Team SKY bound Nathan Earle continued his impressive run of results today winning in an impressive podium clean sweep by the Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers Team on the tough hilltop finish in the National Capital Tour today to take the lead and blow the race to pieces. Following Nathan home Jack Haig and Jai Crawford mopped up the remaining places with Crawford’s ride all the more impressive after spending 100km off the front playing policeman in the days major break.
The boys were incredible today, AJ and Sam just put it on the line and gave it everything and then Jai set me up on the climb. I had to finish it off for them. Nathan Earle
An aggressive start to the 120km stage set the tone for the rest of the day with a group riding clear soon after cresting Dairy Farmers Hill. Keen to make the race as hard as possible the team took the peloton into the tough Mt MacDonald climb flat out and leap frogged Joe Cooper and Alex Clemments across to the break to join Jai Crawford. Budget were also well represented though with Jack Anderson, Kristan Juel, Mark Williams and Jacob Kauffmann all present as well as Cam Bayly (S2R), Nick Woods and Jayden Copp (PTDU) and Miles Scotson and Andrew Roe (Euride). A bad fall caused by 2nd placed Scotson resulted in both he (broken collarbone) and Clemments (broken bike) coming down with Copp left to chase and ultimately return to the peloton along with Alex.
The race leader Alex Morgan’s VIS team were notably absent from the break and the front of the peloton with Pro Team Down Under taking up the chase as soon as they realised their CG hope had been dropped from the front. With the breaks advantage quickly out to more than two minutes both AJ and Sam went to the front and rode for the next 40km to keep the gap manageable whilst at the front Joe and Jai kept an eye on Budget who threw everything at it for Anderson who they probably figured was their best chance.
At 20km to go the gap was hovering at 1:30 but the addition of Jack Beckinsale to the chase reduced the breaks advantage further and with the climb looming they had them in sight courtesy of some incredible riding by AJ and Sam who had pulled themselves inside out in the service of their teammates. As the road went up the break started to disintegrate and a big acceleration by Brodie Talbot had them all but caught as the real climb started. An attack by Joe was quickly nullified by Williams who was now the only Budget rider left to support Anderson but the catch by Talbot and the subsequent upping of the pace by Jai with Nathan in tow quickly saw them open a big gap on the rest of the field that was strewn along the road behind them. Jai continued to set the pace before swinging off as Nathan went for home. Jack Haig had found his legs riding through the field to hook up with Jai who had recovered enough to set the pace again before falling back to the chasing Talbot while Jack forged ahead.
At the finish it was Nathan who came around the bend first to take a great win followed 30 seconds later by Jack with Jai managing to shake off Talbot with 1km to go to take third @57 seconds. Nathan leads the Tour now over Jack with Talbot in third. Nathan also leads the sprint competition with Jack in the young riders jersey. The team sit first in teams classification 5.32 ahead of second placed Budget Forklifts.
Stage 2 Result
|1.||1||Nathan EARLE (HGP)||3h06:42||12|
|2.||2||Jack HAIG (HGP)||+30||6|
|3.||5||Jai CRAWFORD (HGP)||+57||7|
|4.||211||Brodie TALBOT (RCH)||+1:04||3|
|5.||81||Jordan DAVIES (SKO)||+1:35|
|6.||11||Jack ANDERSON (BFL)||+1:40||9|
|7.||207||Timothy CAMERON (GBC)||+1:52|
|8.||52||Jacob RESTALL (PTD)||+2:04|
|9.||75||Jesse EWART (GPM)||+2:04|
|10.||214||Josh ALDRIDGE (RCH)||+2:08|
General Classification (After Stage 2)
|1.||1||Nathan EARLE (HGP)||3h28:12|
|2.||2||Jack HAIG (HGP)||+1:15|
|3.||211||Brodie TALBOT (RCH)||+1:32|
|4.||5||Jai CRAWFORD (HGP)||+2:00|
|5.||11||Jack ANDERSON (BFL)||+2:20|
|6.||197||Nathan ELLIOTT (VKA)||+2:38|
|7.||12||Samuel HORGAN (BFL)||+3:00|
|8.||81||Jordan DAVIES (SKO)||+3:06|
|9.||13||Blair WINDSOR (BFL)||+3:13|
|10.||207||Timothy CAMERON (GBC)||+3:19|