Posted by Editoress on 10/15/11
Results and reports from the 3rd and 4th stages of the Jayco Suntour in Australia
Stage 3: German tourist rides Great Ocean Road to victory
The Great Ocean Road produced one of its most stunning days for stage three of the 2011 Jayco Herald Sun Tour today and in the best traditions of a tourist icon it inspired a visitor to victory.
It was not the first time that 23-year-old German rider Marcel Kittel had been motivated by a visit to the region having finished in the bronze medal position when he came to Geelong for the world under-23 time trial championships 12 months ago.
The Skil-Shimano rider's presence in this year's Jayco Herald Sun Tour had drawn plenty of attention following an impressive stage win on debut in the Vuelta Espana and after some lower key results on days one and two, he did not disappoint - recording his 16th victory for 2011.
Meanwhile Drapac Cycling's Rhys Pollock remained in yellow ahead of Nathan Haas (Genesys Wealth Advisers) at 15 seconds and Saxobank Sungard's Jonas Jorgensen, three seconds further back.
“It's the end of the season. I've had lots of races and the travel to Australia was long and hard. Today was the first day my legs were okay,” stage-winner Kittel said.
“But we are very motivated and I tried to win. It was not just a win for me, it was a win for the team. The boys did a really good job today.”
Kittel emphasised the importance of his teammate's role in the win, particularly given they had started the day one man down after Alexandre Geniez was forced out through illness.
“I can really believe in my team and today we showed how well we can work together,” he said.
“Drapac started to do the work to bring the break back but we helped in order to go for the sprint. Then the boys bought me to a good position with one kilometre to go which was important because the finish was not easy – it went downhill and then up again. It needed good timing.”
Although Kittel calculated on the spot that he had already had more than 50 racing days this year, he was not content to leave the matter there. He was already looking to the final two days of racing – Friday's stage from Sorrento, featuring three ascents of Arthurs Seat and Sunday's circuit course based on Lygon Street.
“Tomorrow will be a big fight but my role will be to support other riders – maybe as far as the first two climbs. Then I must keep something back as there is another chance for me on Sunday,” Kittel said.
Friday's breakaway that was eventually hauled in by the good work of the Skil-Shimano and Drapac teams with support from SaxoBank Sungard and Genesys Wealth Advisers with just 2.5 of the stage's 173 kilometres left to ride, was a four man effort.
Jelly Belly's Nic Hamilton was the main beneficiary of their efforts - winning both the climbs (at Benwerrin and the Eumeralla Scout Camp) during their 150km plus escape and taking over the Budget Forklifts Polka Dot King of the Mountains Jersey as a result.
The Canadian now leads that classification by eight points over Chris Jongewaard but there are maximum category one points up for grabs for the leading three over the first two climbs up Arthurs Seat tomorrow, leaving the contest wide open.
Hamilton's accomplices today were Stijn van den Bergh (Katusha) and John Anderson of the Mitchelton Australian National Team who made the initial break after 14km, before they were joined by Hamilton and MTN Qhubeka's Dylan Girdlestone.
The foursome cleaned up all the sprint and climbing points for the day between them, with van den Bergh being given the nod to take the maximum return in each of the two sprints (at Deans Marsh and the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch) as Hamilton had been allowed to do on the climbs. The Belgian was also awarded the Cycle in Greater Shepparton Orange Jersey for the most aggressive rider on the stage.
Although van den Bergh mentioned the long straights as a tiring factor on the stage, their ride would generally have been a pleasant one with almost perfect temperatures and little wind, except when the inshore breeze picked up a little as they made their way along 13th Beach. In summary Regional Victoria put on a simply magnificent day.
Certainly overnight leader Pollock and his Drapac team were happy to make the most of it. The previously almost reluctant jersey wearer now seems more comfortable with the idea, quipping that he had even got his mother to come to watch him ride in the yellow.
“The team rode fantastically today and we didn't even use everyone up, leaving Tom Palmer to have a good sprint for himself,” Pollock said.
“I felt pretty good today. The team took over and I just sat in the box seat.
“We have now given ourselves the best possibility going into tomorrow. And who knows – stranger things have happened.”
Pollock did however confess that he had never ridden up Arthurs Seat in a race situation, conceding that it would indeed be a new experience.
As it happened, nothing changed at all in terms of the top ten places on general classification, with all of those riders finishing with the leaders in the 72 man bunch finish.
Nor did much change in terms of the battle for the Honda Green Sprinters Jersey. The intermediate points as well as the bigger ones available at the end of today's stage went to riders who had previously been scoreless or lower down on the classification table. As a result, Haas will wear the jersey for another day, even though he feels certain he will not win it.
