ToKV: NRS Leader Jarrad Drizners Claims Tour Honours, InForm TM Insight MAKE Increases Overall Series Lead

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Heading into the Tour of the King Valley as the overall series leaders with Jarrad Drizners in the indivual leader’s jersey, the pressure was on for the InForm TM Insight MAKE team.

And in a tour characterised by dirt, gravel, wild weather, and some fierce competition, our boys entered the tour knowing well that stage two could prove to be an unpredictable, unforgiving course that could produce a number of outcomes.

In an incredible display of team work, the outcome favoured InForm TM Insight MAKE, with Jarrad Drizners winning the two-stage tour, and our boys increasing the team’s lead overall in the series. Drizners’ - and his teammates’ - dominant performances not only earned the young gun the tour win; he also picked up the sprint, hill climb, and young riders jerseys, too.

Drizners has increased his overall lead from 115 to 215 points ahead of Tour of Gippsland (the second last tour of the year), while InForm TM Insight MAKE has increased the gap to lead the teams’ classification by 528 points. The continued improvement of our younger riders coupled with the strength and nous of the likes of Elliott and Freienstein yet again proved a successful combination this tour, with each and every rider playing their part in Drizners’ victory.

With just the Tour of Gippsland and the Tour of Tasmania remaining, DS Pat Lane could not be happier with how the team is positioned, and is confident in their ability to finish off strongly.

Here, the king of the Tour of the King Valley - Jarrad Drizners - walks us through each stage.

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Stage 1 – Winton Raceway Kermesse

Friday, October 11
Kermesse – 90 mins plus three laps

Friday was a fun and fast 80km Kermesse. The boys set me up perfectly for the intermediate sprints, which helped me pick up crucial time bonuses. In the finish we lost four of our strong men behind a crash. Raphael Freienstein did an awesome job with me on his wheel into the last chicane, but I ran out of gas towards the line and ended up crossing the line for 4th.

The hard work from the boys during the race meant I’d picked up enough seconds to be equal 1st overall going into Saturday’s road race.

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Stage 2 – Sam Miranda Winery

Saturday, October 12
Distance: 164kms

Saturday was a long and brutal day. I felt super strong all day, picking up more time bonuses in all the sprints and climbs thanks again to the awesome teamwork.

Over the climb on the second lap, myself and Marko crested with two other riders, and were motivated to make it hard for the rest of the peloton. We were caught 10km after the climb by a five man group which added to our horsepower and motivation to stay away until the finish.

We all worked really well together. Marko did an amazing job of keeping the pace fast and constant the whole way to the line. The peloton were chasing hard with none of Bridgelane team making the front group.

But we proved to be too strong out front and we had strength in numbers behind for if the race came back together.

In the final, I knew I had to be first through the last corner before the finish... and Marko did an amazing job once again drilling it in the last two kilometres.

I hit out early and carried good speed through the corner to win comfortably. It was an amazing team effort all weekend and it felt awesome to finish the job.

After increasing our overall lead in the NRS, I’m excited to race again with the boys in Gippsland.

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Tour of the King Valley: InForm TM Insight Make Enters the Business End of the NRS

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As we head into the pointy end of the National Road Series with Jarrad Drizners in the lead, Raphael Freienstein in third, and the InForm TM Insight MAKE team leading the teams’ classification, the two-stage Tour of the King Valley will be a fiercely contested one.

Kicking off on Friday 11th October, the opening stage of the tour sees a return to the Winton Raceway Kermesse with 90 minutes of racing plus three laps that will make for an exciting race.

Stage two rolls out from the iconic Sam Miranda Winery early Saturday morning as the peloton set their sights on the Strada Nero loop. Featuring numerous gravel and dirt segments, the course will keep everyone on their toes as the loose surface can always turn an unpredictable race into chaos. 

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DS Pat Lane knows all too well how the gravel and dirt laden course can create carnage.

“With all of the dirt on the course, the race can be a real lottery,” he says.

“With Drizners and Freienstein first and third overall, and our boys leading the teams’ classification, we will be closely watched during both stages over the weekend, making for an exciting but challenging tour that the boys are well prepared to face.”

With the kermesse broadcasting live on the National Road Series Facebook page this morning at 11am, and the road race highlights available on Kayo / Fox Sports, you can catch all of the action of what is sure to be a hotly contested battle (find all of the broadcast information by clicking here). With a strong lineup and Mark O’Brien guest riding, InForm TM Insight MAKE is looking stronger than ever - albeit with targets on our backs - to take on the challenge.

Here, we break down each stage.

