The Italian pocket rocket easily out sprinted Shannon Malseed and Jessica Allen (Orica-Scott) to win stage 1 of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Geelong. 

The trio pulled clear with three laps to go on the 45 minute race.  

"Orica-Scott made it a very hard race, attacking every moment, so I had to make sure I jumped then as soon as possible," Scandolara said.

22-year-old Victorian rider, Malseed, racing as an individual, was more than happy with her second place. 

"It was good to see Vale, my Italian friend, win and good to come second up against her - she's a great sprinter. It's awesome," Malseed said.

"Going into the nationals, it puts me in good stead for that."

Scandolara, who rode for Orica-Scott in its earlier incarnation as Orica-AIS in 2014/15, often kicks off her season down under. 

"It's better than staying in Europe in winter, right?" she said. "For sure, it's important to have some good feelings in the beginning of the season."

"It's always good for me to be here and see the strong riders, be there in contention with them. It gives me good confidence - last year was good as well, but then I got sick, so it was a bad year for me.

"So January 1, first win and hopefully it will be a good year. I love Australia!" 

As it happened

Scandolara's team took control early marking moves from Hagens Berman Supermint and Orica-Scott, largely due to the work of Ellen Skerritt and Chloe Hosking. 

With the bell sounding for the first intermediate sprint after 15 minutes raced, Sarah Roy (Orica-Scott), Liza Rachetto (Hagens Berman Supermint) and Amanda Spratt  (Orica-Scott) managed to get some air between themselves and an Ale Cycling contained peloton to take the points. 

After 25 minutes raced, a dozen riders pulled clear and included Spratt and Hosking. Spratt's team-mate Annemiek van Vleuten then moved to the front to drive the peloton before more attacks came, including a more decisive looking move from Hosking and Spratt with just 15 minutes to go. 

That duo held the lead for five minutes until Van Vleuten, Scandolara and Jessica Allen themselves attacked to hold a seven second gap with 10 minutes remaining and looked to stay clear. 

Miraculously back in the main bunch, Peta Mullens (Hagens Berman Supermint) drove hard to regain contact, ultimately dragging the peloton with her with six minutes to go before Scandolara made the final decisive move. 


Elite Women Stage 1 Result

1. 13 Valentina SCANDOLARA (Alé Cycling)     45:18  
2. 53 Shannon MALSEED     +0  
3. 4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott)     +0  
4. 14 Chloe HOSKING (Alé Cycling)     +10  
5. 19 Peta MULLENS (Hagens Berman | Supermint)     +10  
6. 2 Sarah ROY (Orica-Scott)     +10  
7. 7 Yumi KAJIHARA (Novotel Geelong / Japan)     +10  
8. 1 Amanda SPRATT (Orica-Scott)     +10  
9. 21 Megan ALDERETE (Hagens Berman | Supermint)     +10  
10. 5 Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN (Orica-Scott)     +10  
11. 17 Hayley JONES (Alé Cycling)     +10  
12. 3 Jenelle CROOKS (Orica-Scott)     +10  
13. 26 Lucy BECHTEL (Specialized Women's Racing)     +10  
14. 34 Désirée EHRLER (Maaslandster Veris CCN)     +10  
15. 27 Matilda RAYNOLDS (Specialized Women's Racing)     +10  
16. 38 Minda MURRAY (Total Rush)     +10  
17. 35 Melissa ROBINSON (Maaslandster Veris CCN)     +10  
18. 52 Natalie REDMOND     +10  
19. 22 Beth Ann ORTON (Hagens Berman | Supermint)     +10  
20. 25 Madeline WRIGHT (Specialized Women's Racing)     +10  
21. 16 Philippa SUTTON (Alé Cycling)     +10  
22. 37 Tayla EVANS (Total Rush)     +10  
23. 15 Ellen SKERRITT (Alé Cycling)     +10  
24. 20 Liza RACHETTO (Hagens Berman | Supermint)     +10  
dnf 8 Miho YOSHIKAWA (Novotel Geelong / Japan)        
dnf 9 Kie FURUYAMA (Novotel Geelong / Japan)        
dnf 10 Yuya HASHIMOTO (Novotel Geelong / Japan)        
dnf 11 Minami UWANO (Novotel Geelong / Japan)        
dnf 28 Verita STEWART (Specialized Women's Racing)        
dnf 43 Chloe MCINTOSH (Alé Cycling)        
dnf 44 Edie HALEY        
dnf 45 Jemma EASTWOOD        
dnf 47 Carina NEWMAN        
dnf 49 Emma CHILTON        
dnf 51 Grace PHANG        
dns 55 Brodie CHAPMAN        


General Classification

After Stage 1

1. 13 Valentina SCANDOLARA (Alé Cycling)     12 pt
2. 53 Shannon MALSEED     10  
3. 4 Jessica ALLEN (Orica-Scott)     8  
4. 14 Chloe HOSKING (Alé Cycling)     7  
5. 19 Peta MULLENS (Hagens Berman | Supermint)     6  
6. 2 Sarah ROY (Orica-Scott)     5  
7. 7 Yumi KAJIHARA (Novotel Geelong / Japan)     4  
8. 1 Amanda SPRATT (Orica-Scott)     3  
9. 21 Megan ALDERETE (Hagens Berman | Supermint)     2  
10. 5 Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN (Orica-Scott)     1