Another top ten Down Under for van Twisk
The opening race of the 2018 Cadel Evans Road Race was a 63km race around Albert Park taking in fantastic views of the lake and across the Melbourne skyline.
The race was going to be fast. Given the flat circuit it would most likely end in a bunch sprint if last year's edition is anything to go on.
Heading into the Cadel Evans Race week, our riders were feeling refreshed after a period of rest post the Santos Women's Tour. Having the issues of jet lag and illness behind the team, they have felt settled in Melbourne this week.
The first half of the 12 lap race started conservatively as small breakaway attempts were quickly nullified by the sprinter's teams.
At the head of the race, Barbara Guarischi took the win in the sprint classification ahead of Rachel Barbieri of Wiggle High-Five.
In the closing stages the big teams came to the fore. Mitchelton-Scott lead the way aiming to give Sarah Roy a launchpad towards the finish line.
After her 4th place on the last stage of the Santos Women's Tour, it was decided that Abi van Twisk would be our chosen sprinter for the finale. The team rallied around to keep her in good positions throughout the race.
Road captain, Molly Weaver commented on the finale.
"Communication was great in this part from my perspective. We discussed the sprint a lot during the race and made a good, clear plan for last few laps. I knew what Abi wanted and Tayler, Abi and I communicated the plan well."
Abi was lead into the last kilometre well, but lost the lead out in the hectic final. Abi sprinted to 10th place, her second top ten of her Australian block of racing.
"We finished the race with our sprinter and lead out rider having legs left. 4 of the 6 riders are new to the team so naturally, we have to work on the lead out train. We leave this one frustrated but motivated for the next opportunity and hopefully that comes in the next few days over in Geelong."