2014 Tour of Tasmania: Tasmania’s Sulzberger grabs home Tour victory; Dyball retains overall lead

Battling wind, rain and hail, local rider Wesley Sulzberger (Drapac Pro Cycling) has clinched the Tour of Tasmania?s second stage, holding on as his initial four-man breakaway was whittled down to just two riders for the final sprint. Sulzberger outpaced 18-year-old Ben O?Connor (Satalyst Giant) on the ride into New Norfolk at the end of a challenging 119.9 kilometre course from the banks of Lake Pedder in Strathgordon. Ahead of his home town stage on Wednesday, Launceston-born Sulzberger was pleased with the victory, alongside a fifth-place finish for brother Bernard (Drapac Pro Cycling). Sulzberger ?I was actually hoping to go up the road tomorrow because my mum and dad and sister and mother-in-law will be there watching,? the former Orica-GreenEDGE cyclist commented post-race. ?So a day early, but I?m really happy with the win!? Sulzberger joined the breakaway of O?Connor, Jordan Davies (St George Merida) and Darcy Ellerm-Norton (Subaru Albion) just after the 23 kilometre mark, as the group worked together to form an imposing three minute time gap. ?There were a lot of attacks early on, and then a group of three riders established and I decided to go across and see if it stuck,? Sulzberger added. ?There were just four of us, and we were in for the long haul!? While Davies and Ellerm-Norton dropped back to the peloton on the descent into New Norfolk, Sulzberger and O?Connor held off the chasing pack to finish almost a minute ahead of the third-placed Raphael Freinstein (Charter-Mason). ?I thought once we hit over 2.00 minutes, and if we could keep increasing the gap, then hopefully I could come away at the end with at least 1.50, and with the time bonuses I could be in the leader?s jersey,? Sulzberger mused. The final 48 second time gap wasn?t enough though to force a change in the yellow jersey, with Ben Dyball (Avanti Racing) retaining the lead going into stage three. Dyball A second storyline for stage two was the emergence of young O?Connor, who matched it with the eventual winner throughout the race and only to be pipped to the finish line. ?I started racing in January at the start of this year, so it?s been a pretty big progression since then,? the West Australian rider said. ?I used to be a cross-country runner, but I always watched Tour de France on television and found it fascinating ? so I just gave it a go!? After two trying stages in arduous Tasmanian conditions, the riders will turn their attention to a 93 kilometre road race from Launceston to Grindewald on Wednesday. Text via Cycling Australia Media Release

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