By David Parker from the Phoenix Cycling Collective -?Twitter (@phoneixcycle)
Stage Three of the National Capital Tour was a great race for the team. The pace was on the whole time, the bunch was all together and nobody was getting away until the second last lap.
The team plan was formulated prior to the race, and involved setting up a leadout for Craig close to the end of the race. On course after the race began, Craig had a word to Simon to start forming up at the second KOM point in the second last lap.
A break had formed with Avanti Racing and Cellarbrations, and it was well away from the peloton, but all the guys were keen to put the team plan into action anyway. Simon went to the right to the front as planned, and there were a couple of exciting moments as we realised that we were forming up next to a group of Budget riders.
Sam hopped onto Simon’s wheel, and made sure that noone took it from him – even pushing around some better placed teams to make sure that our leadout would form together as planned.
Simon hit the gas at the second KOM point as planned, punching off the front. Sam then dropped the hammer, putting 400m into the bunch and sprinting at 1600 watts with Craig on his wheel.
Craig came around Sam with 3km to go, and made a 800 metre gap, which slowly got brought back by six Budget riders at the front of the chasing peloton.
Craig got caught with 200m to go, and quickly got shelled as the major teams executed their leadout strategies.
Despite the team plan not working out, the teamwork by our guys was absolutely fantastic. Dave unfortunately got a flat as we were forming out leadout, and had to struggle back to the finish line on his own. We are recovering under the marquee watching the NRS women battle it out in the crit, and are keen to have a final push in the final stage of the National Capital Tour.