2014 UCI Road World Championships: Junior Women’s Road Race Photo Gallery

South Australia?s Alex Manly was the top in the junior women?s road race at the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, finishing in eleventh place. Manly?s result comes after she narrowly missed out on a medal in the individual time trial by half a second. The 72.8km race was held over four laps of an 18.2km circuit, with two main climbs. Attacks were frequent on the final lap with Manly keeping a watchful eye on any danger, closing down several moves. ?We were hoping to have two left [at the finish],? said Manly. ?I?m happy with my ride, I gave it all I had.? A nervous start saw three crashes in the peloton. Fortunately, Manly, Macey Stewart (TAS), and Anna-Leeza Hull (NSW) were able to avoid them. Over the first two laps saw Stewart and Manly consistently in the top group of riders, with Hull also sitting safely in the peloton. The pace of the first laps thinned the peloton, with only 50 of the 93 starters remaining at the half way point. Newly crowned time trial world champion Stewart came to the front on lap three. ?I wanted to be in control. I didn?t want anyone to attack,? she said. On the flat run into the finish, Stewart attacked, distancing the peloton. Sensing the danger the field was quick to respond and bring her back. ?It was a bit of a bluff. I wanted everyone to see I was strong. A bit of reverse psychology,? the Tasmanian quipped. On the final climb Amalie Dideriksen (DEN), Sofia Bertizzolo (ITA) and Sofia Beggin (ITA) attacked and distanced the peloton. Manly was part of a small chasing group over the top just seven seconds behind. With Stewart slightly further back. Inside 2km to go Manly?s group rejoined the leaders setting up for a small group sprit. With a group of 20 riders in contention Manly prepared herself for the sprint. A hectic finish saw Amalie Dideriksen of Denmark defend her title, with Sofia Bertizzolo (ITA) claiming silver and Agnieszka Skalniak (POL) bronze. Stewart came home 20 seconds behind the winner, part of the first chase group to finish 35th. ?I had no legs on the final climb, which I expected. [I?m] really happy with how the team went,? she said. Hull finished 52nd in her debut world championships. The race capped off a successful season for Manly, who claimed world titles in the team and individual pursuit on the track in Korea in August. ?I?m happy, it has been a good year.? For Stewart, her year involved claiming the omnium and team pursuit world titles in Korea as well as the time trial on Monday. ?It has been an unbelievable year for me. I definitely surprised myself. Hard work pays off,? said Stewart. Prior to the world championships, the team spent time in Belgium racing kermesses and the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour. ?Our time in Belgium was unreal. I learnt so much and how to ride in a big peloton,? said Stewart. ?Without it I wouldn?t have been able to be at the front today. ?Bike skills come with experience and I am really motivated for next season.? Coach?Donna Rae-Szalinski?was happy with how the race panned out and the performances of the team. ?We discussed a number of plans and how it went was one of them. The girls gave everything they had out there. ?They walk away having learnt a lot,? said Rae-Szalinski. ?That is what this program is all about.? The Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) has been a long term supporter of Cycling Australia?s junior cycling programs. Images copyright Bart Hazen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *