A new teenage Down Under Criterium champion signalled the end of an incredibly successful second Santos Tour Down Under women’s WorldTour at Victoria Park on Thursday night.
Visma Lease a Bike’s Nienke Veenhoven gate crashed her way to the front of the bunch sprint to claim the criterium title ahead of Georgia Baker (Liv AlUla Jayco) in what could be deemed as an upset.
“It was quite good, and the team was really, really strong the team put me in a good position and we put it all together,’’ Veenhoven said.
“I have really loved it (the Santos Tour Down Under).”
Veenhoven made her Santos Tour Down WorldTour race debut last week.
The 19-year-old teenage Dutchman rider etched her name in Santos Tour Down Under history joining new women’s WorldTour champion Sarah Gigante (AG Insurance Soudal).
Gigante will complete her South Australian racing duties on Saturday after registering to take on Australian legend Richie Porte in a time trial at Willunga Hill where the Tasmanian has been branded the undisputed king.
Gigante was driving the main peloton hard as the race was approaching the final minutes as Brodie Chapman (Lidl-Trek) surged clear before the bell lap.
Germany’s Nienke Vinke (DSM-firmenich PostNL) who finished second overall at the Santos Tour Down Under forced the issue as Australia’s national criterium champion Ruby Roseman-Gannon (Liv AlUla Jayco) was lurking towards victory, but Veenhoven was too good in a fast finish.
Ziptrak preme sprint winners:
15 minutes: Ziptrak Preme Sprint #1: Nienke Veenhoven (Visma)
30 minutes: Sprint #2: Alex Manly (Liv AlUla Jayco)