Stage 1 – Winton Raceway Kermesse

Friday, October 11
Kermesse – 90 mins plus three laps
Men’s Start: 11:00am. Finish: 1:00pm (approx.)
Women’s Start: 1:30pm Finish: 3:30pm) approx.)

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Stage 2 Men’s – Sam Miranda Winery

Saturday, October 12
Distance: 164kms
Start: 7:00am. Finish: 11:00am. (approx.)

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Yorkshire Recap: National Champion Pat Eddy Takes it to the Junior Worlds

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At the end of September, Pat Eddy headed to Yorkshire for the Junior World Road Championships.

As a bottom age under-19 rider who claimed gold in both the Time Trial and Road Race components of the Road Nationals earlier this year, the national champion was ready to take his bike to the world stage.

Finishing 19th in the technical Time Trial and 21st in the wet and wild Road Race, Eddy again proved his nous and talent, with his impressive performance spending time up the front of the road race with no teammates an incredible feat for a first time, bottom age Junior Worlds competitor.

An incredible opportunity to race under European race conditions with the best junior riders in the world, Yorkshire was a chance for Eddy to continue to learn, improve and push himself, and push he did.

While the young gun is proud of the results, Pat Eddy tells us he’s now even hungrier to go further in pursuit of a Worlds medal.

Here, Eddy shares his experiences in Yorkshire, race by race.

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Race 1: Time Trial

RESULT: 19th OUT OF 63 RIDERS

TOTAL DISTANCE: 28KM

ELEVATION: 492M

I had put a lot of time into preparing for the Time Trial, so it was something I was really confident about. I'd ridden the course roughly 10 times in the week leading up to the race, as well as several times virtually on FulGaz and Zwift, so I was really happy with my lead up into it.

The crowd there was incredible, and the amount of people cheering added to the adrenaline I already had. For the first few kilometres, I was mainly just trying to ease into it and not go out too hard. It was a really punchy, technical course; really different to most Time Trials, and therefore hard to pace. The wind picked up for the second lap and I started to feel a bit blown for a few kilometres, but I was really happy with the final 4km's. I was stoked with how the whole process of the time trial went.

I probably would've liked to have a better result, but now there's more motivation to improve and compete for a medal next year.

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Race 2: Road Race

RESULT: 21st OUT OF 72 RIDERS

TOTAL DISTANCE: 148KM

ELEVATION: 2171M

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I went into the roadie feeling really relaxed. The stress and pressure of the TT had passed and as my first international bunch race, it was hard to know what to expect.

The first 1.5 hours was really hectic with a few crashes, and the constant fighting for position. Plus, rain majority of the time meant it was pretty dangerous in the bunch.

I was mainly focusing on being in the right spot in the bunch and replenishing my energy stores often. I just made it to the front bunch over the top of the first major climb but the race came back together after that. Once we hit the base of the second climb, I really started feeling more confident and the fighting for wheels seemed much easier.

A break of five went up to road shortly after and I was one of the few guys who reacted early and attempted bridging with a couple of other riders just before we entered the circuit.

The amount of spectators in Harrogate blew me away. I was in the front bunch the first two times up the climb, but the lack of organisation from the bigger teams allowed for riders to get back on.

I tried to bridge to the race for 3rd with about 10km to go, but got caught a few kilometres later, and eventually got dropped up the climb. I was really stoked with the way I raced and felt I gave myself the best shot to grab a medal. 

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Tour of the Great South Coast: Drizners Reclaims NRS Individual Lead, InForm TM Insight MAKE Continues Teams' Classification Lead

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There was a lot to celebrate at the close of the eight-stage Tour of the Great South Coast yesterday. So much so, it’s difficult to know where to start.

Firstly, after putting in a monster effort all week, InForm TM Insight MAKE won the tour in the teams’ classification. What’s more is, Jarrad Drizners once more leads the NRS overall and Raphael Freienstein not only finished second in the tour, but also holds third place in the NRS overall.

Jarrad Drizners and Luke Plapp also finished the tour in first and second in the young riders’ classification, and to top it off, InForm TM Insight MAKE continues to lead the NRS overall in the teams’ classification with just three tours remaining.

Here, DS Pat Lane takes us through each stage.

“It’s great to see how well the guys can adapt to different situations and race together as a team, they’re making my job very easy. It was awesome to extend our lead in the NRS teams’ classification and also get Jarrad back in the NRS individual lead. With three rounds remaining we now lead both.”

