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New South Wales rider Rochelle Gilmore has finished third in the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup round in China after the Australian team put in an outstanding performance to set up a bunch sprint.
Germany's Ina Teutenberg (HTC Columbia) won the 139km race ahead of Kirsten Wild (NED - Cervelo Test Team).
"The team did a lot of work today in difficult conditions but they never gave up and ultimately that hard work put us back in to a position to race for a win," said Australian women's road coach, Martin Barras. "I am very satisfied with their racing today."
Gilmore's team mates Carly Light, Shara Gillow, Vicki Whitelaw, Tiffany Cromwell and Carlee Taylor were forced to take charge of the race after a split in the bunch left Australia without a rider in the front group.
"It was a pretty hard task today for the girls after we missed the split," said Gilmore. "The five of them had to chase hard for 65 kilometres swapping off turns at the front and they gave it 100 percent.
"We wouldn't have got on the podium if the team didn't do what they did."
With ten kilometres remaining the Australians had reeled in the field with the exception of German pair Judith Arndt (HTC-Columbia) and Charlotte Becker (Cervelo Test Team).
"They had 35 seconds and it was up to us to bring them back," said Gilmore. "Even though the girls had already chased they put in everything they had left and three kilometres from the finish the race was back together.
"Full credit to 'Marv' (Barras) for the way he motivated the girls the whole way through the race he was urging them to keep giving and giving and giving," said Gilmore who admits the pressure was then on her to deliver a result in return. "If I hadn't have got on the podium today I don't think I could have looked at the girls because they absolutely turned themselves inside out and gave every single little thing they had."
The result today was a repeat of the podium placings of Friday's final stage of the three day Tour of Chongming Island in which Gilmore scored two third placings and finished third overall, 27 seconds behind Tour winner Teutenberg who defeated Wild by a narrow four second margin.
Gilmore says whilst she is pleased with her Chinese campaign and two recent second places in races in the Netherlands she will now focus on finding the extra speed to overcome Wild and Teutenberg who have dominated women's road sprinting so far this season.
"I am going to go away and analyse what it is I need to do to go the next step," I'm pretty confident no-one is threatening from behind but I want to move up from being the third best sprinter and get some first and second placings."
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