Dempster regains lead in Bay criterium series

PORTARLINGTON - Bendigo cycling star Zak Dempster has regained the lead in the Mitchelton Wines Bay Classic criterium series after Saturday's third leg at Portarlington.

Victorious in the series opener in Geelong, Dempster was fourth in  windy conditions at Portarlington.

He has scored 21 points and leads Brenton Jones by a point going into Sunday's finale at Williamstown.

After winning at Portarlington, Luke Durbridge has jumped to third place on 18 points ahead of Orica-GreenEDGE's Matt Goss 17, and reigning series champion Caleb Ewan on 16.

While the men's series is wide open, Italian star Georgia Bronzini should take the women's crown.

She won her second race in the series on Saturday to extend her overall lead.

The two-time world road champion leads Australian Annette Edmondson by six points heading into Sunday's racing.

Bronzini's powerful Wiggle Honda team, which includes Bendigo's Peta Mullens, should be able to control the race and ensure she wins the title.

Durbridge showed he is in strong form for next week's national road championships, where he will defend the elite time trial and road race titles.

He broke away with Victorian Pat Shaw and they built a decisive lead on the Portarlington circuit.

Dempster tried in vain to catch the two leaders, but he managed to stay away from the main bunch and this earnt him the series lead.

New Zealander Tom Scully joined Dempster in the last few laps and took third place.

Jones finished sixth behind Ewan to be in the hunt for an unlikely series title.

Sunday's racing at Williamson starts on Nelson Street at 11.30am.

Two men's support races will be followed by the women's elite at 1.30pm and the men's elite duel from 2.30pm.

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