“As it happens, I haven't had to do much to keep it because the points have been so well spread. I am quite fortunate really,” Haas said.
He eyes remain more firmly on retaining the other prize he currently has in his possession - the State Government Victoria White Jersey for the best under 23 rider on general classification. Haas has been adamant all Tour that this is what he is after and believes he is very much on track.
“It was a risk to do the Tour of Tasmania last week, but it seems that it has brought my form right up and that risk is now paying off,” he said.
There is no question that this year's Jayco Herald Sun Tour is providing the opportunity for the likes of Haas, 22 and the other revelation of the Australian domestic season, his Genesys Wealth Advisers team mate, Steele Von Hoff to show their abilities.
The 23-year-old Von Hoff was an impressive second on today's stage behind Kittel demonstrating that he can mix it with the best in the bigger races. He edged out another young rider - the 21 year-old Palmer, who was third.
Stage 4: Fascinators at Caulfield; The Haasinator at Arthurs Seat
Today's stage four of the 2011 Jayco Herald Sun Tour promised much with some pretty solid views about the likely outcome but whilst it certainly delivered plenty, it panned out in a way that few expected.
A Russian Tour de France rider not mentioned amongst the day's favourites won the 131.6km Searoad Ferries stage from Sorrento to Arthurs Seat whilst an Aussie lad full of dreams stole the yellow jersey in the biggest day of his cycling life.
Nathan Haas came to take part in what he describes as his Genesys Wealth Advisers team's most important race of the year, with his eyes firmly on the best under-23 rider crown but he now sits on the precipice of achieving something far greater.
Following today's super effort he not only wears the Jayco Yellow Jersey for the leader on general classification but he also has ten seconds insurance over Garmin Cervelo's Australian road champion Jack Bobridge heading into tomorrow's final stage on Lygon Street. SaxoBank-Sungard's Jonas Jorgensen is third at 29 seconds but looks out of contention for the top honour.
The stage was won by Katusha's Igor Silin, a former under 23 world championships bronze medallist, who left it until the final two kilometres of the last of three climbs up to Arthurs Seat to stake his claim for victory.
The 23-year-old was in the end a relatively easy victor by 16 seconds over the jousting Haas and Bobridge, both 22, who filled the minor placings. But already 10 minutes behind the leaders at the start of the day, Silin's success had no real impact on the overall standings.
“I am very happy. This is my first professional stage victory,” Silin said.
“The finish was very nice for me as I climbed very well. I thank my team - they did a very good job.”
The real interest though was in what was happening just behind him. Once the two found themselves alone, Haas possessed a major advantage over his to date more decorated Australian rival.
Having started the day eight seconds in front of Bobridge, he knew that he only had to stick with him to take yellow - given that overnight leader Rhys Pollock (Drapac Cycling) was around a minute behind them back down the road.
In a desperate struggle Haas prevailed – gaining a precious two extra bonus seconds over his rival.
Haas could not have been happier, proud for what he had he achieved for the team he clearly regards so highly and to have been able to do so in front of his family, who he confessed had never seen him in a bike race before. They were going to make the most of the day regardless, someone even producing a catchy banner, proclaiming their boy, “The Haasinator”.
“It feels pretty awesome. To be honest I'm trying to just stay pragmatic about it because there's still another stage tomorrow so it's not finished yet,” Haas said.
“Tomorrow it's crits and I really love crits. It's something that we do a lot in the National Road Series so I feel as if I'm not handicapped at all. My team's going to be looking after me as well.
“Whatever happens tomorrow I feel as though I've come away with a good win inside. It feels really good because I'm starting to realise one of my goals and some of the things I've sacrificed to be able to do this. It's really nice to have something big like this happen.”
Haas revealed a long time admiration for the man he will again face tomorrow in the race to become the 59th winner of Australia's oldest stage race.
“To come up against someone like Bobridge who I've admired since I was a junior, it's just a dream and I still can't believe it's happening,” Haas said.
He also told of the advice he had from another rider whose career was launched through the Genesys program.
“I spoke to my mate Richie Porte before the race - after the Tour of Tassie and he sent me a good message just saying, - you've got to trust that you are as good as these guys because they're not supermen,” he said.
“He said, your best at any time is often enough. I came into this race really trusting his words and on the first day I really backed myself and gave myself the opportunity to do it.”
There were other battles to be played out today with Haas coming out on top of two of those as well.
In finishing second, Haas again accumulated sprint points to maintain a lead in the race for the Honda Green Sprinters Jersey. The four point margin remains the same but is now held over Stijn van den Bergh (Katusha) who was again part of a breakaway today and picked up five intermediate points in the process.
