Isla Carr sprints to maiden NRS win at Tour de Brisbane

  • By: AusCycling
  • May 8, 2024
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Isla Carr has notched her maiden National Road Series win at Tour de Brisbane after a smart sprint finish that thwarted NRS powerhouse Team BridgeLane.

The Western Australian, racing as a solo individual rider, capitalised on a chaotic technical finish to the 81.3-kilometre race to thwart Team BridgeLane’s sprint train that had come undone after the final U-turn.

As the NRS powerhouses hastily reassembled their train it was Carr who latched onto the rear of BridgeLane, who were working for Gina Ricardo.

Through the penultimate right then left corners, 21-year-old Carr pounced on open space on the inside and backed herself to hold off BridgeLane to the final corner 100 metres before the finish.

It was a gamble that paid off for Carr, with her punchy sprint more than enough to see her cross the line first ahead of Ricardo and lone ARA Skip Capital rider Sophie Edwards.

“It feels pretty great to get my first win, still a bit shocked really,” Carr said post-race.

“Everyone was so happy for me afterwards, that’s what made it special really.

“I’ve been waiting a while to get my first big win in Australia and the day finally came.”

How it unfolded

The race stayed together for all but several minutes despite the attempts of Team BridgeLane to form a breakaway.

Multiple breakaway attempts were made by various compositions of riders, with at least one BridgeLane rider present in every single move.

Ultimately the flat route and lack of wind proved fatal to any breakaway forming and once BridgeLane packed it in for a sprint finish the speed well and truly came out of the peloton.

NRS women Brisbane
The NRS women’s peloton on the start line of the Tour de Brisbane. Picture: Raceatlas

As the race neared the technical finale it was predictably BridgeLane who formed at the front in a blue train, but as they rounded the last U-turn in the final kilometre their control of the race slipped.

BridgeLane quickly reformed for the final corners but lone rider Carr had positioned herself perfectly to take advantage of an open inside lane and attack full gas to the finish.

Carr, one of Australia’s top young track riders, said she was surprised everyone took the penultimate corners so wide.

“After the U-turn the race got a bit chaotic. BridgeLane were trying to reassemble and I was able to get on the back of them coming into the right-hand turn up the hill. To my surprise, everyone took the turn really wide and I know that I have a good punch and can corner pretty well so I just went for it on the inside,” Carr said.

“I came over the climb in second and just went full force ahead into that final turn. The final kilometre was technically enough for me to hold my own (as an individual rider).

“Since I’m the only WAIS (Western Australian Institute of Sport) rider here the race was more about just sitting in the wheels, making sure that no attacks went that I thought would be important.

“I was in two breaks, but they got caught, but yeah it was mostly just staying hidden trying to do as little work as possible.

“I just came from Thailand, so today was perfect conditions with no rain.”

A disappointed Ricardo said the race “got a bit messy at the end”.

“We (BridgeLane) tried our best (to separate the race). We attacked and attacked and attacked, but just with the bunch and the fact there was no wind meant no one could get away because of the draft that the big group gets, everyone could just kind of roll back on to anyone who was off the front,” Ricardo said.

“At about 30km to go we settled for the bunch finish.

“Everyone put their best in for that last 10km, unfortunately we sort of stuffed it up around that last U-turn and lost the train, but I wouldn’t have been in that position today if it wasn’t for my teammates who took up the front from 10km to go.”

Carr doubled her wins for the day by taking the Young Rider classification, while talented BridgeLane teenager Nicole Duncan won the Sprint jersey alongside teammate Keely Bennett in the KOM jersey.

The Western Australian now sits level with Lochard Energy Warrnambool Women’s Classic winner Lucinda Stewart (ARA Skip Capital) at the top of the NRS standings on 250 points.


  1. Isla CARR (Individual) 2h08:05
  2. Gina RICARDO (Team BridgeLane) +0
  3. Sophie EDWARDS (ARA Skip Capital) +0
  4. Hayley JONES (Women’s Cycling Development Initiative p/b Balmoral CC) +0
  5. Summer NORDMEYER (Butterfields Racing Team) +0
  6. Belinda BAILEY (Team Hydraplay Femme – Empowered by the Mental Wheels Foundation) +0
  7. Savannah COUPLAND (Cycling Development Foundation) +0
  8. Haylee FULLER (Team BridgeLane) +3
  9. Scarlett SIBBEL (Individual) +3
  10. Keely BENNETT (Team BridgeLane) +3

For full results, visit the AusCycling results page.

A full replay of the race can be viewed on SBS On Demand.

Feature picture: Raceatlas

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