Jones, Davison Win, Giacoppo Takes Yellow
Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys) finds himself in the yellow leaders jersey after the first day in the Budget Forklifts Tour of the Great South Coast, the fifth event in the Subaru National Road Series.
Giacoppo failed to win either of the opening day stages but claimed enough time bonuses in the morning’s criterium to gain a 13 second lead over second-placed Ryan MacAnally and 14 seconds over third-placed teammate Brenton Jones, third.
“It's good to be ahead, especially in these types of races when ‑ if you're in front ‑ then it's quite hard for anyone to actually get away and take any time [off you]. If you can ride a good criterium in the morning stage it makes it even easier,” Giacoppo said of his teams dominant performance on day one of the tour.
Jones took out the day’s first stage in his maiden race for Genesys Wealth, having moved from Torq Bicycle Superstore after a solid Tour of Gippsland. The 20-year-old claimed his first Subaru National Road Series win over teammate Anthony Giacoppo, second, and Budget Forklifts’ Ryan MacAnally, third.
The Warragul rider was over the moon to notch up the win and attributed his victory to the support of his new team.
“It’s a very strong team — it’s a credit to every one of them, I didn’t win today, the team did.
“Coming in I was the main lead out man for AJ (Anthony Giacoppo). I think having that advantage of so many strong riders in a team, anyone can win and today was my,” Jones said.
Jones admitted he was nervous before the race but said riding for team Genesys was something he had been working hard towards.
“Last night I had a bad sleep. I had mixed feelings with how I'd go today but on the start line my legs felt good,” admitted Jones.
Budget Forklifts countered Genesys’ strong performance in stage one, placing one-two in the second stage road race from Portland to Nelson. Luke Davison won the stage from teammate Ryan MacAnally, second, and Jack Beckinsale (Croydon Cycle Works), third.
“Today it was a matter of being in the right position and staying out of trouble,” said Davison. “The team communication was great and the boys were really supportive. In the end I had the legs and Ryan once again has come in for second so I couldn't be happier.”
The 75.9 kilometre road race was a wet and windy one, with riders struggling to break away from the bunch until the final few kilometres. A major crash with just two-kilometres to go saw the majority of the field involved, with a smaller one on the final corner into the finishing straight catching many riders off guard.
Current Subaru NRS leader William Walker (Drapac) was forced to retire from the race due to a recurring heart condition. The Tour of Gippsland winner was transported to Portland hospital as a precaution after only completing 20 kilometres of the stage. A Drapac team official confirmed that the Victorian has been released from hospital and is in good spirits, however he will be taking no further part in the event. Walker’s retirement leaves the door wide open in the race for the Subaru leaders jersey.
Genesys Wealth lead the teams general classification, level with Budget Forklifts in second place and six seconds ahead of Drapac Cycling, third.
Day two in the Tour of the Great South Coast begins with a criterium in Heywood, before a 94.2km road race from Heywood to Casterton.