Dempster in third place in criterium series

BENDIGO'S Zak Dempster is third overall heading into the third stage of the Bay Classic criterium series.

After winning race one on Thursday, Dempster finished outside of the top 10 in Friday's second race at Eastern Park in Geelong to drop to third in the cycling series.

Dempster remains on 14 points, three points behind Friday's winner Matt Goss, with Brenton Jones second on 15 points.

Bendigo's Peta Mullens won an intermediate sprint in Friday's women's race which was taken out by Chloe Hosking.

Mullens' points saw her take third place in the sprint ace classification.

Mullen's team - Wiggle Honda - leads the women's team classification going into Saturday's race at Portarlington.

Meanwhile, the bear hug that Orica-GreenEDGE team director Matt Wilson had for Goss after the win on Friday showed this was more than just another early-season win. 

After two lean years of results, followed by plenty of talk in the last few weeks about Goss's cycling future, he gave his confidence a massive boost by taking out race two of the series. 

Winning the women's round on Friday at Eastern Park in Geelong was also doubly special for London Olympian Chloe Hosking. 

She became emotional as she dedicated the result to her brother-in-law Lachlan Smith, who died last October of cancer. 

By upsetting Italian star Georgia Bronzini, Hosking showed the fruits of a strong pre-season as she aims to make the Australian road team for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. 

For sprinters such as Goss and Hosking, winning in the Mitchelton Bay Classic series can be the springboard for a monster season. 

Goss took out the overall series title in 2011 and went on to become the first Australian to win the Milan-Sanremo classic. 

But he has managed only three wins over the last two years and is in the last year of a lucrative contract with Orica-GreenEDGE. 

"It's a significant sign," Wilson said.

When asked what if felt like to win again, Goss simply said "finally". 

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