There was much talk about the strength of the GreenEDGE team in the men’s race but the girls didn’t disappoint heading in with a very, very strong line up.
We really couldn’t be enjoying a better start to the season at GreenEDGE-AIS, and christening this fledgling team beautifully. We’re racing well together, and listening to one another and really backing each other up."
— Battle of Buninyong: Shara Gillow on the Australian National Road Race Champs
Although Gilmore maintains that her situation could be a lot worse, and seems unconcerned that her rivals are well ahead of her at this point in time with just three spots on the women’s road team available for the London Olympic Games in July.
"I think with the GreenEdge girls that any one of them could make the Olympic team, they’re all very strong," Gilmore admits. "For me mentally coming here racing against them and being very close to their form it gives me a lot of confidence because I was in hospital having surgery under general anaesthetic when they were in training camp.
"You’ve also got Chloe [Hosking] and Loren Rowney from outside GreenEdge so I think the Olympic selection is very open given we haven’t had the first international race of the season yet. We really need to wait until February to see who’s at world level.""
Competing at the highest of level of anything tends to make people appreciate the little things less. But for me, just finishing the Australian National Road Race on Saturday has left me with a certain sense of accomplishment. Crossing the line dropped, cramping and a few places off last I really did feel like saluting; because after four attempts I’d finally finished.
Held every year on the same notoriously hard course the Aussie nationals are most definitely not taylor made for a sprinter. A ten kilometer circuit with a three kilometer climb ridden ten times translates to 30% of climbing. Combine this with usually soaring temperatures and it goes without saying that the nationals hold a special place in my heart…right next to my hatred for university assignment due dates."
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit, 3:19:49
2. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) HTC-Highroad, s.t.
3. Nicole Cooke (GBr) MCipollini-Giambenini, s.t.
4. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) HTC-Highroad, s.t.
5. Irene van den Broek (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl, s.t.
6. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl, s.t.
7. Iris Slappendel (Ned) Garmin-Cervélo, s.t.
8. Martine Bras (Ned) Dolmans Landscaping, s.t.
9. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Highroad, s.t.
10. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products UCK, s.t.
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit, 287 points
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit, 280
3. Emma Johansson (Swe) Hitec Products UCK, 212
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Highroad, 163
5. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) HTC-Highroad, 143
6. Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo, 117
7. Emma Pooley (GBr) Garmin-Cervélo, 111
8. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl, 108
9. Martine Bras (Ned) Dolmans Landscaping, 103
10. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) HTC-Highroad, 85
espnW: Were you ahead the whole time?
RF: There was a group of five of us who got ahead of the pack. We worked together really well. With politics, you don’t always have that. Then, with about 1km to go, three of us broke away. Right near the finish, I decided I was going to kick it and sprint around the other two.
espnW: What did it feel like to cross the finish line?
RF: When I crossed the line, I didn’t really think about that the fact that I’d won. I was in shock.
I am the captain for our team [NOW and Novartis for MS], but we lost our sprinter Friday because she broke her arm. Another member of the team fell and went to the hospital — she got a big divot taken out of her knee. We went to nationals with five riders and finished with three, so it’s amazing our team was able to pull it off."
Nice little interview with the new USA Road Race Champion