The team lined up for its first WorldTour event of the season on Saturday and didn’t waste any time in taking ownership of the race.
Despite being down one rider, they seized control of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race peloton under torrential conditions to deliver team leader Chloe Hosking into the race’s hilly finale. Hosking battled her way back after being distanced on the final two climbs and sprinted home in sixth place.
“The ladies delivered me perfectly into the final 20 km,” said Hosking. “I couldn’t have asked for more. It was one of the most committed and focused team rides I have ever been a part of. I wish I could have delivered a better result for the team but I never gave up and believe if you give your best you have to be satisfied.”
After a dream start to the season that includes Hosking’s Aussie criterium title, Leigh Ann Ganzar’s victory at Night Riders, and the team’s remarkable performances at the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under, the team is riding an Aussie wave that continues to grow in size.
“The team was honestly phenomenal,” said Hosking. “It wasn’t our plan to take command of the race but we’ve raced together so well that a lot of the responsibility for keeping the race under control fell on our shoulders. All the Rally women rose to the occasion.”
With 20 km remaining, Krista Doebel-Hickok, Heidi Franz, Leigh Ann Ganzar, and Sara Poidevin’s race came to a halt. After all of their hard work, they were caught up in a massive downhill crash that wiped out most of the splintered peloton.
“I’m just thankful that the majority of our riders have superficial injuries,” added Hosking. “Krista chipped her elbow but she is in great spirits. We’re fortunate to have such a caring, thoughtful and supportive staff around us who took first-class care of everyone. I can’t commend them enough.”
As a result of the crash, the team will be unable to field the four necessary riders to start the Herald Sun Tour from February 5-6. Instead, the team will have a few additional days to recover before flying back to the U.S.
1 LIPPERT Liane Team Sunweb 3:17:46
2 SIERRA Arlenis Astana Women’s Team 0:15
3 SPRATT Amanda Mitchelton-Scott “
4 WILES Tayler Trek-Segafredo Women “
5 KIRCHMANN Leah Team Sunweb “
6 HOSKING Chloe Rally Cycling Women “
7 STEPHENS Lauren Team TIBCO – SVB “
8 WINDER Ruth Trek-Segafredo Women “
9 HARRIS Ella Canyon SRAM Racing “
10 CHAPMAN Brodie FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope “