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Jayco Bay Cycling Classic - NE
Geelong, Australia, January 2-6, 2008
Stage 7 - January 5: Geelong Botanic Gardens - Elite men
Davis fires to win and series lead
By Malcolm Sawford in Geelong
Allan Davis (FRF Couriers - NSWIS) vaulted into the series lead, unleashing his famed finishing burst to cap off a textbook lead out from Graeme Brown. The top ten for the stage included a who's who of Australia's leading professionals, with Brett Aitken (Savings & Loans), Mark Renshaw (Geelong Mazda), Stuart O'Grady (Skilled), Baden Cooke (deTourMovie.com), Hilton Clarke (Portfolio Partners) and Henk Vogels (John Trevorrow's Cycle Store/Chifley Hotel) crossing the line in Davis' wake.
The final stage sees four riders in contention for the overall win: Cooke and Renshaw are tied on 30 points, two behind the new leader, with Clarke five points from the lead. The final stage's hilly circuit on the northern side of Eastern Beach has generally produced breakaway winners, so Davis and his team will face a tough challenge to keep the challengers at bay.
Davis agreed. "The points are so close on the overall, anything can happen. You need a little luck in these situations, but if we can pull off the overall, that would be great.
"Brownie did an awesome job," Davis continued, "he's a top class sprinter in himself, and it's a bonus for me having him lead me out. We came to the top corner, about 700 metres out, and he went pretty early, but he went hard enough that we gapped the guys behind us, so I had a bit of a quick look around and I went a bit earlier than what I would normally in a sprint, but because of the effort that Brownie did it made it a pretty secure victory.
"We went into the week looking for the overall victory and a stage win, and we've gone close on quite a few occasions and it's a real team effort what we've done through the week, especially today. The guys rode really well and kept it together for a bunch sprint which is what we wanted, and we've got the jersey. I'd just like to thank all the team. They've worked really hard through the week, and there's a couple of young guys [Joe Lewis and John Ebling] who have never worked with a team environment before and they've come up really good."
How it unfolded
An early attack by Dean Windsor (Drapac Porsche - Sofitel Mansion Spa), Sean Finning (Jayco Bianchi VIS) and Jack Bobridge (Skilled) that hovered ten seconds in front of the bunch looked like it might have stolen the day when reinforcements arrived and the margin began to grow. Tommy Nankervis (deTourMovie.com), Scott Davis (Geelong Mazda), Johnnie Clarke (Portfolio Partners) and Koen de Kort (A&I Helicopters) chased across, and although Bobridge fell off the pace, the remaining six riders worked evenly to go out to a 20-second lead.
It was left to the FRF Couriers - NSWIS team to do the chasing, and after some big turns by Will Walker and Brown, the long escape came to end with just 13 minutes to race. In the closing stages, solo attacks by Richard England (Jayco Bianchi VIS), Travis Meyer (Swanston Hotel/Grand Mercure) and Angus Morton (Drapac Porsche - Sofitel Mansion Spa) were all neutralized, before the FRF train assembled to deliver Davis to the line.
Despite a number of attacks, the B Grade race was decided by a spectacular bunch sprint, which was expected to favour series leader Joel Pearson and his strong Savings & Loans team. Adrian Hanson (Fujitsu), one of the form riders at the Tasmanian Christmas track carnivals, sprinted strongly to hold off Pearson and take the win, with Daniel Braunsteins (Drapac Porsche) third.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by WomensCycling.net
1 Allan Davis (FRF Couriers NSWIS) 12 pts 2 Brett Aitken (Savings and Loans) 10 3 Mark Renshaw (Geelong Mazda) 8 4 Stuart O'Grady (Skilled) 7 5 Baden Cooke (detour-themovie.com) 6 6 Hilton Clarke (Portfolio Partners) 5 7 Henk Vogels (Trevorrow Cycle Store/Chifley) 4 8 Stuart Shaw (Drapac Porsche) 3 9 Satoshi Hirose (Aisan/Sofitel Mansion Spa) 2 10 Johnnie Walker (Jayco VIS) 1 Sprints 1 Matt Wilson (detour-themovie.com) 9 pts 2 Dean Windsor (Drapac Porsche) 8 3 Will Walker (FRF Couriers NSWIS) 6 3 Mark Renshaw (Geelong Mazda) 6 Teams 1 detour-themovie.com 42 pts 2 Geelong Mazda 41 3 FRF Couriers/NSWIS 32 B Grade men 1 Adrian Hanson 12 pts 2 Joel Pearson 10 3 Daniel Braunsteins 8 4 Robert Lyte 7 5 Luke Davison 6 6 Douglas Repacholi 5 7 Tim Hucker 4 8 Damien Turner 3 9 Blair Windsor 2 10 Danny Kah 1 General classification after stage 4 1 Allan Davis (FRF Couriers NSWIS) 32 pts 2 Mark Renshaw (Geelong Mazda) 30 3 Baden Cooke (detour-themovie.com) 30 4 Hilton Clarke (Portfolio Partners) 27 5 Matt Wilson (detour-themovie.com) 12 6 Stuart O'Grady (Skilled) 12 7 Rory Sutherland (Geelong Mazda) 11 8 Zac Dempster (A&I Helicopters) 10 8 Brett Aitken (Savings and Loans) 10 10 Stuart Shaw (Drapac Porsche) 10 10 Dean Windsor (Drapac Porsche) 10 B Grade men classification 1 Joel Pearson 40 pts 2 Daniel Braunsteins 29 3 Robert Lite 27 4 Douglas Repacholi 15 5 Cameron Carlyle 15 6 Adrian Hanson 14 7 Bradley Edmunds 14 8 Danny Kah 9 9 Tim Hucker 9 10 Blair Windsor 8