Wells wins Australian cycling title

By , 11 Jan 2013

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    Canberra doctor Kimberley Wells started this year with three cycling goals she could only dream of achieving.

    Her outstanding win on Thursday night at the Australian road cycling championships in Ballarat means the 27-year-old must wipe the slate clean and re-set her ambitions.

    Wells outsprinted Queenslander Loren Rowney in a photo finish to win the elite women’s criterium on Sturt St.

    It followed her win last week in round one of the Bay Classic criterium series.

    Wells had wanted to make the top 10 overall in the Bay Classic, make the podium of a Classic round and then stand on the podium for the criterium at the nationals.

    She will now sit down with her coach, Olympic gold medallist Sara Carrigan, and start again having ticked all those boxes.

    “I’m really going to have to sit down and do some goal setting,” Wells said.

    “For a lot of the girls, they want to get to the Olympics, they want to get to the worlds, that’s a real step-up.

    “It feels like a pipe dream at this point, but so did wearing this jersey and that’s just happened.”

    National women’s road coach Martin Barras said Wells was definitely attracting attention with her form.

    “We started paying a lot of attention not just to her results, but the way she was racing,” he said.

    “There’s obviously a lot of bridges to be crossed before we talk about national team, Europe, anything of that nature.

    “But the one thing is a winner is a winner.”

    Rowney and Wells were on either side of the road at the last bend as the bunch set up for the final sprint.

    After the long 400m uphill grind, Wells won by less than a wheel length.

    “When I hit the line, I just knew,” Rowney said.

    “I went a little bit too early – I didn’t want to get in a drag race with her.

    “But coming around the final bend, she went right, I went left – I took the risk.”

    ACT rider Gracie Elvin won the bronze medal, while Queenslander Emily Roper was ninth to win the under-23 section ahead of Jessica Munday (SA) and Jenelle Crooks (Qld).

    Earlier on Thursday afternoon, WA rider Bradley Linfield won the men’s under-23 criterium title ahead of Joshua Taylor (NSW) and Andrew Martin (WA).

    They were in a break of six riders that contested the final sprint.

    Overwhelming pre-race favourite Caleb Ewan, one of Australian cycling’s hottest young stars, missed the key move and his rivals effectively marked him out of the race.

    © AAP 2014
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