True to his name, Blake Quick was too fast for the field as he claimed the men’s Bay Crits event last weekend, while Ruby Roseman-Gannon took out their women’s competition.
Both Quick and Roseman-Gannon were too strong for the competition, taking out both legs of their respective races on Saturday and Sunday.
Going into Sunday’s second leg with a points lead, Quick took the lead in the final laps around Eastern Gardens to claim the title.
Just over halfway through the race the lone breakaway leader Bentley Niquet-Olden pushed too hard to maintain his small advantage and crashed heavily, opening up the race.
Simon Clarke then strung out the peloton, before Dalton Stretton and Liam White energised the race and got out to a 23 second lead with 10 minutes to go.
White attacked with a few laps remaining and rolled the dice in the hope that he could gap the opposition, but in the end was unsuccessful.
Clarke again animated the race before it was all joined up again before Blake Quick to the line again ahead of Jensen Plowright and team mate Brenton Jones.
“It was very chaotic, everyone was racing for the last corner, obviously you couldn’t make up a lot of ground, you had to slow down a lot going into the corner. Jenson on the outside, BJ on the inside, I held him out a bit and from there it was the quickest man wins,” Quick said.
“The run in didn’t go according to plan, it just got a bit chaotic with the wind as well down the bottom, just made it very hard. Coming into the last corner was perfect, BJ and I spoke before the race and he obviously he has won this race before and he said you basically have to be first or second through that last corner and the inside always wins.”
In the women’s race Catalina Soto and Eloise Sandow jumped off the front from the start and opened up a gap that became as large as 50 seconds.
After 20 minutes the peloton reeled them back in after elevating the pace and both Roseman-Gannon and Matilda Raynolds took the front positions.
The two pre-race favourites put the foot down, to open a 40 second buffer.
The race in two came down to a sprint and Roseman-Gannon jumped on the final corner after the uphill drag, taking the stage win and the overall Bay Crits title.
“There’s definitely a lot of pressure I put on myself but I think once the sprint starts and I know the race is going, I just go into this mode where I don’t think and it will just happen for me across the line. I’ve been racing for over a decade at least, having that sort of experience, I just go into automatic mode,” Roseman-Gannon said.
“The sprint [on Saturday] was a little bit more complex and I watched it back and I couldn’t remember it happened. It’s like being in an exam when you’re so focused on what you’re doing, the time just goes by. That’s how I race and that’s why I love it.
“I actually raced this race for the first time in 2015 as a first year under-19 and I was racing Gracie Elvin and I was pinching myself. This event will be monumental for me as a rider and building confidence to make it the world tour.”
The Bay Crits is one of the most well-known criterium races in the country, with many top Australian riders having participated in the race since it began in 1989, including Cadel Evans, Kathy Watt, Anna Wilson, Stuart O’Grady, Robbie McEwen, Oenone Wood and Caleb Ewan.