The 1st road stage of the Herald Sun Tour was decided by a large 21 rider breakaway which would arrive at the finish just over 20 minutes ahead of the peloton. Cameron Meyer (Orica-Greenedge) was the rider to triumph on the day as he and Joseph Cooper (Avanti) got away from the break group in the closing kilometers of the stage. Patrick Bevin (Avanti) won the sprint for 3rd.
The early racing saw the escapees group form after just 20km’s of racing. With representation from nearly all the teams the gap grew quickly. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had hoped for a sprint today but no other team would assist with the chase. With our 5 riders up against the 20 riders up the road, it was always going to be a stretch too far.
Nevertheless, with Serge Pauwels still represented in the large breakaway group, our Belgian would go on to cross the line in 7th place on the stage. After yesterdays prologue results, Meyer pulls on the race leaders jersey while Serge now sits in 11th place on the GC.
Serge Pauwels – Rider
“It was a hot day and the race started with a tough climb. On the climb I rode away with 20 other riders. It was a hard day but my legs got better in the final. This is the perfect start to the Sun Tour for me.”
Michel Cornelisse – Sports Director
“The plan was to go for the sprint today with Gossy and Farrar. Directly from the start though there was a tough 6km climb where 21 riders went clear. We chased from the peleton but received no help from the other teams. In the end it was still a good stage for us. Serge was really good and with Sundays GC deciding stage to come, we are in a nice position for the overall classification.”
Image: Mark Gunter