RUTH Corset goes into the inaugural Tour of the Goldfields in Ballarat on Friday with a vice-like grip on the National Road Cycling Series.
Along as Corset, of Townsville, stays on her bike in the three-day event, which is the last leg of the series, she will claim the title.
The Queenslander is a tearaway leader in the individual title race –151 points clear of Lisa Jacobs from St Kilda.
Jacobs is the only rider within touch of Corset, but she will need to dominate the new tour to have any chance of bridging the gap.
Corset largely ended any hope Jacobs had with a third to Annette Edmondson in Sunday’s Shipwreck Coast Classic.
Jacobs had to settle for eighth.
Corset, Jacobs and Edmondson, who hails from South Australia, are among 53 provisional entries announced yesterday, representing 12 teams.
Edmondson will again be tough to beat, with her win of Sunday being her first NRS appearance since the London Olympic Games, where she captured a bronze medal in the women’s omnium.
Edmondson will go from the Ballarat event into training for the teams pursuit in the national track championships.
Rebecca Wiasak, of Canberra, shapes as another major contender in the Tour of the Goldfields.
She split Edmondson and Corset in a sprint finish on Sunday.
The tour is the sixth event in the NRS, having being launched last month.
Goldfield Tour entries:
Pensar Hawk Racing: Ruth Corset, Zoe Watters, Nicole Moerig, Katrin Garfoot, Sue Forsyth
Holden Cycling: Miranda Griffiths, Lucy Coldwell, Kristy Glover, Steph Ives, Rachel Ward
Suzuki/Trek: Ailie McDonald, Laura Meadley, Emma Viotto, Rebecca Wiasak, Alexandria Nicholls
Boss Constructions/Nutrixxion: Lisa Keeling, Ashlee Ankudinoff, Sarah Roy, Davina Summer, Megan Bagworth
Torq/Bicycle Superstroe: Clare Dallat, Chloe McIntosh, Lisa Barry, Flick Wardlaw, Victoria Luxton-Bain
Specialized Women SA: Kimberley Wells, Trudy Van Der Straaten, Carla Franson, Hannah Geeland, Cassandra Dodd
Jayco/Apollo VIS: Lisa Jacobs, Chloe McConville, Jessica Allen, Bridie O’Donnell, Jo Hogan
SKCC Giant: Justyna Lubkowski, Grace Phang, Claire Stevens
SASI: Annette Edmondson, Taryn Heather, Sinead Noonan, Jess Mundy, Alexandra Manly
Total Rush: Amy Bradley, Pippa Savage, Josie Simpson, Melina Bernecker
Kosdown B Team: Veronica Micich, Emma Pane, Anna Fogarty
Ballarat Regional Tourism: Carley McKay, Madeline Marshall, Eliza Bergin