2014 Tour of Tasmania: Stage 4 Blog By Russell Menzies, Cellarbrations Racing Team DS

Peloton Cafe || 2014 Tour of Tasmania Stage 4 - Josh Berry

Peloton Cafe || 2014 Tour of Tasmania Stage 4 – Josh Berry

Tour of Tasmania, Stage 4 Report by Cellarbrations Racing Team DS, Russell Menzies ? 106km Ulverstone to Penguin. If yesterday was a good day for us, today was off the charts. Just as it was on stage 3 the plan heading off this morning was to protect both Josh and our overall team GC position. Things couldn?t have worked out much better as it turned out, because the guys not only achieved both objectives, but also managed to get Josh into the KOM leader?s jersey, Dylan up to 6th on the Young Rider Classification and even move?up?another place on the overall team GC to 5th. Really, it?s hard to imagine being any prouder of this group of young men than I am right now.   As for the stage itself?under sunny skies things kicked off in the usual fashion, with plenty of activity, but it wasn?t until the first of the day?s two Cat 2 KOMs at Geales Road that things really began to unfold. Our tireless workhorse, Matt Slee, busted a gut in those opening kms to launch our GC boys into the first critical climb, sacrificing himself on the day for the greater good of the team. As Matt inevitably drifted back, after a job very well done, Josh was busy defying gravity to take first place in the climb pretty comfortably before then putting himself in the day?s breakaway of four riders. Unlike the previous two days, the break was eventually reeled by a group of about 15 riders in the final stages, but not before Josh had gone into a deep well of pain and suffering to again summit first at the second Cat 2 KOM at the South Riana quarry, a result that netted him another 7 points and catapulted him into the outright KOM leader?s jersey. He looks good in spots and still managed to roll in 13th on the stage, on the same time as the stage winner from Search2Retain, Patrick Bevin, who now leads on GC.   Our second rider on the overall, Scott, rode strongly yet again and spent most of the stage in the second bunch on the road where he finished to move up into the top 25 overall. On a day where quite a few of the younger guys fell by the wayside it was also great to see our young U19 Dylan make a big move up on the Young Rider classification.?He has a big future this boy, a typical tough-as-nails country bike rider.   Amidst a lot of highs, the day wasn?t without its disappointments for us though. After doing a power of work for the team over the first four stages, Aaron struggled towards the end of today?s stage and unfortunately finished outside the time limit. Even worse, we found out Matt had punctured while riding comfortably in the third group on the road and with the team car at the front of the race with Josh, and had to wait an eternity for neutral service. In fact, he waited twenty-five minutes and still no service. By the time the sag wagon swept him up it?s fair to say he was not a happy boy. Neither was I when I found out what happened later. We?ve lost an important rider right when we?re in the mix at the sharp end of this Tour ? and we shouldn?t have lost him.   We may be three riders down now, but we?re still in good shape going into the weekend.?Tomorrow is a short stage at just over 80km, it’ll be done and dusted in two hours. But with two Cat 3 climbs worth 5 points each, we?ll need to play things smart to look after Josh?s KOM jersey and GC position (8th) ahead of Sunday?s crit. Mind you based on the way the last four days have gone for us I can tell you we have every confidence we?ll do it.   As I write this we?re getting sorted for dinner at the team?s hotel in Devonport. Dylan?s doing sate chicken, Aaron is whipping up a Caesar salad while Matt is making pavlova. What I see isn?t a team of cyclists, just a bunch of great mates, and the results are speaking for themselves. Bring on Stage 5. Quote of the day: ?$%#*@$%$*^ *&@$&*^%#.? Matt Slee, whilst waiting and waiting and waiting for a spare wheel.

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