By Cycling Australia
An exciting finish to the final stage has seen Sam Crome (Avanti IsoWhey Sport) crowned the overall winner of the Lakes Oil-Fulton Hogan Tour of the Great South Coast, part of Cycling Australia’s 2016 Subaru National Road Series.
Crome, 22, won the general classification by 11 seconds over Ben Hill (Lakes Oil) and was over-the-moon with the result.
“It’s just a big relief to get the win done,” said Crome who was the first leader of the Subaru National Road Series in 2015.
“There has been a few nervous times especially obviously when I crashed on stage four and then yesterday when I was sort of dropped off the back. But we got the job done, this is what we came here to do so I couldn’t be happier.”
Crome held off attacks from Hill all afternoon and cemented his win after emphatically winning stage two in Mount Gambier.
“I was worried. I knew he was going to throw everything at it,” said Crome. “He is the kind of rider who won’t go down without a fight, no matter what. I obviously know him very well, we got on quite well together last year when we raced together.”
The Victorian thanked his Avanti IsoWhey Sport Team after they were awarded best team and his teammate Pat Shaw finished third overall.
“The boys have been incredible. Joe Cooper and Pat Lane have done a power of work all week and then Pat Shaw he’s still got it … Robbie Hucker today was just sensational. Couldn’t be happier,” added Crome.
The 30 lap, 1.6 kilometre Portland criterium held a frantic finish that saw New Zealand’s Robert Stannard (Mobius Future Racing) win and make it two stage wins in a row for his team.
“It was so great out there. Just to get in the break and grab some of that time bonuses, I think I went up to ninth on GC,” said Stannard who was second on stage six.
“We worked really well together and managed to hold onto the win. So stoked for the boys and really glad that we worked together and I managed to pull it off.”
In a break that formed with 23 laps remaining, three leaders Stannard, Harry Carpenter (SASI/Callidus Cycling Team) and Angus Lyons (Jayco/John West VIS) maintained a 15 second advantage over the peloton throughout the foreshore circuit.
The leaders were caught on the last corner but Stannard, 17, was too strong winning a sprint finish ahead of Scott Sunderland (InForm Racing) and Carpenter.
“Come around to the last lap I saw they were pretty much right on our tail,” said Stannard.
“So down at the bottom corner I jumped on the front and pretty much started my sprint from there. Just got to that last corner and first wheel, got the gap and I guess I held it off just to the finish. It was pretty amazing.”
Carpenter claimed the sprint classification, Sunderland was best criterium rider, Ryan Christensen (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) won the King of the Mountains, Lyons took out the Rising Star award and Cyrus Monk (Pat’s Veg Cycling) was crowned the tour’s Most Aggressive rider.
The three-day, Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley starts this Friday and Crome is raring to go.
“I’ll give it a shot. Obviously we have got Joe Cooper with the time trials so hopefully he can get up and I can pay back a bit of favour to him next week,” said Crome.