Blog – Lucy Coldwell in Oz


Scotland’s Lucy Coldwell is racing for an iconic name in Australia, Holden Motor Cars and just competed in the Women’s Cadel Evans Road Race

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Blog – Lucy Coldwell in Oz

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Lucy, Eileen Roe (both Scottish) and Lucy Martin were the Brits in this race.

Lucy writes … The inaugrual Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was met with great excitement. After living and training from a Torquay (Australia) base in 2012, having the opportunity to race on my old stomping ground was going to be a thrilling experience.


Lucy a few years ago racing in Glasgow in the Holden colours.

Just before the European season of spring classics begins, many riders are still in the Southern Hemisphere taking advantage of the amazing summer racing calendar that Australia has to offer. The womens race took place on Saturday, a day before the mens UCI race. We were the warm up event and the novelty of a big screen, helicopters flying above and lots of spectators was pretty special, something that can be pretty rare in womens cycling. Crowds of spectators make it somehow more possible to push through that pain barrier a little further!

After our reconnaissance mission the previous day, and all of the pre race chat, we knew that this course was going to be tough. We rolled out from Eastern beach at Geelong and proceeded on our way out towards the coast in the direction of Barwon heads. You could feel the apprehension in the peleton, everyone knew head winds were going to hit, and positioning was going to be key.

Only 20kms into the race as we approached the coast, the peloton was watching, and waiting, where were Orica Green Edge? Suddenly the team of five grouped together and attacked the crosswinds as a unit, putting the race into the gutter as expected. Within a matter of seconds there was a mad dash for wheels, the peloton was strung out in the gutter, and immediately starting to splinter.


Lucy and her Holden Racing Team. The Holden name is probably the biggest and most well known brand name in Australia.

I was fighting to stay up front, along with everyone else, and staying there certainly wasn’t easy. Memories of the Energiewacht Tour in Holland sprang to mind immediately. I knew it was do or die, push to the limits to stay with the front runners, or the day was over.

Relief hit me when we reached the first sprint point in Barwon heads, safely through and close to the front. I had survived the first grueling section, time for a mini breather before we hit 13th beach and more crosswinds. Then I learnt another big lesson, that I paid for later in the day, never let your guard down for one second! Suddenly I found myself slipping to the back of our small group of 14 riders and turning into another section of crosswinds, of course as the pace was forced on, I was back in the gutter, and struggling to hold wheels, people were slipping past me, and I was going backwards, there was nothing I could do about it.

Our group then split into two, leaving the Orica team and a few others up front. We were on the backfoot once again, and at that point I thought my race was over. But we worked together as we passed towards Torquay and steadily clawed back to the group. It all came back together as we climbed out of Torquay onto the Great Ocean road.

Terrified of losing out again, there was no way I was letting my guard down for the rest of the day. We were now about midway through the race, and my legs were feeling good. Impatience got the better of me and I decided to test the water to see if I could force a break to get a head start on the hilly section of the course.

In retrospect this was a waste of energy, and certainly wasn’t going to come to fruition. The intelligent riders, who were also sole team representatives including Rachael Neylan, were tucked away in the wheels and saving themselves for the tough race finale.

The group rolled out towards Moriac and Ceres, and as the road tilted upwards, the pace lifted and I became unstuck, that dreadful moment when you see wheels slip away in front and there is nothing you can do to stay with them. I was not alone, and yo yo’d off the back for a short time, before being isolated.

In frustration I could see the race in front of me all the way back into Geelong but I just couldn’t make head way and bridge back to the group. My legs just didn’t have one more acceleration left. I just had to grit my teeth and do my own time trial back into the race finish.

Grovelling up the steep hills for the run into Geelong my momentum was fueled by encouraging shouts from the team car behind and the crowds on the sidelines. Rolling back across that finish line was a huge sigh of relief, and I only needed to look at the faces of all of the other riders at the finish to see I was not alone in feeling that it had been one tough day out there!

Finishing 14th wasn’t a bad result in the company, but there are certainly many ways I could have improved on that result!

Racheal Neylan won the race and funnily enough I was not surprised. During the day I had thought to myself that that she was going to be tough to beat, and the steep climbs proved to be the perfect launch pad for her in the closing stages. Certainly Euro style racing in Oz, and this event will only get bigger and better!

1 Rachel NEYLAN (BCS) 3h01:10
2 Valentina SCANDOLARA (OGE) +46
3 Tessa FABRY (HFD) +48
4 Amanda SPRATT (OGE) +1:22
5 Lizzie WILLIAMS (OGE) +1:22
6 Gracie ELVIN (OGE) +1:22
7 Ruth CORSET (TRH) +1:22
8 Ellen SKERRITT (HFD) +1:26
9 Tiffany CROMWELL (RXS) +1:33
10 Giorgia BRONZINI (WHT) +1:33

14 Lucy COLDWELL (HWC) +3:02
38 Lucy MARTIN (RXS) +15:42

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