Posted by Editor on 10/18/08
Jayco Herald Sun Tour - Australia
Stage six Photos and story by Monique Hanley (results below)
Crossing Paths with Will Routley
For the past few years Canada has sent a composite national team to race the Herald Sun Tour in conjunction with the local Australian bike shop chain, Bicycle Superstore.
This year's set up was another successful combination for both sponsor and squad, thanks largely to the consistent performances of 25 year old Will Routley. Routley featured in the top three GC all week, with only a fading time trial on stage 5 dropping him back to an overall ninth finish. Despite his impressive performances, mixing it with Stuart O'Grady in a break on stage two, and attacking the final selection towards the mountain top finish of stage four for a shot at the overall lead, Routley remains unsigned for a team in 2009.
Following the final criterium around Melbourne's Italian precinct known as Lygon Street, he stopped to chat briefly about his week and future prospects.
"My week has been pretty tough! When we came down to this race Eric (Wohlberg) said, 'you know its pretty important to race hard every day', and that's definitely how it went. Basically, every day is a GC day. There is no time during the race where a team rides tempo to bring a break back. There is a threatening split going up the road all the time. You had to be aggressive, and pretty much every day I had to finish exhausted - there was no saving it for the next day."
"When I came here I wasn't exactly sure how the form would be as I hadn't raced since (Tour of) Missouri. I'd had good form there but I finished it off sick and had to recover for a little bit, but I got in a couple of good weeks of training before I came here."
"On the first day I made all the splits and felt really good, so I just figured I would do my best for GC, and managed to get in a good break the next day with Stuart O'Grady, which was pretty exciting, I mean, the big superstar and everything! The following day into Marysville with the 30km climb I was in a break with seven of us, and I was really hoping it would've stuck. You look back now and think of the opportunities and what might have stuck and it could have been different now, but I spent the week in second or third overall, and it was great exposure for our team and Bicycle Superstore, which was awesome as they have been phenomenal support for us."
"The pressure had been on us all week. In the stage up to Mt Buller the guys were working well to keep me safe and I was lucky to have such support. We are only a composite team, and composite teams don't normally work well together all the time, but we certainly did here. The guys did an awesome job, and I tried to get away at the top of Mt Buller, but in the end I got caught. Maybe it cost me a bit of time but it was worth a shot at the yellow! But I was still up there in second so that put the pressure on for the TT."
As has been the case in the past few Herald Sun Tours, the final GC has come down to the performance of the time trial. Routley was up against world class time trialists in an effort to protect his podium place on GC, following Stuart O'Grady and with Lars Bak chasing behind. Routley admits that the time trial is an area of improvement for him.
"For TTs I have improved drastically this year. I have gone from being a terrible time trialist to being pretty solid. I won the Provincials and was up there at Nationals, so I've been happy with that. So I went out in the TT and just tried to maintain that podium spot. At the turnaround I was still on par with O'Grady's time, so I was doing good pace, but I paid for it and things started to unravel for me in the final four km and unfortunately I lost some time."
"This is the first year that I have really been riding for myself and for GC, so improving my time trial is something I have only started working on. It keeps me wanting, keeps me thinking it would be good to come back here and have another crack at it!"
"Where I am at right now, I can improve for a GC contender. I think I can improve my climbing more too, and be one of the top contenders in these climbs. I am up there at the finish and I am able to attack, so if I can give it another season I might be able to win one of these stages. With the time trialling I don't know if I will be a world class time trialler, but I certainly have room for improvement. Every major stage race has a time trial, so it is important."
Routley is currently in discussions with a few possible teams for 2009, but is yet to sign. Being able to showcase his form and achieve some results during this time has been important and should assist.
"Getting results at this stage of the season is pretty important for me."
|Stage 6 - Melbourne Criterium 66 km|
|1 Daryl Impey (RSA) Barloworld||1:31:23|
|2 Chris Jongeward (Aus) Panasonic||at 0:04|
|3 Matthew Goss (Aus) CSC-Saxo Bank||0:30|
|4 Hilton Clarke (Aus) Toyota-United|
|5 Gene Bates (Aus) Drapac Porsche|
|6 Dominique Rollin (Can) Toyota-United|
|7 Emile Abraham (Tri) Team Type 1|
|8 Brad Huff (USA) Jelly Belly|
|9 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) CSC-Saxo Bank|
|10 Nic Sanderson (Aus) Jelly Belly||all s.t.|
|25 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada||0:34|
|31 Will Routley (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada||0:38|
|DNF Andrew Randell (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada|
|DNF Rob Britton (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada|
|DNF Bruno Langois (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada|
|1 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) CSC-Saxo Bank||14:20:49|
|2 Lars Bak (Den) CSC-Saxo Bank||at 0:17|
|3 Benjamin Day (Aus) Toyota-United||0:23|
|4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Barloworld||0:52|
|5 Richie Porte (Aus) Praties||0:58|
|6 Glen Chadwick (NZl) Team Type 1||1:04|
|7 Jeremy Yates (NZl) Yes Optus Shop New Zealand||1:04|
|8 Dominique Rollin (Can) Toyota-United||1:18|
|9 Will Routley (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada||1:27|
|10 Will Walker (Aus) Virgin Blue Australia||1:34|
|19 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada||6:33|
|1 Matthew Goss (Aus) CSC-Saxo Bank||28 points|
|2 Dominique Rollin (Can) Toyota-United||22|
|3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) CSC-Saxo Bank||20|
|4 Daryl Impey (RSA) Barloworld||18|
|5 Baden Cooke (Aus) Barloworld||18|
|14 Will Routley (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada||6|
|1 Matt Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1||40 points|
|2 Chris Jongeward (Aus) Panasonic||30|
|3 Hugo Sabido (Por) Barloworld||24|
|4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Barloworld||24|
|5 Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly||22|
|10 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Bicycle Superstore Canada||4|
|2 Drapac Porsche Development Program||at 3:07|
|4 Team CSC - Saxo Bank||7:29|
|5 Team Type 1||20:40|
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