Sport

Kimberley Wells and Gracie Elvin continue Canberra's domination of Bay Cycling Classic

Twice national criterium champion Kimberley Wells has a couple of days left before she loses her Australian jersey, but that just makes her hungrier to win it back.

And the 30-year-old doctor says Sunday's leg of the Bay Cycling Classic in Geelong will show whether fellow Canberran and good friend Gracie Elvin has "got the legs" to reclaim the national road race title.

Two-time national champion Gracie Elvin is in good form going into the nationals in Ballarat.
Two-time national champion Gracie Elvin is in good form going into the nationals in Ballarat. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

Wells and Elvin have dominated the opening two rounds of the Bay Cycling Classic - Elvin winning Friday night's first leg with Wells finishing third, before Wells won Saturday's second leg with Elvin second.

Elvin tweeted it had become the Canberra Cup.

Not only are Wells and Elvin good friends and both from the ACT, but Wells' coach Stu Shaw is Elvin's husband.

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Elvin will again wear the yellow jersey in Sunday's third stage as the overall leader of the race.

Wells has been wearing her green-and-gold jersey as the Aussie crits champ, but she'll lose that honour when the national champs begin in Ballarat on Wednesday.

"I certainly have the form to win the Australian crit nationals, as I've done twice in the past, but you've got to take every moment as it comes ... so we'll just have to see how that goes," the Colavita Bianchi rider said.

"Hopefully I can get my green-and-gold stripes again in Ballarat.

"I've only got the next couple of days to wear the green-and-gold jersey and then come nationals everyone gets all the jerseys taken away from them and you're back to standard.

"It makes you hungrier to go and get it again."

Four days after Wells defends her national crits title, Elvin will be looking to reclaim the road race crown she won in 2013 and 2014.

Wells felt the third leg of the Bay Cycling Classic, in Port Arlington, would give an insight into who will be Aussie champion.

"[It's] essentially an entree to who's got the legs to win at the Australian nationals road race, so it will be an interesting one to watch every year about who's on form," she said.

"You're reduced-bunch sprinters - your Gracie Elvins, your Peta Mullens, all of those kind of characters - are the ones to be watching out for tomorrow."

Elvin was an accidental stage winner and race leader - she was meant to be the lead-out rider for Orica-AIS teammate Sarah Roy in both stages, but it didn't play out that way.

She said the Port Arlington stage was the toughest of the Classic and agreed it was a good pointer towards the nationals.

Elvin said it was "awesome" this year's national road race will be televised live.

"Everyone looks to that as the Queen stage of this series and definitely a good indicator for nationals," Elvin said.

"It's sometimes hard, you don't want to show your cards before nationals, but if you race here then you're kind of forced to.

"I'm definitely on the right track [for nationals], it's going to be a tough race though.

"Anything can happen, it's a national championship and it's a tough course so we're still going to have to be careful about how we play the game, but I think any one of us from the [Orica-AIS] team can take it as well, not just myself."