HomeNews & FeaturesRoad CyclingGraham Brown takes the lead over Goss and McEwen

Graham Brown takes the lead over Goss and McEwen

Old rivalry the script for day one of 2010 Jayco Bay Classic. Any win against Robbie McEwen is a big win according to Graeme Brown. And so resumed one of the great rivalries in Australian cycling during stage one of the 2010 Jayco Bay Classic.

After McEwen broke his leg on 28 May last year during the Tour of Belgium, there were times when he, and others, thought he may never have raced again.

But the planets aligned for him to re-start his wonderful career in Geelong today and it almost went perfectly to an old script with he and long time adversary, Brown contesting for the stage win, with only Tasmanian Matthew Goss intervening in a fine supporting role to split them in the final analysis.

In a pre-race interview whilst the men’s race start was delayed for over 30 minutes as an ambulance arrived to take an injured female cyclist to hospital, Brown (Team Urban) acknowledged both that he had overplayed his aggression as a young rider and that he anticipated a tough battle ahead.

“I showed no respect for Robbie McEwen then. That was wrong,” Brown confessed.

“Today is going to be tough to judge, with the headwind and its uphill.”

He turned out to be spot on, on both counts.

McEwen’s comeback ride for a more than respectable third place demonstrated his immense reserves of skill and determination whilst the conditions were just as Brown had predicted.

“I had to take the initiative at the end and go a bit earlier than I had planned. With that wind down there on the curve, everyone was on edge,” Brown revealed post race.

“I thought we were coming in for a pro tour stage finish with those guys there. I was pretty happy to win it actually. It’s a good start to the year. I am in better condition than I thought I was in.”

McEwen (Team Mazda) was also clearly pleased with the outcome.

“In other years maybe I’d be disappointed with today’s result but this time, it’s not the case,” McEwen said.

“It’s just nice to back in the bunch. This is the first little baby step. There is no pain, no stiffness and it should get even better as the race goes on.

“I geared up for the finish but I spent the rest of the race gauging myself.”

As for the next three days of racing, McEwen was upbeat.

“I am here to get race fit,  but if I can win a race along the way, that would be great.”

Something that Brown and Goss both will be doing their best to prevent, with today’s stage winner concluding his media duties by quipping that he could “hopefully win every day”.

Goss, riding here for Team Degani Cycling Cafe took an impressive second placing in today’s 50 minute criterium around a 2km circuit in Geelong’s Eastern Park, despite being held up in his dash for the line.

The 23-year-old is in good early season form compared to the last couple of years and fancies his chances before this year’s Classic draws to a conclusion in Williamstown on Tuesday.

“I am going to try and win one. I finished last season earlier than in the past and I got back into heavy training a lot sooner as a result,” Goss said.

“I got into the gym, and did a lot of work at home in Tassie in November and then at a 10 day camp in Spain.”

But he won’t be alone in trying to ensure that Brown and McEwen don’t simply have it all their own way, with a stack of riders showing plenty of aggression during the day’s opening stage.

It may not however be the same situation in the elite women’s division with Honda’s Rochelle Gilmore clearly the dominant all round rider today.

Although she says it’s a potentially dangerous strategy, she was in everything, contesting the intermediate sprints as well as the stage finish.

“It’s really a big risk going for the sprints. It takes a lot out of your legs but I was able to get away without having to give 100 percent in the second one and switch concentration to the finish,” Gilmore said.

With her team mates working as hard as they did today, they look on track to achieve their primary aim for the 2010 Classic.

“The goal is for Honda to win overall. It’s all about the team. I was feeling some pressure but a little is off now after today,” Gilmore outlined.

The one potential threat to the plan might be the arrival for tomorrow’s second stage, also in Eastern Park but on a new course, of Pitcher Partners’ Belinda Goss who has been in great form during the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals that concluded on Friday.

The third race being contested in this year’s series is the support male category, led after the first day by West Australia’s Mitchell Benson who led home Steve Martin (Victoria) and Oliver Le Grice (Degani Bakery Cafe).

The 21st Jayco Bay Classic is raced over four days, concluding on Tuesday on the Williamstown foreshore.

RESULTS – Day One, Eastern Park, Geelong


Stage and General Classification
1.         Graeme Brown (Urban)
2.         Matthew Goss (Degani Cycling Cafe)
3.         Robbie McEwen (Mazda)
4.         Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms)
5.         Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers)
6.         Rico Rodgers (Total Rush)
7.         Leigh Howard (Jayco VIS)
8.         Baden Cooke (Skilled/Lowe Farms)
9.         Greg Henderson (Mazda)
10.       Koen de Kort (O2 Networks)

Sprint Ace
1.         Graeme Brown (Urban)
2.         Mitch Docker (Urban)
3.         Malcolm Rudolph (Jayco Skins)

1.         Urban
2.         Degani Cycling Cafe
3.         Mazda
4.         Skilled/Lowe Farms


Stage and General Classification
1.         Rochelle Gilmore (Honda)
2.         Chloe Hosking (MB Cycles)
3.         Kirsty Broun (Jayco AIS)
4.         Peta Mullens (Honda)
5.         Megan Dunn (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)
6.         Isabella King (Plan B Racing WA)
7.         Rowena Fry (Degani)
8.         Nicole Whitburn (Unattached/Vic)
9.         Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)
10.       Liza Rachetto (Pitcher Partners)

Sprint Ace
1.         Rochelle Gilmore (Honda)
2.         Ashlee Ankudinoff (Jayco VIS/NSWIS)
3.         Peta Mullens (Honda)

1.         Honda
2.         MB Cycles
3.         Jayco AIS
4.         Jayco VIS/NSWIS

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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