KATRIN Garfoot will go into the elite women’s cycling Tour of the Goldfields in Ballarat with a slender lead in the National Road Series.
Garfoot and defending champion Ruth Corset have turned the title race into a two-rider battle in what has developed into a classic contest between the Queensland members of Pensar SPM Racing
Garfoot is just two points ahead of Corset.
Felicity Wardlaw is another 57 points adrift in third position.
In its second year, the three-day Tour of the Goldfields on October 25-27 is the last leg of the NRS.
Garfoot, 32, and Corset, 36, crossed the line together in sixth and seventh positions respectively in the one-day Shipwreck Classic in Warrnambool on Sunday.
This was six minutes, 55 seconds behind winner Nicole Whitburn.
Inaugural Tour of the Goldfields winner and London Olympic bronze medallist Nettie Edmondson did not finish the event, her first road ride since returning to Australia after spending the year in Europe with ORICA-AIS.
However, she will not be defending her Goldfields crown.
Edmondson, of South Australian, will instead be in training on the track for a World Cup meet at Manchester.
Garfoot and Corset have been going head-to-head since the opening race in the NRS, the Mersey Valley Tour, when they were separated by only seconds in finishing one-two.
Other results leading up to the Shipwreck Classic:
• Battle of the Border: Corset 1st, Garfoot 4th
• Adelaide Tour: Corset 5th, Garfoot 6th
• North West Tour: Corset 1st, Garfoot 2nd
• Tour of the King Valley: Garfoot 1st, Corset 2nd
• Tour of the Murray River: Garfoot 1st, Corset 3rd
• National Capital Tour: Corset 1st, Garfoot 2nd
Corset finished fifth in the Tour of the Goldfields last year – 10 places ahead of Garfoot.
Corset opened the tour with a second to Ashlee Ankudinoff in a criterium in Victoria Park, third to Edmondson in a road race at Burrumbeet and fourth again to Edmondson in a road race at Snake Valley.
The tour will again feature four stages:
• Friday, October 25: stage 1, Victoria Park criterium
•Saturday, October 26: stage 2, team time trial at Burrumbeet
•Saturday, October 26: stage 3, 58km road race at Burrumbeet
• Sunday, October 27: stage 4, 82km road race at Dunnstown