21 July 2011: Whitelaw Second In Stage 2 of International Thüringen Rundfahrt
Vicki Whitelaw (Lotto-Honda) finished second yesterday behind Emma Johansson (Hitec Products-UCK) in Stage 2 of the International Thüringen Rundfahrt, a 1.1 UCI ranked stage race taking place in Germany.
The second stage consisted of a challenging 105km loop, starting and finishing in the town of Greiz, that consisted of a number of short, steep climbs and rolling terrain. A group escaped the main peloton after 25 kilometres of racing and proceeded to gain almost 6 minutes on the peloton by the finish.
Nine riders fought for the stage win with Johansson winning ahead of Whitelaw and Amy Pieters.
Whitelaw was pleased with the result. 'I have had few chances to ride for a personal result this year so it is very gratifying to grasp the opportunity when it comes along. I have raced Thüringen before [in 2009] so I know that the course and conditions really suit me. I'm hopeful of some more good results before the race ends on Sunday.'
14 September 2010: Australian team for 2010 World Championships announced
Cycling Australia has announced the team that will compete in the 2010 World Championships to be held in Geelong, Australia later this month.
Included in the team contesting the road title are
- Ruth Corset,
- Tiffany Cromwell,
- Shara Gillow,
- Bridie O’Donnell,
- Carla Ryan,
- Amanda Spratt and
- Vicki Whitelaw.
Those selected for the time trial are
- Shara Gillow,
- Alexis Rhodes and
- Vicki Whitelaw.
Whitelaw, who will be competing at the championships in both the time trial and road race for the third time, is looking forward to racing in front of a home crowd. "Because
cycling is Eurocentric we have very few opportunities to race at the highest level in Australia. Sadly the Geelong Tour and World Cup were cancelled so, apart from Nationals,
there hasn’t been a women’s UCI race in Australia this year. It’s going to be strange to hear Australian accents when people cheer us on."
Usually the World Championships marks the end of Whitelaw’s international season, but not this year. The Commonwealth Games are being held in Delhi, India with the road race
on the 10th of October and the time trial on the 13th, both of which Whitelaw has been selected for. Whitelaw is unconcerned though: "It makes for a long season but I’m
confident I can hold my good form for another few weeks."
13 September 2010: Whitelaw wins the Tour of l'Ardèche
Vicki Whitelaw (Lotto Ladies Team) won the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche yesterday by 4 seconds over Sharon Laws (Cervélo).
The five day, six stage, 2.2 ranked UCI tour was held in the south of France between the 7th and the 11th of September.
Whitelaw laid the ground work for her victory in the first stage, escaping the field with Laws to finish 1 minute 41 seconds ahead of the peloton. With no time bonuses being awarded, Whitelaw and Laws were equal on time in the General Classification with Laws taking the lead due to her winning the sprint for stage honours.
Stage 2 consisted of a 3.5 kilometre individual time trial. The first kilometre was uphill with gradients reaching 10 percent. The remainder of the stage proceeded to lose the altitude gained with a downhill run to the finish.
It was far from certain as to who should be the favorite to take the lead into the third stage. Whitelaw is an accomplished time triallist which would count in her favor but the climb and the short distance reduced the advantage. Laws is a climber so would gain time in the first kilometre but then have to hold any advantage over the remaining two kilometres which were slightly downhill.
In the end it was as close as expected with Whitelaw finishing 4th, one second ahead of Laws. This was enough to put Whitelaw into the lead of the General Classification.
The following three stages saw the race head for the mountains. With Laws and the third placed Ruth Corset (Australian National Team) being noted climbers Whitelaw knew she had to work hard to retain the jersey. "Almost every time we hit a steep pitch Sharon or Ruth, or often as not both of them, would attack me in an effort to get away. I had to dig really deep to stay with them each time."
In fact on Stage 5 Whitelaw found herself in danger of losing the lead. Laws and Corset attacked on a climb and dropped Whitelaw who found herself isolated with one team mate up the road in the break and her other team mates behind. Whitelaw was forced to chase alone, dragging a small group with her.
In the end Whitelaw was able to bridge to the dangerous break and not only defended her lead but extend it to 4 seconds after Laws was slightly gapped on the line.
This is the first UCI ranked tour that Whitelaw has won. "I’m really happy with this result. The gap was so small and on paper I shouldn’t have been able to hold off Sharon - especially when she had Cervélo behind her working as hard as they did. I had to fight hard all week and really feel like I have earned this victory."
Whitelaw now heads to Australia to prepare for the World Championships in Geelong and the Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi, India.