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Stage 1 Mount Gambier Criterium

The tour kicked off with a short but tough crit, we laid low with a goal to pick up a few bonus seconds to keep us close to the GC. The boys all did well following dangerous moves and kept us in a good position.

Stage 2 Mount Gambier Road Race

Our plan was to pick up some time on the KOMs. This is often a dangerous stage for general classification moves and we knew the guys had to be very attentive. Plapp and Elliott did well to get into the winning break. Plapp sprinted to 2nd on the stage, with Elliott in 4th. Unfortunately, they almost got caught on the line by the peloton and didn’t pick up much time.

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“South Coast was another phenomenal tour by the boys. The team really is going from strength to strength and this was our third consecutive NRS tour with a stage win. It’s great to see them working well together and they all love going away with each other.”

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Stage 3 Port MacDonnell Road Race

This promised to be a tough day with a lot of cross winds. After a large crash early on, the racing kicked off on lap 2 of 5. It was good to see our guys all together at the crucial moment when they turned into the cross winds. We were well represented in all the echelons, but the stage came back together for a bunch sprint.

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 Stage 4 Naracoorte Criterium

With a lot of teams looking to save energy for the TTT we went out to try and get as many time bonuses as possible. Freienstein and Drizners did a good job of this early and Connor Leahy did some monster team work late in the crit to keep Freienstein away for a few laps.

Stage 5 Team Time Trial

This stage was our main priority all tour. Team Time Trials are always a fantastic event, and a real measure of the strongest team. It’s also an event that suits a lot of our riders, so the boys were super keen to get the win in this. We put together a good plan and the guys absolutely nailed it.

The Team Time Trial was the stage we really wanted to win. Our track academy riders had a lot of banter with the ACA riders and you could see they were all super motivated for it. To take on the world champions in the Team Pursuit and beat them in a TTT is a real testament to the team, I don’t think many expected us to win. We executed the plan perfectly and everyone played their part. After the win the team was on such a high, I could tell they would race with a lot of confidence for the remainder of the tour. “

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 Stage 6 Casterton to Heywood Road Race

The Casterton to Haywood stage is always a tough one, this year they ran it in the opposite direction meaning we had some tough climbs early. As the group split up over the first KOM’s Raph & Jarrad cleaned up the time bonus’s on offer. Plapp then followed a strong attack from Vine & Field. As Plapp was the highest placed GC rider this put a lot of pressure on other teams to chase. Once the group came back together some riders who had lost time on the GC earlier in the week got away, this suited us as it took the final sprint away from ACA.

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 Stage 7 Cape Bridgewater Road Race

The queen stage of the tour, it was a tough day with lots of small climbs and cross wind. We knew this could suit us again to try and break the race up. Plapp did a great job again getting in the break away. As it was caught Freienstein got away in a group of eight with 20km remaining, claiming 2nd on the stage with a great final sprint.

Stage 8 Portland Criterium

After the previous day’s break away, Freienstein was equal 2nd with Sam Welsford on the general classification. This set up a very exciting final watching them battle it out in all 10 intermediates. Coming into the final sprint, Freienstein was 1 second behind Welsford, so it was incredible to see Freienstein get 2nd on the stage in front of Welsford, also overtaking him on the general classification.

“We went into the final criterium knowing we had another big battle ahead with ACA. Raph was equal time with Sam Welsford, a very classy bike rider. Heading into the final sprint Raph was down 1 second & Thanks to a good lead out from Jarrad Drizners he beat Sam on the line. They battled it out getting 21 & 20 seconds of bonus seconds during the 48km crit.”

QUICK LINKS

NEXT UP: TOUR OF THE KING VALLEY (11 OCTOBER)

RANKING: CLICK HERE

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Tour of the South West: Carter Turnbull Wins, InForm TM Insight MAKE Fill Podiums

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In what could not have been a more successful lead up to the National Road Series Tour of the Great South Coast this weekend, the InForm TM Insight MAKE White and Black teams were impressively dominant at the Tour of the South West.

Taking positions first to sixth in the general classification, it was Carter Turnbull who claimed tour honours, ahead of teammates Rudy Porter (2nd), Pat Eddy (3rd), Nathan Elliott (4th), Raphael Freienstein (5th), and Sam Eddy (6th).

Over the two days, the boys took to a 91-kilometre road race, a 15.3-kilometre individual time trial and a 60-minute (plus three laps) criterium, and all three podiums were covered with InForm TM Insight MAKE riders.

