2014 Tour of Tasmania Stage 4 Blog: Brendan Canty

Peloton Cafe || 2014 Tour of Tasmania Stage 4 - health.com.au-search2retain
Peloton Cafe || 2014 Tour of Tasmania Stage 4 – health.com.au-search2retain
By Brendan Canty???health.com.au/search2retain Today was probably one of the most exciting moments of a race that I?ve ever experienced and despite being in lots of pain throughout almost the entire stage, it was also extremely enjoyable! It?s quite difficult to articulate exactly how Stage 4 of this year?s Tour of Tasmania 106km road stage from Ulverstone to Penguin unfolded. Featuring two very steep and challenging climbs we knew it was going to be a difficult day, and I have to say I was certainly glad to have a 32t cassette. Within the first 15km?s of the race there was a big split that caught some big riders out including Joe Cooper and yellow jersey holder Ben Dyball. Eric Sheppard and myself had made the split with our GC man Paddy ?10 men? Bevin, and so we went to the front to drive it with some help from Budget forklifts who also had Tim Roe in the group. Things came back together for a very quick descent leading into the first Sprint for the day at 21.9km and Paddy managed to get up for the win and pick up some valuable time bonuses which put him as virtual race leader on the road. No break had been established and plenty of riders were attacking off the front before the first KOM of the day, but nothing stuck. The first KOM commenced with a very tight right-hander, which forced riders to squeeze up and almost come to a complete stop before being faced with a rather steep wall. After a very quick start to the stage and no break up the road the climb was ridden at a very solid pace. The peloton was reduced to only about 30 riders over the top and would stay this way until the second KOM 40km?s later. Health.com.au-S2R was well represented with 5 riders. Eventually 4 riders formed a break including Josh Berry, Michael Crosbie, Mark Tupalski and Wes Sulzberger. Our team took the front to control the break with Eric Sheppard and Alistair Donohoe rolling strong turns basically until the start of the 2nd KOM and keeping Cam Bayly, Paddy Bevin and myself fresh. The 2nd KOM was described in last night?s meeting (rather appropriately) with a handful of negative adjectives from those who rode it last year. The first KOM averages 13%, and ramps up to similar grades during the middle and at the end. My HR didn?t drop below 190BPM for the 8-minute climb with Avanti driving a very hard pace on the front by O?Brien with Dyball sitting on his wheel. Over the top of the climb the front group was down to about 5 riders, including Cam and myself and the two Avanti riders, but Paddy had been tailed off at this stage. Eventually a few more riders joined the group including Avanti riders Joe Cooper and Mitch Lovelock-Fay who went to the front and pulled turns to try to prevent Bevin from joining back on. Despite 4 of them in the group, Paddy Bevin was able to rejoin the group after Cam Bayly selflessly dropped out the back to help bring him back up. Once Paddy had made contact again with the final front group of about 15 riders, Avanti stopped riding so we made our way to the front to ride tempo for the final 30 Km back downhill into the town of Penguin. Many riders tried to attack off the front but we were able to slowly ride them back, keeping things all together coming into the finish. Paddy was able to take the sprint, giving health.com.au-search2retain its maiden stage victory in this year?s Tour of Tasmania ahead of Drapac?s Lachie Norris and Bernie Sulzeberger. In addition to this, Paddy claimed more time bonus to put him 11 seconds in the overall lead ahead of Ben Dyball! If you could write a script for the perfect outcome from today?s stage, this would be it. The whole team helped contribute and rode really well together. With 2 more stages to go we?ve still got lots of work to do. Hopefully we?ll be able to retain the yellow jersey through to the end of the tour. Brendan Canty?- @baacanty Keep up to date with the health.com.au ? search 2 retain team via their website and on Twitter ? @S2R_Health

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