2014 Tour of Tasmania: Stage 3 Blog By Russell Menzies, Cellarbrations Racing Team DS

Peloton Cafe || 2014 Tour of Tasmania Stage 3 - Cellarbrations Racing Team

Peloton Cafe || 2014 Tour of Tasmania Stage 3 – Cellarbrations Racing Team

Tour of Tasmania, Stage 3 Report by Cellarbrations DS, Russell Menzies ? 93km Launceston to Grindelwald. After a delightful stay at the Alansvale Motor Inn in Launceston our riders readied themselves for a decisive stage that was certain to test all riders and teams. It has 2 KOMs. The first is 8 or so kilometres?long and the 2nd much shorter but much, much steeper. Our goals for the day were to make sure we protected Josh?s position on the GC as well as our team?s GC position, currently 6th overall. Doing these things would also to protect our car?s position towards the front of the race convoy, more important than you?d think. This is worked out by your best placed GC rider. We?d lost Andreas on stage 2, but the five remaining boys were in good spirits before the stage and were preparing themselves as they normally do ? eating, and generally searching high and low for kit they?d put down somewhere and lost. Today?s stage started in absolutely beautiful weather conditions, in stark contrast to the previous two days. Sunny and warm with only a slight breeze, were we still in Tasmania? The stage began with a neutral zone around town which impressed all the bicycle supporters of Launceston no end. But once the red flag came down the attacks started right on cue. They were largely futile in the overall scheme of the race, but absolutely necessary for some riders to show how macho they are. After the first few kilometres it was obvious this stage was going to be tough, and it quickly got tougher, with the first KOM just 10 kilometres in. Everyone was trying to get to the front but that ain?t going to happen, so the first KOM proved decisive. By the top we had a number of groups forming. The first group of 25 riders over the top included our very own Mr Berry and Scott Bradburn, an awesome effort. The second group had Dylan and Sonny (Matt Slee) in it. But the time gap was already out to a couple of minutes. Our fifth rider, Aaron, otherwise known as Tubbs from Miami Vice was tapping it out with none other than Brodie Talbot at the back. The race was on. A break formed off the front, finally, and things generally settled down. The pace went off in the peloton and this was an opportunity for the chasing groups to get back on. And they did before the 60 kilometre mark.   More beautiful scenery to admire before the race really started to fire with Avanti driving the peloton to haul in the break. Our guys did a great job to position themselves near the front and were given a great opportunity to finish the stage very well. By the second KOM the breakaway had about 1 minute 30 seconds and the chasing group were closing in fast. Things lit up as the climbers attacked the final, 3 kilometre climb with real aggression. Did I mention it?s bloody steep? Unfortunately for us, and a lot of other teams, they weren?t able to catch the leaders so the remaining chasers, 15 riders max, were essentially racing for 4th. Our boys finished strongly with Mr Berry once again in the top 20, Dylan not far behind and Scott, Matt and Aaron all getting through the stage well. Overall, our goals were achieved which makes for a very happy DS. We consolidated our hold on 6th in the team GC, Josh moved up two places to 8th overall on GC. And we now get to move up a spot in the team car convoy. Yeah baby. The guys rode extremely well today. They experienced first-hand what real team work can achieve and we?re now behind only five of the strongest teams in the NRS. Not bad for a team still in its first NRS season. Also need to say a big ? no make that huge ? thank you to a couple of tireless workers who?ve been super busy behind the scenes helping our riders focusing on nothing but racing and recovering, Steven Slee and Matt La Borg. Thanks guys, you?re awesome. Quote of the day belongs to Mr Berry again. ?That heater is hot.? Thank you and good night.

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