THE man behind the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Australian cycling legend John Trevorrow said Stage 4 of the Tour of Gippsland, held in Bass Coast on Saturday, provided perfect road
The stage started in Wonthaggi and headed to the hills of Almurta, Ryanston and Glen Forbes before heading back down to Archies Creek, across to Glen Alvie and back up again to Moyarra and Mt Misery before finishing in Inverloch’s A’Beckett Street.
New Zealander Joe Cooper broke away from the bunch and won by more than 40 seconds, setting up an overall tour victory the following day.
Mr Trevorrow, the race director, said it took a bold ride from Cooper to break clear in challenging conditions.
“He rode beautifully. The racing was very hard and there were a couple of crashes, but you have the best racing roads around here.
“We should have a Sun Tour stage here,” Mr Trevorrow said.
Cooper led home an Avanti IsoWhey Sport 1-2-3 on stage four of the Australian Paper Tour of Gippsland, which is part of Cycling Australia’s Subaru National Road Series, taking the stage win solo ahead of teammates Pat Shaw and Sam Crome.
“All credit to my Avanti IsoWhey teammates today, they really put me in a good position. They set it up, and allowed me to fly away and feel the wind on my face,” Cooper said.
“You almost have to hold back a little bit to begin with in a break like that, or you could get caught in the final 10km and the tank will be empty, so it’s all about timing your effort and making sure you have enough to get right to the end for the win.
Avanti IsoWhey Sports were able to control the peloton and make the other teams respond.
After the first category one King of the Mountain (KOM) climb, taken out by Cooper, Shaw was the first to get away, opening up a gap that ensured he won the sprint into Archies Creek and put him into the virtual lead on the road.
As the race approached the Mt Misery climbs, the always aggressive duo Rowan Dever and Jake Klajnblat of Oliver’s Real Food Racing and JML Racing respectively attacked, and held a lead that extended to one and a half minutes the first time up the climb.
Klajnblat went solo to take maximum points on the first lap, before Cooper, the second man over the summit, quickly caught Klajnblat and went solo himself.
Cooper quickly opened a gap of 30 seconds on the peloton, and drove on and on towards the second KOM point on Mt Misery.
First to the summit, Cooper picked up another 10 points to stitch up the Jayco Mountain Classification jersey for the tour.
Cooper held onto his lead and crossed the finishing line in Inverloch solo.
Warragul’s Cyrus Monk of Pat’s Veg Cycling had a great ride and claimed the Paul the Pieman Young Rider Classification jersey after stage four.
Stage 1 on Wednesday last week was held in Traralgon; Stage 2 on Thursday was from Paynesville to Metung; Stage 3 on Friday from Sale to Port Albert and Sunday’s stage a criterium at Traralgon.
Legend agrees Bass Coast is perfect for road racing