CHLOE Moran had to overcome a little more than most to claim overall Tour of the South West women’s A grade honours.
Ten days ago the 16-year-old finished a course of antibiotics after a bout of pneumonia — yesterday she took the top step of the podium in just her second senior tour.
“I’m pretty excited and in a little bit of shock,” Moran said after her win was confirmed.
“I’ve only just come up from juniors, so to have a general classification win — I went a lot better than I thought I would.”
Moran, who rides with the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) squad finished the three-stage, two-day tour 17 seconds ahead of 2013 champion Nicole Whitburn.
She crept into the general classification lead after Saturday afternoon’s road race at Wangoom and said the aim of yesterday’s criterium around the Warrnambool cemetery was to stave off attack from her challengers.
All went to plan until the final lap when Moran “hit the deck” taking skin off her arm and hands. She got back on the bike and finished in 13th position with the same time as the leaders, meaning her spot on top was safe.
Moran said her performance in the tour’s first stage, an individual time trial, was what set her up for the win.
“I finished second which was a little bit unexpected,” she said. “Time trials are becoming a pretty strong event for me. Then I had a decent road race where I finished in 11th.
“The wind was the toughest part of the whole event. I just stuck in the bunch and held a couple of wheels to keep myself out of it and it’s worked.”
Moran, who won gold in the under 19 points race at the track nationals in September last year, said she wasn’t expecting an overall win.
“It’s only my second senior tour. My first was the Santos tour for women in Adelaide,” she said.
“That was daunting. I was riding against some of the best female cyclists in the world and in huge bunches that I wasn’t used to.”
Warrnambool’s Stacey Hocking was the only local entered in the women’s category. She finished 18th on general classification, three minutes and 32 seconds behind Moran.