After two silver medals in the last two editions, Ruby Roseman-Gannon (BikeExchange-Jayco) climbed to the top step of the Australian criterium championships on Friday.
Roseman-Gannon started as the pre-race favorite and lived up to that billing with a powerful sprint from the breakaway on Sturt St in Ballarat. Josie Talbot (Sydney Uni Staminde) took silver in the winning group of 11 with Peta Mullens (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) taking third place.
It took more than half of the 35 laps of the race for the first major attack to land with Amber Pate (Inform TMX Make) pulling away from the peloton. This move ultimately came to nothing, as did the following ones, but when Lisa Jacob (Knights of Suburbia) attacked with seven rounds to go, the winning break was formed.
Among those who followed Jacob to form a nine-rider group were Roseman-Gannon, Talbot, Matilda Raynolds (Inform TMX Make), Mullens, Anya Louw (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) and Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM). With four laps to go, the gap to the peloton was 15 seconds as Pate and Roseman-Gannon’s only teammate, Alexandra Manly, broke away from the peloton.
This pair joined the leading pack with two laps to go, before Manly came out on top to give Roseman-Gannon an impressive lead.
“I’ve wanted it for a very long time and finishing it in my first race with the Team BikeExchange-Jayco complete kit means so much,” said Roseman-Gannon. “I can’t thank Alex Manly enough – she rides for people all the time, she’s the most selfless rider, and I couldn’t have done it without her, so I just want to thank her for riding so perfectly.
I knew Alex would give me a perfect lead and I just didn’t want to get locked in. I saw someone come up inside of me so I knew it was time to go and I just gave it my all and I just did a thousand times what I practiced and I passed! I couldn’t be happier, I’m speechless, really.
For Roseman-Gannon, the win is just the latest in a golden month for the 23-year-old. In December she won all four legs and the overall at the Sunshine Coast National Road Series tour, and last weekend she won both legs and the overall at the Bay Crits. She will start Sunday’s road race as one of the big favourites.
“I think road racing is definitely more of a challenge,” Roseman-Gannon said. “But listen, Alex and I are a small team, but we’re a strong team and we’re going to give it our all.”
In the U23 race – contested at the same time as the elite title – Louw won gold from the front runners ahead of Bradbury. Keely Bennett (Knights of Suburbia Racing) took bronze from the main field, 35 seconds behind.