It seemed that in van den Bergh's mind it perhaps should have been six as he found himself in an unanticipated contest with fellow breakaway, Patrick Shaw (Genesys) in the first of the two sprints - at Merricks. There appeared to be a better understanding from Shaw at the second, just past Flinders, where he allowed the Belgian to take it without contention.
For the second day in a row, van den Bergh was also acknowledged as the most appropriate recipient for the Cycle in Greater Shepparton Orange Jersey.
Haas naturally also retained the State Government Victoria White Jersey for his originally intended target of the best under 23 rider on the Tour.
The contest for the Budget Forklifts Polka Dot King of the Mountains Jersey was effectively decided today with maximum 24-16-8 points available for each of the first two climbs up Arthurs Seat, both classified as category one.
V Australia's Cameron Peterson despite beginning the day with no points at all finished third on the first climb and won the second, to take over the jersey from Jelly Belly's Nic Hamilton by six points. Peterson only has to finish tomorrow's final stage to claim the title, as there are no climber points on offer.
John Anderson (Mitchelton Australia National Team) was again an escapee, joining van den Bergh, Peterson, Shaw and PureBlack's Glen Chadwick down the road for more than 80 kilometres, with the lonely figure of Budget Forklifts' Peter Herzig a solo rider some minutes and half behind them for much of that time.
It now all comes down to tomorrow's final stage – a 15 lap race of a 4.1km circuit based on Carlton's Lygon Street starting at 3.15pm. There are 3, 2 and 1 bonus seconds available for the two intermediate sprints at the end of laps five and ten, with 10, 6 and 4 for the final sprint.
Haas with the assistance of his team has the task of ensuring he stays with the main pack, without allowing any breakaway involving his main opponent. Blocking any efforts by Bobridge to pick up bonus seconds will be handy.
Bobridge and co have the slightly tougher task – to in some way bridge that ten second gap.
|Stage 3 (October 14th): Geelong to Drysdale, 172.6km|
|1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano||4:16:16|
|2 Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers|
|3 Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|4 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Australian National Team|
|5 Jacob Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling|
|6 Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank-SunGard|
|7 Yoshimitsu Tsuji (Jpn) Utsunomiya Blitzen|
|8 Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|9 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) V Australia|
|10 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto|
|11 Hilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling|
|12 Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team|
|13 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka|
|14 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) V Australia|
|15 Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|16 Charles Huff (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda|
|17 Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers|
|18 Alexey Markov (Rus) Russian National Team|
|19 Arran Brown (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka|
|20 Cameron Wurf (Aus) Australian National Team||all s.t.|
|84 Nic Hamilton (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda||1:30|
|Stage 4: Sorrento to Arthurs Seat, 131.6km|
|1 Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team||3:20:54|
|2 Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers||at 0:16|
|3 Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo||s.t.|
|4 Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Katusha Team||0:19|
|5 Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||0:23|
|6 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil - Shimano||0:26|
|7 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo||0:30|
|8 Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:34|
|9 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:36|
|10 Alexander Serov (Rus) Russian National Team|
|11 Jonas Aen Jorgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard|
|12 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka|
|13 Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||all s.t.|
|14 Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Russian National Team||0:39|
|15 Michael Cupitt (Aus) Budget Forklifts|
|16 Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka|
|17 Darren Rolfe (Aus) V Australia|
|18 Matthew Llyod (Aus) Australian National Team|
|19 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||all s.t.|
|20 Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank-SunGard||0:47|
|78 Nic Hamilton (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda||10:30|
|1 Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers||11:20:00|
|2 Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo||at 0:10|
|3 Jonas Aen Jorgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard||0:29|
|4 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka||0:33|
|5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||0:34|
|6 Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||1:14|
|7 Joseph Lewis (Aus) Australian National Team||3:29|
|8 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) V Australia||3:45|
|9 Tim Gudsell (NZl) Pure Black Racing||3:59|
|10 Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano||4:18|
|11 Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team||10:01|
|12 Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Katusha Team||10:30|
|13 Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||10:34|
|14 Yukihiro Doi (Jpn) Skil - Shimano||10:37|
|15 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo||10:41|
|16 Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||10:47|
|17 Alexander Serov (Rus) Russian National Team|
|18 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto||10:50|
|19 Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka|
|20 Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Russian National Team|
|55 Nic Hamilton (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda||20:29|
|1 Cameron Peterson (Aus) V Australia||32 pts|
|2 Nic Hamilton (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda||26|
|3 Glen Chadwick (NZl) Pure Black Racing||24|
|4 Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Budget Forklifts||18|
|5 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo||16|
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