Stage 2 of the Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania was set to be a hard day, with 50 kph wind forecasted to affect the 60 kilometres before a hard 10-kilometre-long climb up to Poatina Power Station that was sure to be decisive in the overall race. This meant the boys had to be switched on from kilometre zero and prepared for absolute carnage on the way to Poatina.
The start of the race was stressful vibes – everyone understood the importance of position coming into the many crosswind sections on the course, and a number of teams (including Butterfields-Appselec!) were organised and trying to protect their riders.
We planned to protect our two climbers, Daniel Siwek and Lachie Marshall, and the boys put all their cards on the table early on. Just 10 kilometres into the race, the field almost split into a number of small groups, however the pace eventually backed off and the race came back together.
Shortly afterwards, with GPM-Stulz’s Rylee Field solo off the front of the bunch, Blake Agnoletto tracked Jensen Plowright in the first intermediate sprint and the two of them rode across to Field, eventually staying off the front almost until the start of the climb.
For the remainder of the flat section towards the climb, Dave Randall spent a large amount of time chewing wind on the front of the peloton, at one stage hitting 81kph thanks to a generous tailwind, with our whole team side-by-side with Drapac. After Dave sat up on the approach to the climb, Iven Bennett and Tristan Saunders rode the boys as the gradient started to ramp up.
Team BridgeLane didn’t hesitate to set an insane pace at the start of the climb and sworded the bunch into small groups – by the top of the climb, the entire race was in ones and twos and Dan and Lachie finished in 25th and 27th on the stage.
Both our boys are still just sitting outside of the top 20 in the General Classification, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow’s 70 kilometres of rolling terrain and the infamous steep climb up “Gunns Plains”. Keep an eye on our social media for more updates after tomorrow’s Stage 3!