Oh Soo Close – Tour Of Gippsland Round Up

Stage Four – Sale Criterium

AJ took his second criterium win for the tour with a clear win ahead of Ben Grenda teammate Nathan Earle. Once again the boys had the train organised and at full flight with four laps to go. Jack, Joe and Aaron pulled some massive turns before dropping AJ off for the sprint.

Photo Neil Walker

1 Anthony Giacoppo (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team) 0:48:17
2 Ben Grenda (Team Polygon Australia)
3 Nathan Earle (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)
4 Stuart Shaw (Suzuki Bontrager)
5 Scott Law (GPM Data#3)
6 Russell Gill (Euride Racing)
7 Robert Mccarthy (Euride Racing)
8 Alistair Donohoe (search2retain p/b health.com.au)
9 Angus Tobin (search2retain p/b health.com.au)
10 Jack Haig (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)


Stage Five – Sale to Licola This was the stage that the experts expected to shape GC. Punctuated by an opening half that was all uphill the race was going to suit the guys that could climb. The team plan was to turn the race on it’s head with aggressive riding hoping to forge a selection with superiority in numbers and then make the major play for the overall and with the wind blowing as well it was certainly going to be decisive.

Photo Neil Walker

After some tentative opening moves the boys proceeded to ride the crosswinds aggressively and tear the field to shreds. With 15km to go Nathan struck out solo for the finish with Alex Morgan eventually being joined by Jack Anderson with the pair combining to catch Nathan with only 50m to go with Anderson taking the win and moving into Yellow 6 seconds in front of Nathan.

1 Jack Anderson (Budget Forklifts) 2:40:24
2 Alexander Morgan (Jayco/Apollo VIS Men’s Road Team)
3 Nathan Earle (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)
4 Alistair Donohoe (search2retain p/b health.com.au) 0:00:10
5 Alex Wohler (Budget Forklifts)
6 Alex Edmondson (Euride Racing)
7 Nathan Elliott (Target Trek Racing Team)
8 Blair Windsor (Budget Forklifts)
9 Jack Haig (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)
10 Conor Murtagh (CharterMason Drapac Development Team)

Stage Six – Lakes Entrance Criterium

Photo Neil Walker

AJ took out his third consecutive criterium for the tour with another highly polished performance from the team which landed five of them in the top ten. GC remained unchanged.

1 Anthony Giacoppo (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team) 0:48:02
2 Russell Gill (Euride Racing)
3 Stuart Shaw (Suzuki Bontrager)
4 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Satalyst Giant Racing Team)
5 Brenton Jones (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)
6 Jack Anderson (Budget Forklifts)
7 Nathan Earle (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)
8 Robert Mccarthy (Euride Racing)
9 Patrick Shaw (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)
10 Aaron Donnelly (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)

Stage Seven – Lakes Entrance To Metung Big Joe Cooper broke through for his maiden road race victory on a day they definitely suited the hard men. Joe was part of a strong chase group that caught the break in the last 20km and then benefited from the attacking that followed before finally breaking the shackles to solo away for a memorable victory. Nathan closed the gap to race leader Jack Anderson to only five seconds after picking up a 1 second bonus in the KOM.

Photo Neil Walker

1 Joseph Cooper (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team) 1:36:24
2 Thomas Hamilton (Jayco/Apollo VIS Men’s Road Team) 0:00:11
3 Alex Edmondson (Euride Racing) 0:00:21
4 Scott Law (GPM Data#3)
5 Alistair Donohoe (search2retain p/b health.com.au)
6 Jack Anderson (Budget Forklifts)
7 Stuart Shaw (Suzuki Bontrager)
8 Shannon Johnson (CharterMason Drapac Development Team)
9 Samuel Nelson (St George Skoda HP Team)
10 Anthony Giacoppo (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)

Stage Eight – Traralgon Criterium

Jumpin Jai Crawford worked hard all week Photo Neil Walker

It was an all or nothing play for overall victory in the last stage of this year’s Tour of Gippsland. Nathan sat just 5 seconds behind Jack Anderson but 5 seconds is a lot when all Anderson had to do was use his team to control the race and follow Nathan. Budget controlled the race well but with the wind and the hard course making that difficult the team started to weaken their grip with a series of searing attacks. Despite a number of moves going clear the race stayed largely intact and in the final laps the boys took over with Euride to go for the win. Nathan’s final play was to win the stage which would net him a 6 second bonus and the tour. Coming into the finish straight it looked as though he may just do it but Olympian Alex Edmonson scooted past to take the win with Nathan second meaning he fell short of the overall by the smallest of margins, 1 measly second. Nathan had to console himself with the knowledge that he did everything he could and for his troubles won the KOM jersey and now leads the NRS. The team won four stages and finished second on team’s classification but actually extended the margin to second by six points due to the four stage wins.

1 Alex Edmondson (Euride Racing) 1:07:18
2 Nathan Earle (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team)
3 Russell Gill (Euride Racing)
4 Luke Ockerby (Budget Forklifts)
5 Angus Tobin (search2retain p/b health.com.au)
6 Paul Van Der Ploeg (Satalyst Giant Racing Team)
7 Jack Anderson (Budget Forklifts)
8 Stuart Shaw (Suzuki Bontrager)
9 Darcy Woolley (African Wildlife Safari)
10 Alistair Donohoe (search2retain p/b health.com.au)
11 Blair Windsor (Budget Forklifts)

Overall General Classification

1 Jack Anderson (Budget Forklifts) 11:32:08
2 Nathan Earle (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:01
3 Alex Edmondson (Euride Racing) 0:00:07
4 Alexander Morgan (Jayco/Apollo VIS Men’s Road Team) 0:00:10
5 Samuel Horgan (Budget Forklifts) 0:00:21
6 Jai Crawford (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:24
7 Oliver Kent-Spark (search2retain p/b health.com.au) 0:00:25
8 Blair Windsor (Budget Forklifts) 0:00:26
9 Eric Sheppard (search2retain p/b health.com.au)
10 Harry Carpenter (Euride Racing) 0:00:46