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Photo: © Anthony Tan

Moving on up: The Trent Wilson Journal 2003

Welcome to the Trent Wilson Journal for 2003. The young iTeamNova rider was one of the six who made the cut when the Australian Div III team merged with RDM-Flanders to form Flanders-iTeamNova, and move into Division II.

Sun Tour Stages 3-8: Defending yellow

Australia, October 18-22


It's day seven of the Herald Sun Tour and a lot has happened since I last wrote after stage two. Jamie Drew had just gained the yellow jersey and all was good.

Stage 3: Geelong Criterium, 77km

What is usually the last stage of the tour and half the distance just didn't have the same atmosphere. Maybe it was just missing the Super Summer Sell out, where all the pro's sell off there gear for super cheap prices.

It was a beautiful day but the wind was picking up which was going to cause a bit of havoc. A break went fairly early and we were quite happy to let it go with Dave Macca in it. Unfortunately we slipped up and missed Wohlberg and Carlstrom going across to the break. Both being a threat to the overall classification, we had to chase. We didn't want to bring the break back as we were confident with Macca winning the stage but we wanted to minimise the time gained by the others.

We brought them back to almost 10 seconds by the end and I spent some gas doing it, losing 2 mins. Dave Macca did what we thought he'd do by winning the stage to make our start to the tour even better. Drewy lost the yellow jersey, but only by a few seconds.


Stage 4: Lorne to Torquay, 110km

The weather had turned on us and it was now blowing a gale and had patches of rain. We started and almost immediately went uphill for 10km. The climb wasn't that much of a problem, it was the open windy sections afterwards. Alby managed to slip into a move just after the climb so we were happy to let that go.

Just after halfway we turned right into a small road, and with all of us present at the front, decided to throw it in the gutter. The bunch split to bits with a front group of eight riders going clear. They picked up the break and we had four in the front. The only one missing was me. I was in the second group till about 30km to go when a rider turned left on me and I went into a ditch. I ended up in the back group, with my tour definitely over for the general classification.

Drewy once again showed how well he's riding by attacking with 5km to go and staying clear for a solo win and regained the yellow jersey. The bad news of the day was that Alby has hurt his hamstring again, losing a lot of time in the last 20km. We now have three riders in the top 10 on general classification after the front group of about 15 riders put more than a minute into the big group of 30 riders.


Stage 5: Camperdown to Warrnambool, 151km

With Drewy going into his home town with the yellow jersey on and two stage wins it has been a dream start for our team. The weather had got even worse with the wind picking it up another notch. Straight out of town and attacks were going but that was short lived when we turned left into a crosswind and left again up a nasty climb. A break got away with the Italian in it, who is leading the KOM competition. Teams started to panic and the stuff hit the fan, the race splitting into four or five groups. Drewy and Scott were looking comfortable up the front and I did what I could for Macca before finding my group and riding the long way to the finish.

With the wind in our face all the way along the Great Ocean Road it was a very long way to the finish, with the speed dropping occasionally to 24km/h. Macca returned to the front group and the boys had to chase a break just off the front. No teams would help them towards the end, but they brought the break back to under a minute. I felt bad cause they needed me but I wasn't there. My form is very average and I am not enjoying this tour at all. Wohlberg won the six up sprint to get his usual stage win. Alby's hamstring was only getting worse and had to stop.


Stage 6: Port Fairy Crit, 30km

It was a nice long circuit with flowing corners and the rain stopped an hour before hand. The wind was still blowing and this caused some problems. A break went away early with Jez Hunt winning the stage but then getting relegated to second, harsh call I reckon! Meanwhile, despite the wind the bunch generally stayed together and Drewy kept his yellow jersey.


Stage 7: Port Fairy to Hamilton, 100km

This is the afternoon stage of a dreaded double stage day. The Euros don't like the double stage days and with this in mind we were going to throw the race in the gutter at the left hand corner after 9km (Drewy's local knowledge). Unfortunately, the Malaysian Airlines team did it before we got the chance, splitting the race apart in the first 5km. Drewy was once again there as was I, but with my bad form couldn't hold onto the front group. The second group eventually made contact and we had Scotty, Macca and Drewy safe and sound. Two riders hung on by 2 seconds to win the stage in front of a bunch gallop.


Stage 8: Dunkeld to Horsham. 160km

Alby woke up in a caravan park on a cold morning in Hamilton to celebrate his 30th birthday. I am imagining that is not how he wanted to celebrate it, but he is now home in Melbourne to get his injury looked at. Once again it was out of the blocks and a break formed after 10km. We were keen to let it go and I rode tempo on the front to let it go and to keep things under control in the bunch. We hit the first cat 2 climb and they allowed me to ride tempo at the front.

The action started after the boys called me off the front and there was no control. Dangerous breaks were going left, right and centre. Once it came back together I got back to the front to control things. At the 75km mark we hit the next cat 2 climb and there were a few attacks going. Over the top we were finding out who was in the break and who was dangerous. It wasn't that dangerous but we couldn't let it get more than 2mins or Drewy would lose the led. It was already 4mins plus, and we started chasing hard. Once again no teams would help, even though they had no one in the break or they were going to lose a position on general classification.

We chased hard and were tiring until a few riders from Caravello decided to help along with the whole Subaru team. The young guys from Subaru rode strong and deserve a pat on the back and their sponsor should be happy that they took the initiative to chase. We brought them back to within 1min 30sec by the end and Drewy once again held onto his yellow jersey.


Going into tomorrow's double stage, double hilltop finish, the pressure is on but I think we have the legs.

Lets hope so.