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Carla third in World’s warm-up

Germany’s Trixi Worrack has warmed up nicely for the UCI World Road Championships in Geelong this week with victory at the Herald Sun Classic in Buninyong, Ballarat. Worrack out-sprinted Belgium’s Liesilot Decroix and South African Carla Swart to take the race held over the Australian National Time-Trial Championship course.

ÔÇ£It was a pretty hard course because of the wind and it was pretty hilly,ÔÇØ Worrack said. ÔÇ£It was really good training [for worlds], although we still have a little jet-lag.ÔÇØ

Speaking of flying Swart suffered some interference from a magpie out on the course. ÔÇ£Trixi and I and the other riders in the break, kind of got attacked by the magpies,ÔÇØ explained Swart. ÔÇ£I don’t know if that’s normal, but apparently it happens to be so.

ÔÇ£You come to Australia to see kangaroos but all I have seen is magpies,ÔÇØ she added. ÔÇ£They kind of remind me of squirrels or possums in America, they are always on the road.ÔÇØ

Worrack broke clear from the peloton on the first lap of the 90 kilometre circuit race with Decroix and opened up a gap of almost one minute before two riders bridged across. Swart and Katheryn Curi-Mattis (USA National Team) joined Worrack and Decroix on the second lap and together the quartet worked at making the race their own.

They eased the margin out to around four minutes before the peloton reacted with a little over two laps to go. The main field was reduced to around 35 riders as the pace increased nearing the finish.

Three riders then managed to kick clear of the peloton and attempted to get across to the leading trio. Judith Arndt, a teammate of Worrack, Great Britain’s Sharyn Laws, who won a silver medal in the road race at the 2008 Australian Road Championships, and Grace Verbeke (Belgium) set out after the leaders.

At the bell lap the gap between the leading four and the chasing three was 48 seconds. In near perfect conditions and with a good crowd gathering down in Buninyong for the finish, the leaders climbed up the Midland Highway holding on to their lead.

It was always going to be difficult to bridge a gap of near a minute, especially when half of the final 16km is downhill. Worrack comfortably won the sprint to the line with a five-second gap back to the chasing three and a further three minutes to the peloton.

The Herald Sun Classic is a good hit-out for riders competing in the world championships. The race acclimatises riders after a few days in the country and can also help with motivation.

Motivation wasn’t required for Worrack however, and although she is unsure on how her she will perform in Geelong, she believes the race is wide open. “Anyone can win,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£But i hope it is someone from Germany.ÔÇØ


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