Stage 3 – Tour of the Great South Coast
By Jason Thomason
Stage 3 of the Tour of the South Coast was a 125km race based out of Port Macdonnell, a South Australian sea side town. The stage included 5x25km laps of an almost rectangular loop. With one side of the loop being on the coast and the other half of the loop surrounded by flat exposed farm lands it was obvious to everyone involved how the day would play out, CROSSWINDS!
As a team going into the race we had ambitions of being able to get 2 or 3 riders into the front selections when the wind came from the side. About 15km into the race the race blew to pieces finishing the day for about ¾ of the field. Initially we had myself, Seb, and Iven but at a later split I was left to battle it out solo at the front. I found it really difficult holding positions in the front echelon with many of the continental teams having almost full squads left plus 1 or 2 from the other NRS teams. From here the race pretty much involved getting dropped, chasing back on for 10km’s, repeat, repeat, and repeat. Eventually the legs gave way at about 1 lap to go and it was a slow and painful last lap before getting picked up by essentially now what was the peloton with all the boys right at the finish.
As a relatively young team we hope to learn from today’s race and use our experiences to build on our performances in the future. For the rest of the tour now, the GC is a little out of the story, but our ambitions now shift to stage results. Bring on the next 3 days and learning from today’s lesson from the school of hard knocks.
Tomorrow’s stage should be a nice and wet 92km race from Heywood to Casterton.