Sprint Into Spring Race 3 VUSA – The Wrap

Yellow Jersey (Overall) Green Jersey (Sprint leg) Polkadot Jersey (Hillclimb leg)
Mo Men Aston Key Steven O'Connell Brody McCarthy
Mo Women Natasha Key Linnea Karjalainen Aislinn Prendergast
Sally Men Callum White Rod Phillips Wayne Love
Sally Women Sophie Taverna Sarah Love Milla Key
Usain Men Dale Taverna Evan Gavens Louis Shepard
Usain Women Frankie Shepard Samantha Love Mia Gavens

All the Jersey Points after week 3


Race Wrap

Race 3 saw a return to where it all started – Victoria University St Albans, or VUSA for short. Our first ever SIS race was here, as was race 5 of the inaugural Melbourne Sprint Weekend. This time the Brits, Nathan and Joe, took on the course planning. Clever use of barrier tape around the small decked buildings in the north, had us heading every which-way, trying to figure out where the gaps were. In the southern section the route choice became all about which way to go round the large buildings, where can you find a small cut through, and how do you avoid the messy gardens, rock walls and creek beds. A short, sharp sprint and an upstairs dash for the hill climb saw a lot of tied results and split jersey points.

The Mo course featured a two-part map, starting with a long leg requiring a wide route choice either north or south. It took the runners south before a series of short legs around the southernmost building complex, before bringing them back into the central section and setting up for the Hillclimb. Several more short legs around the tricky northern section lined them up for the Sprint leg, which marked the end of part 1. Ten more controls followed, giving everyone’s brains a major workout, not to mention their legs!

With Nathan Lawson on course planning duty, and a couple of other Mo Men absent, Aston Key grabbed the opportunity for 10 valuable Jersey points with both hands, winning in 14 mins 40 seconds. Bruce Arthur had a series-best 2nd place, just pipping Brody McCarthy – who held second place up until the 19th control. Aston wears the overall leader’s Yellow jersey after moving ahead of Nathan, with Bruce moving into third overall. Steven O’Connell and Gary Buchan tied for the Sprint leg, which consolidated Steven’s grasp on the Green jersey. The Hillclimb leg saw a four way tie between Brody, Gary, Fredrik Johansson, and Scott Gavens, who all shared the points. Brody retains the Polkadot jersey, with Gary now second overall.

Tash Key dominated the Mo Women, winning by over 3 minutes over Aislinn Prendergast, and 5 minutes ahead of third-placed Linnea Karjalainen. Linnea is vying for third place overall with Clare Brownridge. While Tash still has the highest points scores in both the Green and Polkadot points competition, Linnea’s win on the sprint leg today gave her te Green jersey. Dark horse Helen Walpole won the Hillclimb, and now sits third in that competition, behind Aislinn who holds the Jersey.

Sally competitors were faced with a headspinning start in the small buildings, where barrier tapes forced close mapreading in order to avoid costly errors – which some found out the hard way! The Sprint leg came up early, and was preceded and followed by straight running legs, before the longest leg from 6 to 7. Most errors were made in the middle, around controls 10 and 13, and not everyone got the route choices right between 14 and 15.

This was a course where picking up small shortcuts really paid off, as winner Ian Dodd demonstrated by consistently working his way from 6th to 1st. Early leader Hadyn Tang couldn’t quite hold onto his form in the closing stages. Winner of the first two races, Callum White, had a slowish start, and took a while to hit top speed. He won five of the last 8 splits, which saw him finish third. Callum holds his Yellow jersey, with Hadyn second; Ian and Stephen Dunbar are duking it out for third, but expect Ian to improve as he only has points from two races. Sprint leg specialist Rod was again too good for the rest, and has three wins from three; Callum is second and Wayne Love third. On the Hillclimb, Rod shared the points with James Love; Wayne gained enough points to keep the Jersey for another week.

The Sally Women is shaping up to be the contest of the series. Three different winners from three races, with Sophie Taverna claiming today’s race from Sarah Love and Milla Key, all in series-best performances. Previous winners Heather O’Donnell and Amber Louw were 4th and 5th. Sophie grabbed the lead after leg 6 from Amber, who lost a minute. Sarah was consistent right throughout by sticking to the “run smarter not harder” mantra. Sophie extended her lead in the Yellow jersey comp, with Heather second, and a three way fight for third between Milla, Amber and Sarah. Sarah and Amber tied for the Sprint leg, with Sarah holding the Jersey but Amber gaining ground; Heather and Milla are still well in contention. Milla bounded up the steps to win the Hillclimb, moving into second place and holding the Jersey; Kate Francis is third but only half a point ahead of Sophie, and a point clear of Heather. Watch out for fireworks!

A feature of the Usain course is the number of newcomers in both Mens and Womens classes, and they are clearly having a ball and coming back for more. Their course took them straight into the centre of the campus, then through the small northern buildings before lining up for the all important Sprint leg. Competitors made their way to the bottom of the campus, with some good route choice decisions to make, before heading into the Finish.

Dale Taverna had a 14 second win over Cooper Wall, with Elliott Wall another 30 seconds back. Elliott was leading at control 16 but an error here put him more than a minute behind; he sizzled over the last few legs to almost snatch victory. Dale moves up into the Yellow jersey position, just ahead of previous holder Evan Gavens, with Elliott in striking distance in third. Elliott won the Sprint leg and is now second behind Evan, while Louis Shepard was the quickest Climber, and holds the Polkadot jersey.

First timer Kate Bartlett took out the Usain Womens course; after a careful start, she got the hang of it, and led over the last five legs. Frankie Shepard, another newcomer this year, tied for second with Maya Bennette, which was enough for Frankie to keep the Yellow jersey, but she will have to work hard to stay clear of second placed Samantha Love, Mia Gavens, and Maya. A three way tie on the Spring leg gave equal points to Samantha, Frankie, and another first timer, Issy Brindley. Sammy has built up a handy lead in the Green jersey comp, ahead of Frankie, Paula and Mia. Samantha won the Hillclimb outright, but the Polkadot jersey stays with Mia.

Sprint Into Spring takes a short break next weekend, before returning on Saturday Novermber 10 at RMIT Bundoora. Our course planner is Mason Arthur, a former Jersey winner with a lot of Sprint experience, and a lot of tricks and traps up his sleeves. And don’t forget about the BALLARAT SPRINT WEEKEND, featuring the final Sprint Into Spring races on Saturday November 24, and the Victorian Sprint Champs on an amazing campus in central Ballarat, on Sunday November 25. Entries for the Champs are now open, so get yours in today!

Results, Splits and Maps

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