It was a super-charged bunch sprint that decided the title, with Sophie Edwards (ARA Skip Capital) surging to the line to claim the second annual Lochard Energy Warrnambool Women’s Cycling Classic on Sunday.
The 22yo ARA Skip Capital rider pipped seasoned professionals Chloe Hosking (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) and Matilda Raynolds, across the line in the 160km race – one of the longest one-day road races in the world for women.
Following her victory a shocked Sophie Edwards said she had hoped for the win but didn’t really believe it until she was over the line.
“I have to thank every single girl on this team, I did not touch the wind the entire race, I hid in the bunch, saved my legs,” she said. “The girls road super aggressively and then set up the finish exactly how we wanted it so I’m super impressed and proud to be a part of this team.”
Hosking Keeps Up Family Tradition
Veteran sprinter Chloe Hosking of Roxsolt Liv SRAM lamented poor positioning at the final approach to the line, and said it was a hard uphill drag.
“I knew that it’s a a hard sprint so long and uphill,” she said. “So I was waiting, waiting, waiting, and to be honest with 400 meters to go I thought ‘we’ll this is over, the day is over,’ and then I managed to sneak through for second so it’s not all bad. It was really impressive by the girls today and it’s nice it come and race with the NRS girls, see who they are going, obviously this is where it all grows.”
Hosking added that she is normally in Europe at this time of year, so when she saw the M2W was on she was super keen to race it.
“It’s been on my radar for a while,” Hosking said. “It’s got a bit of a history in the Hosking family, my Dad has ridden it twice. One time he said he didn’t finish and another time I think it was a hard day for him. I feel like I’ve crossed something off my bucket list racing the women’s Melbourne to Warny. I’m really happy with it.”
Another Podium For Raynolds
Riding for team Lochard Energy, Matildas Raynolds said she was feeling good as the small group approached the finish line.
“I was staying in the saddle as long as I could,” she continued. “Seeing the other girls already starting their sprints, I felt confident that as soon as I hopped out of the saddle and really gave it a kick that I could finish it off to the line.”
“I’ve actually made the podium every time I’ve done this event so it’s a good record. Look the race probably went the worse way it could for me, I needed a really hard event and it was just quite easy.”