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Queensland's Ruth Corset holds the overall lead after the first two stages in the Velo Battle on the Border the second event in the Subaru 2012 Women's National Road Series.
Thirty-four-year-old Corset claimed a sensational solo victory in stage two's road race and finished second in the opening time trial stage. Corset's Pensar-Hawk Racing team, who continue to impress in their debut Series, lead the team standings by almost one minute with two stages remaining.
The tour began with a bang in the individual time trial with Corset using her local knowledge and experience to cover the 7.2 kilometers in just 10mins 17sec to position herself in the hot seat with a whopping 19 second advantage.
However, as the day warmed up so did the performances, with Canberra's Rebecca Wiasak (Suzuki/Trek) bettering Corset's time with an impressive 10min 08sec ride to steal the stage win. Seventeen-year-old Emily Roper (QAS/VelociSports) recorded 10min 25sec to place third.
Full of confidence after her stage one win in the Mersey Valley tour just two weeks ago, Wiasak said winning the time trial again was a priority for her team.
“I knew I was in really good form and that’s been our goal this year and even in last years NRS, was to go for stage wins and see what happens,” Wiasak said.
Neither Wiasak or Corset had an opportunity to ride the course before the time trial and said it was the slightly technical corners that slowed them.
“I just went hard right from the start, I probably could have taken to corners a bit better but I gave it everything,” Corset said.
“We were a little bit unsure of the course but luckily my legs were still strong enough in the straights to make up for the corners,” echoed Wiasak.
Stage two had riders cover 98km through the picturesque Tweed inland region, with the stage littered with spills and breakaways. After a few minor attacks early in the stage, at the 71 kilometre mark and on the steepest part of the course, Corset made a solo move.
Taylah Jennings (QAS/VelociSports) and Miranda Griffiths (Holden Cycling) broke away from the main bunch, with the seventeen-year-old Jennings joining Corset shortly thereafter.
The pair established a lead of over minute heading into the final few kilometres before Corset, the 2010 Australian road champion and mother of two, rode away from her teenage competitor to take the stage win and leader's jersey.
“I was hoping that someone would come with me but then I was just stuck out there so I just had to try and give it everything for the team,” Corset said.
Today’s event was praised by Canberra rider Wiasak, saying the professionalism was important for the sport of racing and women’s racing.
“I think the atmosphere here today has been great, it’s great to see a really professionally run race and the calibre of riders and quality of teams that are involved this year is fantastic,” Wiasak said.
The Velo Battle on the Border continues on Sunday with Stage three, an 85 kilometre road race on Bells Boulevard at Salt Park. All eyes will be on Corset's Pensar-Hawk Racing team as they take a 51 second lead into another hilly course.
First held in 2009, the VELO Battle on the Border has become one of Australia's biggest cycling festivals and with the Women's National Road Series Tour featuring four stages over three days.
The 2012 Subaru National Road Series features five events for women for registered teams and individuals.
Follow all the action of the Women’s NRS event, Battle on the Border, via