By Michael Hale
After a double stage on Friday, the 12 o?clock start on Saturday was much appreciated, for me as well as the riders.
With team manager Tristan Batey coming in overnight, the help was definitely a relief for the morning?s preparation.
The morning?trip in the car went smoothly until the 50km mark when Vaughan Bowman had a mishap mid-bunch with what he described?as someone wrenching on his rear wheel.?It turns out someone?s bike had gotten caught up with the rear of his bike and caused the carbon fibre of both his wheel and frame to crack.
This meant another bike change and this time a shoe change was also needed, before an unbelievable chase to get back into the bunch. After 30km and some serious hills, Vaughan was back in action but unbelievably tired. Trust me, anyone in his situation would have been exhausted.
After his early effort Vaughan managed to finish on bunch time, which was very impressive. The rest of the boys thankfully managed to avoid a terrible crash that happened in the final kilometers and finished safely.
The massages were done early and a night out for dinner was on the agenda, which was a very good break from the routine of the past week.
On Sunday?s stage six I again managed to get out for a ride before the stage, this time with the SRAM neutral spares crew. They reflected on their week, which is huge as they support the entire race, not just one team. After the ride I headed into town to find everyone in that ?Sunday last stage of tour? vibe, which was a bit more relaxed than previous days.
The race, however, was quite the opposite. With so many tired legs people were pulling out from lap two, but our boys pulled through strongly until the end. Jason Lowndes and Zane Hunter finished right up there and managed to sneak into fifth and sixth places in the young rider classification, which is an amazing feat that not a lot of bike riders manage to achieve.
As I write this final piece on the way home from the Tour of Gippsland, I?d like to thank the managers of Team Seight ? Tristan Batey, Luke Postlethwaite, Linda Hunter and Peter Barnett ? for giving me the opportunity to take part in supporting the boys.
Also thanks to our sponsors: Bank of Queensland?s Beaconsfield and Mt Waverley branches, Rola roof racks, Apollo bikes, Fuse Communications, The Biomechanics, Seight Custom and DTR Sports Management.
Of course a big thanks and congratulations to this week?s team as well: Matt Leonard, Wade Edwards, Zane Hunter, Jason Lowndes, Mark Fagg, Ash Hawker, Vaughan Bowman and Karl Michelin-Beard.
And thank you to all the readers of my tour diary, if there were any, haha!
To Visit the Team Seight website click?HERE
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