Mark and teammate Taylor Gunman were part of a five-man move that led the race for most of the day, where the pair worked hard to set Mark up for a stage win.
“Sort of like a consolation prize really, the most aggressive,” Mark conceded. “With two of us up there it would have been nice to come away with the win.”
Several early attacks proved fruitless, but shortly before the first sprint point Mark slipped away with two others and built up a lead of almost two minutes at times. Taylor later went off the front with another rider and bridged the gap to help his teammate.
“Taylor did the big job out there for me and he hammered it into the bottom of the KOM so I had a chance to try to attack and get rid of the others, but unfortunately I couldn’t quite shake Bernie [Sulzberger],” Mark said. “We were up against three guys that all had a fair bit of speed as well.”
With a racing peloton absorbing the breakaway within the final kilometre, a bunch sprint saw yellow jersey Patrick Bevin [health.com.au-search2retain] for the win.
“It was a bit of a tactics bluff game kind of towards the finish, and in the end it meant we got caught, which was disappointing,” Mark conceded.