Tour of the Great South Coast Stage 3 and 4 Reports
Stage 3 – Tom Allford
To the untrained eye Stage 3 looked to be a very straightforward one; nothing but flat, smooth roads and a big open sprint finish in the seaside town of Port MacDonald.
In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
All teams lined up knowing they were in for a hectic day, solely on account of the weather. On the menu for today was a delicious mixture of crisp howling crosswinds, paired with a moist drizzling of sideways rain, all served up at traditional freezing south coast temperatures.
The crosswinds were set to kick off around 8 kilometres into the race, with the bunch taking a sharp left into the gauntlet of carnage.
Race booklet suggests the stage was 137 kilometres long, but the majority of the race was going to be decided during that first 8.
Teams jostled for position dodging wheelie bins and death itself to have a good wheel going into the all-important left turn. The position of riders through that corner mostly determined which echelon they would end up in after the bunch combusted, and ultimately the fate of their stage.
We managed to get our main man Callum into the turn within the top 10 or so, setting him up for a good, hard day in the front bunch.
The rest of the team suffered away in their respective bunches, just trying to survive the elements.
Callum rolled in comfortably in the top 15, putting him in the top 10 for general classification going into stage 4, and second on young riders.
Closing notes include a shout out to the staff and sponsors for the ongoing support. Best wishes to all riders recovering from frozen fingers, or post-hypothermic stress disorder.
Yours truly – Tom Allford
Stage 4- by Matt de Vroet
The team plan for today was simple. Have representation in the break while also defending Callums 10th place on general classification and 2nd in the young riders classification. We set out to do this in the 92km stage from Heywood to Casterton and were blessed with the sunshine and warmer temperatures than the previous days less than ideal conditions.
After an aggressive start to the stage, a six-man breakaway established itself with Iven and myself representing Van D’am. With some of the break rolling solid turns but having a few riders sit on, it was doomed from the start, and an aggressive peloton caught us with 40km of the stage left to race. This also coincided with the hardest part of the race over a few hills, and while the race threatened to blow to bits on multiple occasions, a general regrouping occurred in the flat 20km run into the finish.
Callum stayed safe in the technical sprint finish with another top 20 result and defended his strong general classification position.
Tomorrow is set to be another hard day in the saddle with a 121km stage around Cape Bridgewater featuring eight classified hill climbs and with strong winds forecasted general classification is sure to be reshuffled again.