Australian time trial champion Katrin Garfoot has taken out her first Tour victory by sprinting to third place on the final stage of the Santos Women’s Tour in Adelaide this evening.
Garfoot entered the Victoria Park criterium in the lead but on equal time with three other riders – Lauren Kitchen (Hytec Products), Shelley Olds (Cylance Professional Cycling) and Danielle King (Wiggle High5).
As the race wound up for a bunch kick ORICA-AIS put their full support into the sprint train to set the 34-year-old up and defend the jersey.
In the end it was Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team) who claimed the last stage honours but Garfoot’s third place got the better of her general classification rivals to secure the overall title.
Despite having surprised herself in the previous day’s sprints, Garfoot admitted there were nerves.
“I was nervous at the beginning, not just at the end,” she said after the stage.
“I was confident I could sprint after the last two days, I just wasn’t sure how I could sprint in a bunch with so many strong sprinters rubbing shoulders and pushing each other around like dominos. It strung out towards the back end, which probably suited me.
“The team just worked so hard together this week. Without them, I couldn’t have done anything like that. I’m not a sprinter but I just followed the good wheels and they got me to where I needed to be and then just tried to do my best.”
The overall title wrapped up a success week of racing at the Santos Women’s Tour for ORICA-AIS, with the team also finishing the Tour with two stage wins and the team classification by over eight minutes.
The team’s overall victory tally for 2016 now sits at eight.
Sport director Gene Bates was thrilled with the victory but even more so with the teamwork displayed by his six riders.
“The goal coming into the Tour was to win a stage and go for the overall and we have certainly achieved that,” Bates said.
“The best part was the way they handled themselves throughout the race. It really was a team effort with completely selfless riding.
“Kat was in good form and when you are in good form you can do pretty much everything so over the course of the four days her confidence built and the team’s confidence in her built and that’s really what shone through in the end.”
ORICA-AIS will next race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Saturday, 30 January 2016.
Santos Women’s Tour – Stage 4 Results
1. Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team) 1:03:30
2. Annette Edmondson (Wiggle High5) ST
3. Katrin Garfoot (ORICA-AIS) ST
Santos Women’s Tour – Overall Results
1. Katrin Garfoot (ORICA-AIS) 6:52:36
2. Shelley Olds (Cylance Professional Cycling) ST
3. Lauren Kitchen (Hytec Products) ST