The 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour kicked off in Melbourne’s Federation Square with a tight and technical 2.1km opening prologue.
The race has been in the headlines for all the right reasons after managing to secure the start of Tour De France Champion Chris Froome and his Team Sky juggernaut. With World Tour Teams Orica Green Edge and Trek also attending as well as four Pro Conti teams the race is certainly a David and Goliath battle between the WT / Pro Conti teams and the Conti squads.
Team Captain Pat Shaw was first away and first into the hot seat with a solid time that would eventually see him finish in 27th overall. Robbie Hucker followed blitzing the course with a new fastest time of 2.37:48 only to be edged out by Neil Van Der Ploeg who narrowly missed the course record with an incredible 2.36:71. Neil’s time stood for the majority of the night with rider after rider failing to topple him.
“I’m pretty happy with the time. 505w average for the course was a big improvement for me over last year. I went out a bit slower in the first third this time and I think that helped be come home a bit stronger as opposed to dying towards the finish.”
Pat Lane rode a 2.43:39 in a solid performance that has him only nine seconds down overall but well in touch with the overall contenders. AJ did his best to upset the apple cart coming in with a time of 2.39:33 putting him in 9th place. Then Joe Cooper showed some good form with a ride that was eventually good enough for 5th place in 2.38:79 despite the track not really suiting his power style time trialling. Ex teammate Will Clarke upset the fairy tale with a new course record time of 2.34:27 to bump Neil into second and Robbie into third then all attention focused on sprint sensation Caleb Ewan and TDF Champion Chris Froome.
Froome’s time of 2.42:10 would see him finish in 26th spot while Ewan finished strongly to just pip Neil with a 2.35:15 and in doing so grabbed second place.
|1.||34||William CLARKE (DPC)||2:34.27|
|2.||1||Caleb EWAN (OGE)||2:35.15||+1|
|3.||94||Neil VAN DER PLOEG (AIW)||2:36.71||+2|
|4.||95||Robbie HUCKER (AIW)||2:37.48||+3|
|5.||91||Joseph COOPER (AIW)||2:38.79||+4|
|6.||5||Samuel BEWLEY (OGE)||2:39.03||+5|
|7.||24||Niccolo BONIFAZIO (TFS)||2:39.16||+5|
|8.||4||Damien HOWSON (OGE)||2:39.28||+5|
|8.||12||Peter KENNAUGH (SKY)||2:39.28||+5|
|9.||92||Anthony GIACOPPO (AIW)||2:39.33||+5|
|10.||134||Jesse KERRISON (SOM)||2:39.36||+5|
Teams General Classification
|1.||AIW||AVANTI ISOWHEY SPORT||7:51|
|3.||DPC||DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING||+4|
|5.||ONE||ONE PRO CYCLING||+12|
|6.||TFS||TREK – SEGAFREDO||+13|
|7.||UHC||UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM||+13|
|8.||SOM||STATE OF MATTER / MAAP||+14|
|10.||AUS||Australia National Team p/b KordaMentha||+18|