After holding?the leaders jersey for the entire?four day event,?Italy?s?Valentina Scandolara?(ORICA-AIS) has been crowned the inaugural?Santos Women?s Tour?champion. Scandalora rode herself into the leader?s jersey after winning stage one?solo and claiming two stage podiums, ending the Subaru National Road Series event six seconds ahead of teammate Melissa HOSKINS and Loren Rowney (Roxsolt).
?My teammates and I were always there, so we controlled the race pretty well,? said Scandalora. ?It?s been wonderful these days, and today all these people saw how great ORICA-AIS is, it was amazing. Once again we kept the jersey and got a win, so I?m really, really happy.? Over 3000 spectators turned out to watch the final stage Jarvis Subaru Criterium, filling the historic Victoria Park Grandstand. Western Australia?s Hoskins treated the crowd to a thrilling finale, notching up her second victory of the week by out-sprinting two-time world champion Georgia Bronzini (Wiggle Down Under) and Scandalora to the line. ?I didn?t have much success sprinting last year. I just needed a win under the belt to get the confidence back. My team backed me all the time, it was more me not being convinced in my own ability.? ?Now I?m back and I?m happy,? said Hoskins whose victory comes just days after she was hit by a car when training in Adelaide days before the Tour. The race was a master class in team-work by ORICA-AIS, Australia?s only professional women?s cycling team, who rode hard on the front for almost all of the seventy minute criterium. ?It?s not very often we can pull off a lead out sprint either. It wasn?t part of the plan, it just all fell into place,? said Hoskins who competed at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. Local South Australian Annette EDMONDSON
(Wiggle Down-Under) was the final winner in the Jayco sprint classification, while Rowney took out the Subaru King of the Mountain jersey. 2015 Santos Women’s Tour: Stage 5 Photo Gallery?
The Subaru National Road Series continues on January 31 at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race – Elite Women’s Race. Text via Cycling Australia Media Release