Megan Armitage shines in Santos Festival of Cycling stage race in Australia

National road-race championship silver medallist wins most aggressive rider award

Irish cyclist Megan Armitage took the most aggressive rider award on stage two of the Santos Festival of Cycling in Australia on Monday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Irish cyclist Megan Armitage took the most aggressive rider award on stage two of the Santos Festival of Cycling in Australia on Monday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

National road-race championship silver medallist Megan Armitage took the most aggressive rider award on stage two of the Santos Festival of Cycling on Monday. Guesting for the Team Westpac composite squad, she attacked with just over 20 kilometres remaining of the 85.7 kilometre race to Echunga, Adelaide.

Armitage opened up a maximum lead of over 50 seconds, becoming at one point the race leader on the road. However, with the main peloton chasing hard, she was finally brought back inside the final 10 kilometres.

The Australians Maeve Plouffe (Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) and Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) sprinted in at the head of the 54-rider front group, taking first and second, while Armitage rolled in as part of the same bunch in 38th. She was presented the most aggressive rider award on the podium as a result of her attack.

Armitage was also aggressive on Sunday’s opening stage from Tanunda to Williamstown. She launched multiple attacks but was reeled in each time and ultimately placed 28th, 29 seconds behind the sprint winner Emily Watts (Knights of Suburbia Racing). She is 33rd overall heading into Tuesday’s final stage, an 86.9 kilometre race starting and finishing in Lobethal.

Fellow Irish rider Shannon McCurley is also taking part in the event. She was 57th on Sunday’s first stage and then 73rd on Monday, having crashed and lost time. The track specialist is 67th overall.

Armitage has spent recent weeks in Australia building up for the season. She showed good form by placing first in a Hawthorn Cycling Club criterium earlier this month and then winning the women’s Gran Fondo national championships in Buninyong. She finished over seven minutes clear of the next rider.

The Santos Festival of Cycling has replaced the Santos Tour Down Under this year due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile Matthew Teggart rode well in the first outing with his new WIV Sungod team on Sunday, placing 18th in the 1.2-ranked Clàssica Comunitat Valenciana event in Spain. The 26 year old finished 12 seconds behind the winner Giovanni Lonardi (Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team), with his compatriot and teammate Rory Townsend 84th.

SANTOS FESTIVAL OF CYCLING

Australia – Stage 1, Tanunda to Williamstown: 1 Emily Watts (Knights of Suburbia Racing) 85.4 kilometres in 2:13.25, 2 R Roseman-Gannon (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), 3 N Frain (Roxsolt Liv SRAM), 4 M Raynolds (Inform TMX Make), 5 G Baker (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) all same time. Irish: 28 M Armitage (Team Westpac) at 29, 57 S McCurley (Knights of Suburbia Racing) at 1.28

Team: 1 Team BikeExchange-Jayco at 6:40.15, 2 Roxsolt Liv Sram, 3 Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast both same time

Other: 4 Knights of Suburbia Racing same time, 10 Team Westpac at 1.26

Stage 2, McLaren Vale to Echunga: 1 Maeve Plouffe (Ara Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) 85.7 kilometres in 2:23.42, 2 R Roseman-Gannon (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), 3 N Frain (Roxsolt Liv SRAM), 4 H Jones (Giant Racing Team), 5 S Edwards (Team Garmin Australia), 6 J Talbot (Sydney Uni Staminade Women’s) all same time. Irish: 38 M Armitage (Team Westpac) same time, 73 S McCurley (Knights of Suburbia Racing) at 13.24.

General classification after stage 2: 1 Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Team

BikeExchange-Jayco) 4:36.44, 2 M Plouffe (Ara Pro Racing Sunshine

Coast) at 8, 3 E Watts (Knights of Suburbia Racing) at 13 4 N Frain (Roxsolt Liv SRAM) at 15, 5 G Baker (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) at 17, 6 M Raynolds (Inform TMX Make) at 23. Irish: 33 M Armitage (Team Westpac) at 52, 67 S McCurley (Knights of Suburbia Racing) at 15.15.

CLÀSSICA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, SPAIN (2.1)

1 Giovanni Lonardi (Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team) 175 kilometres in 4:02.34, 2 A Capiot (Arkea-Samsic), 3 C Lawless (TotalEnergies) both same time, 4 A Jaime Fernandez (Equipo Kern Pharma) at 2, 5 A Jesús Soto (Euskaltel - Euskadi), 6 J Ezquerra Muela (Burgos-BH) all same time. Irish: 18 M Teggart (WIV Sungod) at 12, 84 R Townsend (WIV Sungod) at 3.52.

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