Jonathan Cantwell’s amazing run of success on the Australian road cycling circuit continued with a hair’s width victory in today’s Preface to the 2009 Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Ballarat
The 27 year old Queenslander has now won the opening stage of the last four Australian stage races. His last minute dash for the line gave him the tiniest of margins over Garmin Slipstream’s Chris Sutton, but it was enough to secure him the honour of wearing the yellow jersey on tomorrow’s opening stage.
“I went with 100 metres to go. It was full on up hill and with a cross wind so I couldn’t go any earlier’, a clearly elated Cantwell said after the win.
“I’ve won every opening stage of all the tours in Australia I’ve ridden in this season, so I couldn’t be happier.
“We had a gut feeling the break was going to go today, so it was important we were there, and in the end we had three guys in it.
“We came here to make a race out of the first one and the guys rode awesomely.”
It was a clearly a satisfactory outcome for Fly V Australia team boss, Henk Vogels who earlier in the day had issued orders to his squad to ride only for Cantwell.
“I am very proud. They do everything I ask them to do – it just keeps rolling along, ” Vogels said post race.
He also had some special praise for Cantwell, who he described as a character and a real scallywag, saying the winner of the 2009 tours of Atlanta and the Murray Valley had learned a lot this year.
Cantwell, Sutton and the eventual third-place getter, Gene Bates (Drapac Porsche) were part of an eighteen man break that dominated the race from lap 10 of the twenty 2.2km laps round Ballarat’s main street.
The group opened up as much as a 52 second gap over the peloton but managed to remain intact as a bunch until the last 200 metres of the final climb up Sturt Street.
Sutton, who has the chance to be part of the first father/son combination to win Australia’s oldest stage cycling race, said during the presentations that he was beaten by a better bike rider on he day.
“I know I was second. The team did everything we could but just got beat.”
Bates was similarly complimentary, including Sutton in his praise.
“I tried to kick and hold the wheel, but they were both to good for me.”
The Tour proper begins tomorrow (Monday 12 October) with a 160km stage starting and finishing in Ballarat.
The 2009 Jayco Herald Sun Tour is presented by Jayco and the Herald Sun, along with the continued support from the Victorian Government. For the first time, the Honda Civic Hybrid Women’s Tour will give Australia’s elite female cyclists a chance to shine with a three day tour held in conjunction with three final three days.
Network Ten’s 24 hour sport channel, ONE will broadcast half hour highlights packages each weekday evening – check your local guides for times – as well as showing the final stage of the 2009 Jayco Herald Sun Tour live between 5:00pm and 7:00pm AEST on Saturday, 17 October.
Monday 12 October
Stage One – Ballarat to Ballarat – 160km
Start – Botanical Gardens, Lake Wendouree, 10.30am
Finish – Botanical Gardens, Lake Wendouree, ETA 2.00pm
Via Creswick, Daylesford, Trentham, Spring Hill, Glenlyon, Daylesford, Creswick
Results – Sunday 11 October
Preface – Ballarat – 2.2km circuit
1. Jonathan Cantwell VAU 1h5m29s
2. Chris Sutton GRM Same time
3. Gene Bates DPC Same time
4. Michael Matthews DPC Same time
5. Jaan Kirsipuu L2A Same time
6. David Tanner RRC Same time
7. Michael England BFL Same time
8. Ricardo Van Der Velde GRM +6 secs
9. Darren Lapthorne RCR +6 secs
10. Kiel Reijnen JBC +6 secs
source: Jayco Herald Sun Tour