Lynne Clarke (A grade), Alex Green and Jen Bullock (B grade) recently represented Manly Warringah in the Peter Blackshaw Canberra Women’s Tour. This consisted of 4 races over 2 days – two road races, an individual time trial and criterium. There were around 65 women competing across two grades from NSW, ACT, QLD, VIC and NZ including some of the best female riders from around the country.
Saturday morning saw the time trial in the morning and first road race in the afternoon. Canberra didn’t disappoint with very windy, cold and difficult conditions. Lynne went into the Tour in excellent form however had her work cut out for her, competing against some big names in the NRS including Ashlee Ankudinoff a national champion on the track. She had strong and consistent performances on day one finishing 5th in the time trial and 1st in the road race. Alex had a phenomenal time trial to finish in 3rd place with Jen racing solidly to finish mid GC. Alex & Jen toughed it out against some strong climbers, local Canberra women and a very strong Boss Racing team to both finish mid GC in the road race on day one.
Sunday saw extremely treacherous conditions including gale force winds, rain and technical descents for the second road race. Due to health reasons Alex withdrew from all Sunday racing which left Lynne & Jen flying the MWCC flag. Lynne was a marked rider and had a number of teams working against her with the plan to leave her isolated – something that Lynne is no stranger to and used to riding as an individual in the NRS against teams. After covering a number of repeated attacks, Lynne finished in 5th place. Jen had a solid road race to finish consistently in mid GC.
The gale force winds and heavy rain continued into Sunday afternoon with Kangaroos on the crit course to also contend with. Over half the A & B grade fields withdrew due to the freezing and dangerous conditions.
Lynne toughed it out to finish 3rd overall on GC amongst an elite field. Well done Lynne on an excellent job and to Alex and Jen for competing in their first ever Canberra Tour. We look forward to some strong results to come from these ladies with Lynne preparing for Battle of the Boarder, Alex on track for the Paralympics in Rio next year and Jen competing in the State Masters and remainder of the NSW women’s series.