Reports from Australian Junior Women’s Road Coach Donna Rae- Szalinski: Belgium Kermesses:
Hulste Kermesse, 31 August
The Australia Junior Women’s road team competed in a 50km kermesse in Hulste, Belgium.
Team member Emily McRedmond again rode away from the field to score an emphatic solo victory, crossing the line more than two minutes head of the bunch. Team mates Alex Nicholls, Maddy Marshall and Alex Manly controlled the front brilliantly, covering the numerous attempts to chase down the break. With Emily’s win secured, the team then executed a precision lead out for Alex Manly to secure second, Alex Nicholls sixth and Maddy 12th.
The team’s professionalism in their first foray into European racing is testament to their commitment and to the valuable experience gained from racing in the Subaru NRS in Australia this year.
In the senior race, Sarah Roy officially finished third – with some pundits actually placing her second – with support from Sam De Riter who put in a huge effort to bring back a breakaway approximately one third into the race.
Merksem Kermesse, 2 September
The Australian Junior Women’s road team partnered with the senior development riders in an 80km kermesse in Merksem. The race consisted of 10 laps around a flat 8km circuit with strong winds buffeting the riders.
Aggression was the order of the day with Sam De Riter featuring in a two rider breakaway for 3.5 laps. Sarah Roy provided valuable leadership for the junior riders who were active throughout the race, attacking and covering as requested. Despite the aggression, the race came down to a bunch sprint with Sam setting a solid tempo for the final few kilometres to set up Sarah for the sprint. Sarah then unleashed a blistering sprint to take the win over Rabobank’s Thalita De Jong.
The team now has a four day training block prior to tackling another three kermesses next Friday to Sunday.