IT WAS a successful Herald Sun tour for all, with local rider Tom McFarlane finishing near the top half of starters, though it was international super team Sky that came away champions.
In the women’s event, the Australians raced exceptionally to come out first, second and third overall.
The Phillip Island Grand Prix track turned on superb sunny conditions for the opening stage of the tour with 22 laps making the race 97.9km in total for the men and women.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Chloe Hosking (team Ale Cipollini) proved why she was the pre-race favourite, outsprinting Italy’s Rachele Barbieri (BePink) who pushed Hosking all the way to the line.
“I know there’s a lot of work to go so I am actually really (excited), it’s like a nice surprise to come away with a few wins this summer,” Hosking said.
Dan McLay (EF Education First) won stage one for the men, with a high-paced sprint finish.
Leongatha rider Tom McFarlane (Korda Menthal) finished 20th overall.
“My heart rate was going 202 beats-per-minute at the end of the race,” Tom said.
Wonthaggi to Churchill, 127km, including some gravel climbing for the men.
The women’s event took the peloton on a 91.5km road race from Churchill around surrounding area, returning to Churchill.
It was two from two for EF Education First. Michael Woods won Stage 2 ahead of local favourite Richie Porte.
Queensland’s Lucy Kennedy won the Lexus Of Blackburn Women’s Herald Sun Tour after a stunning solo attack and fearless descending on the Jeeralang climb outside Churchill.
Completing the women’s tour podium full of Australians was second Amanda Spratt and third Brodie Chapman.
Kennedy, a former triathlete and cross-country runner, claimed it to be the biggest victory of her short career.
“It’s really, really special to win at home. This is by far my biggest win in Australia, so I was just… it feels amazing.”
From Sale to Warragul, 161km. It was a Team Sky one-two with Owain Doull and Luke Rowe attacking their breakaway companions and riding distance ahead to win.
Cape Schanck to Arthurs Seat 112.9km, including four climbs of Arthurs Seat.
Surviving from the day’s early breakaway, Australian Nicholas Schultz claimed his
first professional victory. Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle now led the tour with one stage remaining.
Twenty-two laps of a 4km circuit around Melbourne’s Botanic Gardens, including the climb on Anderson Street Hill.
Finishing the tour in first was Dylan van Baarle team Sky finishing in 13h 24m 38s, Nicholas Schultz the Australian of Mitchelton-Scott 24 seconds behind overall and Michael Woods of Education First 1.52 minutes off.
Richie Porte of team Trek finished fifth, 2 minutes and 13 seconds off first, and Tom McFarlane came in 38 minutes and 43 seconds from the winner.