. The Race coming down to an exciting sprint finish where Neil van der Ploeg claimed the win from Steele von Hoff and Taswegian Bernard Sulzberger.
All in all, even with the testing conditions, it was an awesome event, with huge crowd support and hard and exciting racing.