Back-to-Back Victories For Brilliant Patrick Bevin

A second consecutive bunch sprint victory has Patrick Bevin (health.com.au-search2retain) one stage away from claiming the Tour of Tasmania crown, after an emphatic win in Burnie on Saturday. Under cloudy north coast skies, Bevin all but ensured that he will take out the prestigious Tour after Sunday?s criterium to join an illustrious list of previous winners including Cadel Evans and Richie Porte. The New Zealander asserted himself early, leading several attacks through the rolling hills before allowing a non-threatening breakaway to go up the road. Despite building a two minute advantage at one point, the group of Raphael Freinstein (Charter-Mason), Mark O?Brien (Avanti Racing), Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Pro Cycling), Taylor Gunman (Avanti Racing) and Ryan Cavanagh (Jayco/John West/VIS) were caught with 500 metres to go. Bevin powered ahead to beat Tasmania’s Wesley Sulzberger (Drapac Pro Cycling) and Commonwealth Gold medallist Alexander Edmondson (SASI) to record his second stage victory in a time of 2:04.33 over the 81.3 kilometre course. ?I was staying out of trouble in the sprint, and then it just opened up in front of me,? Bevin commented post-race. ?I was probably a little bit lucky with Edmondson having some gear troubles with 100 metres to go. I guess that?s what happens when you?re in the right place at the right time and you are in good form.? With a 22 second lead over Ben Dyball (Avanti Racing) in the general classification, Bevin only needs a safe bunch finish on Sunday to secure the yellow leader?s jersey. ?It?s not over yet by any means, there is still plenty of bike racing to come, but today was a big step and it is a great feeling,? he continued. ?When the form?s good and you have a team like health.com.au-search2retain behind you, it makes my job really easy.? Bevin was followed to the line by Tasmanian rider Sulzberger, who was looking forward to the final day of racing after narrowly missing out on a second stage win in Burnie. ?I don?t mind a criterium, so I?ll be aggressive tomorrow and if my brother [Bernard Sulzberger] isn?t too tired from today?s stage he is also really good at crits,? the Drapac Pro Cycling rider added. ?We?ll definitely be active tomorrow.? Sulzberger also singled out Bevin for praise, with the health.com.au-search2retain rider in a purple patch after winning the Vie13 National Capital Tour last month. ?Bevin has been really impressive, and his team have also been really strong here ? they?ve all lifted together. He?s got a lot of support and is a very classy rider,? said Sulzberger The Tour concludes on Sunday with a 30 lap criterium in Devonport, starting at 11.00am from Bluff Road. Text via Cycling Australia Media Release

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