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Gilmore Finishes Third in World Debut for Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling

Rochelle Gilmore opened Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s debut season with a third place in the first round of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Geelong, Australia today.

The forty-five minute criterium raced on the leg-busting hotdog circuit at Geelong’s Eastern beaches, saw the strong 52 rider field remain largely intact for most of the distance despite being punctuated by several breakaway attempts.

With five laps remaining, the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team was seen forming a strong presence at the head of the peloton as they challenged the likes of Orica-AIS and Specialized Securitors for the lead.

On the run in to the line, Gilmore finished third behind winner Kimberley Wells (Specialized Securitors) and Melissa Hoskins (Orica AIS).

With two more stages remaining, Wells now leads the overall standings on General Classification with 12pts ahead of Hoskins on 10pts and Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Gilmore on 8pts.

After the first of three stages of the 2013 Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, team owner and manager Rochelle Gilmore was delighted with her team’s debut performance.

“I am very proud of the athletes in the Wiggle Honda team. The team did a great job in our first race together and while it would have been nice to win the first race of the season, this race is a series and we needed to be smart out there today,” Gilmore said.

“We are just learning about each other and each other’s strengths and we weren’t sure how Anna (Schnitzmeier) would go racing this time of year as she is normally sitting at home under snow. So today’s warm weather and racing was a bit of a shock to the system, but I am really happy she finished and was well in the mix in the last five laps.”

“Emily and Lauren are both at the top of their game and are great criterium riders and Jess Mundy is a really big talent and did a great job to hang in there. So yes, I am very proud of all of them.”

Despite being forced to re-think her tactics for the sprint after a mechanical threatened to put a damper on her final result, Gilmore is optimistic about the team’s chances for the remainder of the series.

“We knew the sprint was going to be a little bit tricky out of the final turn as I didn’t have my last three (hardest) gears. Unfortunately the rear derailleur was damaged in transit and with today being a public holiday we were unable to replace it,” Gilmore added.

“I have put myself in a good position with today’s result, but I also felt the toll of managing the team and pulling it all together in the past couple of months has taken a lot out of me.”

“However, when I look at what has been achieved over the past couple of months in creating the team, I am delighted.”

“We were quite amazed that Orica-AIS had seven riders on the start line when the team entries are limited to five. We knew we would be outnumbered and that became very evident in the first few laps, it was quite intimidating to see seven Orica-AIS jerseys up front. There is no doubt that having the extra riders is a big advantage in this style of racing.”

“However it feels good to have completed our first race with a podium and to have woken the legs up with the intensity, we’re looking forward to getting a Wiggle on in the next 2 stages.”

Stage 2 will see the riders tackle a hillier road-style circuit at Portarlington before concluding with Stage 3 in Williamstown on Thursday.

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