BENDIGO cyclist Kate Finegan was in hot form amid sweltering conditions at the Melbourne Criterium Sprint Championships last weekend.
With the mercury nearing 40 degrees, the Building Champions Squad leader took out two of six sprints in the elite women’s class and clocked the fastest lap around the 0.98km Port Melbourne circuit.
Finegan finished second in the sprint points competition and was placed fourth overall at the end of the race, less than a second behind the winner, Nicole Whitburn.
Her efforts helped the BCS Specialized Skoda squad earn a total of $600 for their day’s work.
Team-mates Lauretta Hanson and Jo Wall finished in 19th and 20th place respectively, while Nicole McNamara, Carly McCoombe and Tayla Evans did not complete the 42 laps.
Finegan said it was tough going in the heat, but rewarding to come away having covered their costs and with some cash left to share among the riders.
“It’s nice that it covered everything. If we could go to every race and cover our costs and come back breaking even, that would be great,” she said.
Finegan also said it was a valuable lesson in teamwork for those BCS riders who are more used to competing as individuals than in an organised women’s team.
“Some of the girls didn’t think it was fair that I shared some of the money because they didn’t feel like they’d done anything,” she said.
“But it’s not only in the race they help – it’s enjoying their company going down to an event and at training as well, and the debrief afterwards.
“If it wasn’t for my team members, I wouldn’t get the same results in the races.
“They are starting to learn there are lots of other aspects to racing as a team than just doing the lead-out in the last lap.”
The BCS squad is also celebrating the success of Hanson, who was this week confirmed in the Victorian track cycling team for 2013.
The 18-year-old from Kyneton was one of only two elite women named in that squad, alongside 2012 junior world championship sprint medallist Caitlin Ward.
It is expected she will contest the endurance events at the national track titles in Sydney, which start on January 30.
She won the Victorian elite women’s individual pursuit earlier this month but may also be called on to ride in the points score and scratch race.
Braeden Dean is the sole Bendigo male rider in the senior state track squad, having been named in a large men’s under-19 contingent.