It was an exciting day for the women here on Day 2 of the Santos Women’s Tour here in Adelaide…

After yesterday’s road race featuring a breakaway group, a train crossing and almost 43kph average speed over the 59km undulating course, the biggest names in women’s cycling gathered again this evening for 15 laps of a 1.7km cityscape criterium circuit.

“It was a beautiful, flowy course”, muses Crystal Wemyss of the Boss Racing Team. “There are some tough little hills which separate the peloton out.” From country Victoria, Crystal has a husband and 2 children and finds the time to train part time between looking after the kids and involvement with their schools.

“Yesterday was fantastic too”, says Nicole Moerig, her teammate. After breaking her collarbone in this race last year, Nicole was more than happy to have finished the criterium in one piece. “I was happy to get in the breakaway group [in the road race]. The train crossing was interesting… and it was a very technical descent.”

Behind the scenes with the winners…

Ever wondered what the atmosphere is like in the tent behind the stage, before the cyclists come out to receive their flowers and jerseys? Chicks Who Ride Bikes was there catching up with some of the best female cycling talent there is, and soaking up the energy post-race.

“I’m so excited!” squeals Annette Edmondson, Adelaide local and gold and silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. “This is it… don’t trip!” she playfully whispers to her long-time competitor Kimberley Wells of the High5 Dream Team as they are about to be called onto the stage for their well-deserved presentation ceremony.

“You guys must be freezing. But you look great!” says Kimberley to one of the beautiful podium girls who presents the women’s team with their flowers on stage. Dressed in tight fitting red dresses and sky high white high heels, it is an image more commonly associated with the cheek kisses and presentation of the yellow jersey at the Tour de France.

After mimicking the infamous ”podium pinch” by Peter Sagan by grabbing the bottom of a male official in 2013, I was curious what female riders think about this tradition. “Well, they had Podium Boys at the Tour of Norway, which was a bit of fun” says Loren, who won the sprint to win 2nd place in the road stage yesterday. “It’s all just a bit of fun really, we don’t mind.”

What does seem to be a consensus, however, is the distance of the races. Shortly after the women completed their 15 laps of the circuit, the men raced less than an hour later for 30 laps. “The only thing is, I wish it [the criterium] was longer,” Lauren says, “30 laps would be good. But, it’s getting better and better. Next year they’re even talking about making the stages close to 100km”.

“It’s a great atmosphere” Kimberley adds, “better than I’ve seen in years!”