Peloton Watch
  2019 Australian Road National Championships - Women's Criterium Preview  
  Rebecca Wiasak winning the 2018 title. Photo: Con Chronis  
  The women's criterium is always a hotly contested race during the Australian Road National Championships and with four previous winners and a host of other talent on the start list 2019 will be no exception. Defending Champion Rebecca Wiasak returns and is joined by former winners Sarah Roy, Jessica Allen and Lauren Kitchen and with the likes of Chloe Hosking, Lauretta Hanson and Peta Mullens on the start list the competition is strong. In the under 23 category Kristina Clonan doesn't return to defend her title with track obligations, though 2017 winner Nicola Macdonald will be aiming for another title and with 2018 under 19 winner Sarah Gigante stepping up the competition will be just as strong.

Start List

Rebecca Wiasak

In the closing stages of the race last year Wiasak looked to be out of contention sitting towards the back before unleashing a powerful sprint to overtake everyone and storm clear to the line taking the win. With frequent wins in criteriums in Australia and the United States over the last two years Wiasak is one of the best criterium riders in the race. Without teammates she will be unable to chase everything but if it comes down to a bunch sprint expect to see her challenge again.

Chloe Hosking

Hosking has claimed the under 23 title and an elite medal in the past though the top step of the podium has proved elusive in the elite ranks. One of the fastest sprinters in the world and if Hosking is in the hunt towards the end will be very hard to beat in an out and out sprint. Racing as an individual so will be have to play the race smart and can't follow every move. Comes in off a strong showing at the Bay Crits where she won stage two.

Sarah Roy and Mitchelton Scott

In Sarah Roy Mitchelton Scott have a former winner and one of the fastest sprinters in the field. Roy was a surprise winner back in 2015 but she would not be this time. Over the past two years Roy has taken wins across Europe including World Tour stages. Backed by the strongest team in they race they could control it for Roy with the likes of Lucy Kennedy, Grace Brown and former winner Jessica Allen chasing down moves and they have Grace Elvin and Amanda Spratt as well for attacking. On paper they have multiple riders to win but that doesn't mean they will.

Lauren Kitchen

One of four former winners on the start like Lauren Kitchen will be hoping to throw back to 2011 when she claimed the title. A regular podium finisher at the National Championships across both the criterium and road race and will be looking to add another medal to the collection. While she packs a quick finish is not an out and out sprinter though the uphill drag to the line helps her chances especially if it is a hard race.

Shannon Malseed

Malseed is never far from the action at Road Nationals regardless of the race and the criterium is no exception. The current road race national champion will be looking to add another green and gold jersey to her collection. The 2015 under 23 champion packs a quick finish and with the uphill sprint if she can make it a hard race don't be surprised to see her made another trip to the podium.

Peta Mullens and Josie Talbot - Roxsolt Attaquer

Roxsolt Attaquer have several options including the in form Peta Mullens who claimed victory on the final stage of the Bay Crits on Thursday and criterium star Josie Talbot. Mullens has twice claimed silver medals and a win would add to her road race title. While Talbot won silver in the under 23 category two years ago steps up to the elite category for the first time. With three years in the US racing criteriums in her legs there are few in the field with her skill set. Has acted as a lead out rider for the Schneider sisters in the US and expect to see her lead out Mullens but she could easily fight for the win herself in the right circumstances. With Sarah Gigante the team have a strong player in the under 23 field.

Lauretta Hanson

Hanson has signed for the new Trek Segafredo Team after two seasons with UnitedHealthcare. A very quick sprinter who claimed multiple podium finishes in UCI races in 2018. The lack of team support will hurt her chances here but don't discount her for that.

Ashlee Ankudinoff

Team pursuit world champion Ashlee Ankudinoff is a rider who could beat some of the more favoured names. A regular winner in the National Road Series and has spent time in the US racing and winning criteriums. Packs a very quick finish though in the middle of track season may not be at her best on the road.

Other names to watch include Tiffany Cromwell, former Under 23 winners Emily Roper and Jessica Mundy and Kendell Hodges

Under 23 Women

Start List

Nicola Macdonald

Macdonald surprised many including herself in when in 2017 she sprinted home to the title. Made a name for herself on the track but has placed a greater focus on the road the last 12 months. With some time off the bike during 2018 what her form is like is the biggest question

Sarah Gigante

After claiming three gold last year across the criterium, time trial and road race as an under 19 Gigante steps up to the under 23 level and will be eyeing further success. Racing against a field of this size and strength will be a new challenge and if she can stay in the bunch, she may be able to sprint to her first under 23 medal.

Elizabeth Stannard

Formerly of New Zealand Stannard could be the surprise packet in the field. Spent time in the US in 2018 picking up some strong results in criteriums.

Other names to watch in the under 23 including Jessica Pratt and Jaime Gunning and Anya Louw.
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