8 September 2010: Two podiums finishes in three days
In the lead up to the Melbourne/Geelong World Championships and the New Delhi Commonwealth games Vicki Whitelaw (Lotto Ladies Team) has come into some strong form. After
winning the Stage 3 time trial of the Trophée d'Or Féminin just over a week ago Whitelaw saw continued success in the Memorial Davide Fardelli time trial and the
first stage of the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche.
Whitelaw continued her excellent record in the Memorial Davide Fardelli. The first year she took part (2008) she finished second to Karin Thürig. The following year
she finished third behind Thürig and Amber Neben . This year Whitelaw again finished second, 41 seconds behind Neben (Webcor) and 43 seconds ahead of Noemi Cantele
(HTC - Columbia).
Three days later Whitelaw lined up for the start of Ardèche, a 112 kilometre stage held in torrential rain. The racing was aggressive with a number of attacks before
Whitelaw and Sharon Laws (Cervelo) made the winning move with 16 kilometres remaining. Laws won the sprint for stage honours with Whitelaw finishing second. Both riders head
into the second stage with a 1'41" lead over the remainder of the field.
Whitelaw is pleased to be seeing results after her hard work during the year. "I have spent much of the year working for team mates. In the last few races I have had the
freedom to go after some results of my own and my form has enabled me to do that. Now I just have to try and stay healthy and injury free through to Worlds and the
26 August 2010: Vicki Whitelaw wins Stage 3 of the Trophée d'Or Féminin
Vicki Whitelaw has won Stage 3 of the Trophée d'Or Féminin by 0.21 seconds over Emma Johansson (Red Sun Cycling Team).
Following the 102 kilometre second stage held that morning, the 7.5 kilometre individual time trial started late in the day with the last rider finishing after 8pm. There was a long wait for the
6 o'clock start for riders as they tried to recover from the morning's efforts.
Whitelaw had targeted Stage 3 from the outset. "I spent the morning hiding in the bunch in an effort to conserve my legs for the time trial. As soon as we got off the bike it was a case of eating
and trying to recuperate. I had looked at the course a couple of times in the days before so I knew what was required."
Whitelaw started mid-field and set the fastest time. "I had to wait for all those after me to post times. Emma [Johansson] was the third last to finish and when they called the same time as me, I
nearly lost it! I started to think [that] I should have maybe sprinted a little harder at the finish line."
In the end it was determined that Whitelaw had beaten Johansson by 0.21 of a second to claim her first UCI win of the season. "I have been close a few times this year and finally everything has
come together on the same day. It’s great to be back in the winner's circle."
Whitelaw’s result moves her up to second in the General Classification, 17 seconds behind Johansson. Three stages remain before the race finish in Saint-Amand-Montrond on Saturday.
9 August 2010: Lotto Ladies Team 2nd and 4th in Sparkassen Giro
Lotto Ladies Team finished with two in the top 5 after a break of 9 escaped in atrocious conditions.
The 2010 edition of the Sparkassen Giro in Bochum, Germany saw torrential rain and partial flooding of the course. The start was delayed in the hope that conditions would
improve. Eventually after a wait of 15 minutes the peloton rolled away for a race shortened by one 14.8 kilometre lap.
The race was aggressive with a succession of attacks, each of which was pulled back by the peloton. A decisive move of 9 riders escaped just after the race entered the fourth
of five laps, building a maximum advantage of just over one minute. This was enough to see them contest the finish in a small bunch sprint.
Lotto Ladies team had two riders in the break (Vicki Whitelaw and Tiffany Cromwell) as did HTC Columbia (Evelyn Stevens and Ellen Van Dijk). Columbia were the first to play
their hand with Evelyn Stevens attempting to escape the group just after the last climb. There was a quick reaction and she was pulled back with three kilometres to go.
Whitelaw tried a late attack, hoping to catch the others off guard. “[I] had a great race today and almost pulled off a last kilometre attack. It was not to be but I did the
work setting Tiffany up.” With the other teams forced to chase, Cromwell was able to conserve her energy and prepare for the sprint. She eventually finished second, unable
to best the fast finishing Van Dijk. Whitelaw finished fourth, her best European result this season.
“I have had good form for most of this season but haven’t seen the same results as the last few years as I’ve spent much of the time working for Rochelle [Gilmore] or Grace
[Verbeke]. I really enjoy working for the team and sharing in the team results but it is also satisfying to get a placeing myself from time to time.”
Whitelaw now has a two week training block before the Plouay World Cup on the 21st of August.