Tour of Gippsland
Pat Shaw has narrowly beaten home Sean Whitfield and Scott Law to win stage two of the Australian Paper Tour of Gippsland, part of Cycling Australia's 2016 Subaru National Road Series. Shaw will pull on the yellow jersey for stage three after a fast finish in Metung today...
Following a lighting fast stage, the new race leader was quick to heap praise on his teammates for their efforts throughout the race.
"I owe it all to the guys, what a fantastic team! It’s hard not to get emotional, they just worked so hard so to win was good because I didn’t want to let them down. AJ [Anthony Giacoppo] led me out, he’s the sprinter here, so I stuffed it up a bit!
"It’s a great reward because we raced such a good race. As Joe [Cooper] said, I’ve got tired legs, so the boys carry me around these days. Now I get to sit in the wheels which makes it easier but I’ve still got to get the job done, and it’s really important to win in the Subaru National Road Series leaders jersey as well as it shows that I really am the best rider in the country right now," said Shaw.
The race left Paynesville under beautiful skies as the sun shone down on the peloton. With coastal views and warm sunshine, it was a slower than usual start for a Subaru National Road Series stage, however the sprint point at the 20 kilometre mark was hotly contested thanks to the bonus seconds up for grabs.
Overnight race leader Law claimed the first sprint of the day, extending his lead slightly over Shaw who finished second, with Law’s teammate Jacob Kauffman third.
With more time bonuses up for grabs at the first King of the Mountain climb of the tour, the pace stayed high and splits in the peloton started to form as the bunch was strung out along the road. Eager to take time back on race leader Law, Avanti IsoWhey Sports’ Pat Shaw closed the gap on general classification by claiming second on the climb to AMR Renault Racing’s Josh Aldridge.
Aldridge kicked on after the first King of the Mountain with Pat Lane, and went on to win the second KOM, taking a maximum of 14 points on the stage. His efforts also saw him pull on the most aggressive rider jersey for stage 2.
"Obviously yesterday didn’t go to plan for the team, so it was important to make a bit of statement on stage two if we could," said Aldridge.
"Coming into that first KOM my legs were feeling good, so I let down and managed to get a nice gap at the top. Up the second KOM I got away with Pat Lane, and knew there was a really good chance to at the very least get into the climber’s jersey tonight.
"Coming into Metung the chase was a bit too hot for us to hold off unfortunately. All the same a great day for the guys and our sponsors, especially AMR Renault.
"They’ve been great for us for a couple of year now so it’s really satisfying to get a result for them today. Now to see if we can do it again tomorrow!"
The Green Team of Oliver’s Real Food Racing are getting closer to claiming their maiden Subaru National Road Series stage win, and today’s second place finisher Sean Whitfield had thought today was the day.
"When I got close to the line I thought I might get my first podium in the NRS, then as I threw for the line I thought I had rolled across first and threw my hand in the air. I was really hoping I had Oliver’s Real Food Racing’s first ever stage win. Next time!" said Whitfield.
Tomorrow Stage 3 sees the riders travel 125 kilometres from Sale to Port Albert, starting at 10.30am. Follow @Subaru_NRS and hashtag #tog16 for updates.