Guest Blog- Lauren Kitchen preview's Bay Crits

Bay Crits 2015 Preview by Lauren Kitchen It’s the new year and that means one thing, time to head down to Geelong to get stuck into some fast and furious criterium action at the Bay Crits. This will be my eighth Bay Crits having competed every year except one since I was U19. I love starting the new year and the new season here and this year Im just as excited as if I was that 16 year old kid again.

SKCC Supercrit 2014 no wm-279

In 2015 I will be racing with the Roxsolt team for the second year. We have a super strong team this year with; Kimberley, Loren, Tiff, Carlee, Jo and myself and we are being led by our owner manager Kelvin Rundle. So whats going to happen this week? Well here is my prediction;

Having a slightly changed format with teams now allowed to start 6 riders instead of 5 this will for sure change the dynamic of the racing with teams having more cards to play on different courses. Teams are now also able to pick and choose which days they race different riders, this will give some teams an advantage with rested riders coming in later in the series, while I believe most riders will race all four criteriums, there are a large number of individuals just targeting one or two days, most likely to perfect their nationals preparation.

Day 1 is Ritchie Boulevard, an infamous heart-pumping hot dog course at only 600m long, it results in about 100 standing starts in 45 minutes. What is great about this course is it is not only a great spectacle, it can be a great tactical race that has been won from nearly every situation. Roxsolt will have a few cards to play here as we expect to be one of the most inform teams, but if it comes to a sprint we will be looking to set up Kimbers against the likes of the Hosking-Bronzini duo of Wiggle Downunder. Giorgia won here last year with Kimbers taking it in 2013 and Hosking in 2012.

Logo- Roxsolt

Day 2 we move to the Botanic Gardens where we are faced with a more open course where the wind is defiantly a big factor. This course has a touch little climb just before a long finish straight so in the past has lead itself to a tough long sprint with Hosking (then of Roxsolt) taking the win here last year. This is an important day for us as we will also be celebrating Kelvin’s 40th Birthday! We will be racing to get Roxsolt out there on day two and we hope you see one of us with our arms in the air at the end of the day.

Day 3 is Portarlington. I have a love hate relationship with this course. You can’t hide here. This is the race where it shows your form. Back in 2007 Gary Sutton told me, “this course will suit you” so as a 16 year old I toughed it out and I finished. I was the only rider from my team that year to do so and it was my biggest achievement of the week. Since then the course has changed slightly a few times but we have always seen a tough race. Tif has won here twice and last year Jo was 4th on this circuit. I have had my best results here with a 1st (2008) and a 2nd (2011). This course will suit our team. You can look for us at the front trying to force the break in Portarlington.

Day 4: Last day is Williamstown. The is a great spot to finish, with a trendy Melbourne vibe and cute cafes lining the course, by day 4 a coffee fuel up is a must. Being a dead flat square course we normally see a bunch sprint, however its day four, so anything can happen. Roxsolt will want to go out with a bang and we are aware we have one of the fastest girls with us so I think Williamstown might be about Kimbers lining it up.

There are two other super strong stacked teams for 2015 with Wiggle Downunder and Orica AIS. So Im sure it will be really exciting racing. Our main goal is to have fun, but we are a competitive bunch of girls so hopefully you will see us on the podium.

Now to catch a plane

Lauren