2014 Tour of Gippsland: Stage 6 Wrap-up With health.com.au-search2retain

By?health.com.au-search2retain The final stage of the Tour of Gippsland was an absolute cracker. Several people have told me that they could not click the refresh button fast enough to get updates on the twitter feed. From our perspective we started the day in 4th position, 7 seconds behind the race leader (Raphael Freinstein from Charter Mason Racing Team) and 4 seconds behind 3rd place on GC, Joe Cooper so we decided to roll the dice and make it an all or nothing day and go for the win. Stuart Smith opened up our account by skipping off the front with one other rider so that we could start softening up Charter Mason and they gained a handy advantage until Stu over cooked it coming into the tricky roundabout corner and slid (gracefully) into the spectators in the corner. Stu took a lap out, got back onto his bike and went straight back to the front of the bunch to contest the sprint in third place. Next to go was Cam Bayly with a solo attack but Charter Mason shut that down pretty quick and the race stayed together for a couple of laps and the first sprint was contested from the bunch. After that Budget sent a couple of guys up the road to attack and the pace was pretty frantic but they were eventually brought back into the bunch before Patrick Bevin launched a well timed attack and got a quick gap. Cam quickly moved across to him as did a couple of other opportunists and before long there was 7 riders in the break. Cam and Patrick rode like demons to establish a good lead and it was clear that they were not going to get any assistance from their break away companions so they put their heads down and gave it their all. The bunch was looking very tired and it was quickly becoming apparent that they did not have the firepower to bring these guys back and that is when Tim Roe from Budget Forklifts launched himself across to the break and proceeded to work with Patrick and Cam to increase their lead. The main teams in the bunch each had a rider in the break so the chase was left to anyone who wanted to contest the bunch kick but with James Hepburn, Angus Tobin and Ollie Kent-Spark riding the front of the bunch it rest of the teams seemed satisfied to let them break the wind. Anyway, long story short, the break stayed away and despite the fact that Patrick, Cam and Tim Roe had ridden about 20 km on the front of the break Patrick still managed to round the final corner in first wheel position sprinting for the finish line about 300 metres after the corner. Alex Edmondson was on Patrick?s wheel and it looked like he was not going to be able to get around Patrick but in a desperate lunge to the finish the photo showed Alex winning by the narrowest of margins. Patrick had to settle for second place and Mitchell Lovelock-Fay rounded out the podium. So we started the stage in 4th on GC, with the KOM Jersey (Cam) and the most aggressive jersey (Patrick) and we finished the stage in 2nd on GC, with the KOM jersey (Cam) and second on the stage (Patrick). We didn?t win the most aggressive jersey on the stage but we won the Teams Classification for the stage and I believe it was well deserved as all of the team contributed to the result. We have to congratulate Tim Roe and Budget Forklifts on a great ride. It was an awesome site to watch Tim bridge that gap by himself and he certainly took responsibility for the win in the overall classification. With the next tours (Canberra and Tasmania) not far away we will endeavor to keep up our momentum and continue to race positive and with aggression. To keep up to date with the team check out their TWITTER feed at @S2R_Health  

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