CARTER TURNBULL:

“Going into the tour I was hoping to be able to pick up some points for the overall VRS as I was sitting second after East Gippsland. The first day went really well for myself winning both stages but also for the team going first, second, and third in the road race with three of the black team behind in fourth, fifth, and sixth. The time trial was similar with first, third and fourth, as well as Pat Eddy from the black team in second. The crit on the final day was on from the start with Rudy in a small break and then riding solo for half the race. A few others including myself bridged over to him making it a group of six out front with two from each InForm team in there. In the end it was two white against two black racing for the stage win where Pat Eddy managed to get the win for the black team with Rudy in second and myself third.”

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On Top: InForm TM Insight MAKE Leads the NRS after a strong Tour de Tweed

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After another weekend of strong and successul riding at Tour de Tweed, the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys head into the business end of the National Road Series on top of the leader board. It’s a position that the team have collectively worked incredibly hard to get to, and DS Pat Lane says it’s no small feat.

“At the start of the year we set out to try and win the NRS. This was always going to be a very difficult challenge, but we wanted the guys to have a winning mentality,” says DS Pat Lane

“Now, we’re over the halfway mark and we’re where we wanted to be. To take the lead is an achievement that I struggle to put into words. Our normal line up has six out of seven riders under 20, so to be taking it to the older riders and leading overall is a real testament to our team spirit and the way the guys have come together to support each other.”

While the team didn’t walk away with the tour win, we now hold the most important spot in the NRS rankings, which was achieved thanks to some brilliant results from our young boys:

  • The ever consistent Jarrad Drizners won his first stage in the time trial, and is second overall in the general classification.

  • The increasingly strong Rudy Porter finished the time trial stage in third and collected a young rider’s jersey along the way. Porter was very consistent, finishing in 7th in stage two.

  • David Williams - another young rider who is constantly improving - finished fourth in the stage one road race, also picking up a young rider’s jersey.

Below, we share some of the highlights from an exciting weekend for the young guns, with commentary from DS Pat Lane along the way.

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Photography: Andrew Davies

DAY ONE – FRIDAY

Stage 1: Friday Tyalgum & Stokers Road Race

Distance: 127km

Elevation: 1597m

Aggressive racing early saw lots of splits in the peloton, with David Williams and Rudy Porter in the break of 12. With so many good riders from other teams represented, we sent Nathan Elliott and Jarrad Drizners across after 50kms of racing.

With four riders in the lead group, InForm was heavily marked in the group of 20 riders that blew out to 4 minutes. Even though he was sick, Elliott (as usual) put in some solid team work and got dropped leaving three in front. A small mistake left us on the back foot chasing a three rider break away in Thomas, Lyons and Hill.

Not only did he put in a sold race for his team, but David Williams was also able to cross the line for 4th. This also put the young gun in the young rider’s jersey.

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 DAY TWO – SATURDAY

Stage 2: Saturday Madura Tea Estate Road Race

Distance: 140km

Elevation:  2232m

Stage two was a tough race with lots of climbs, three of them being through dirt. Our guys marked all the moves early and tried to set up the finish for Drizners to have a sprint. Carter Turnbull spent most of the stage in the breakaway with Carter Beetles. When they were caught, another group got away with 30km remaining and this time Porter was in the move. Porter finished in 7th on the stage, finishing 1st in the young rider’s category.

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“The whole team was fantastic at Tour de Tweed. We didn’t win the tour but to see two of our young riders, David Williams and Rudy Porter come of age this week and show they can perform at the NRS was great to see. The team is all about developing young talents and for everyone involved that was like a victory for us.”

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 DAY THREE – SUNDAY

Stage 3: Individual Time Trial

Distance: 9.95km

Drizners and Porter rode fantastically, finishing in 1st and 3rd respectively.

Interestingly, this was Jarrad’s first NRS win after so many consistent results. Our Raphael Freienstein won this TT last year, so it’s been a good stage for us.

Their fantastic results put both of them in the top six.  

From Pat Lane:

“Jarrad and Rudy taking out 1st and 3rd in the Time Trial was phenomenal. This also set up a good general classification position for us with two in the top five.”

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 Stage 4: Stan Brims Criterium

Distance: 30 laps x 1.4km circuit (42km)

Elevation: flat and fast

We went into the criterium backing in Drizners 100%, and the team rode well to control the race while conserving energy to do a big lead out in the final laps. InForm took it up with six laps remaining and controlled it until the final lap. Unfortunately, Drizners got a flat tire that ended our chances.

“On the side lines, I was getting so nervous watching this one, the boys took it up early and controlled the whole race. It was as good as any lead out I’ve ever seen. When Jarrad punctured in the last lap it was disappointing, but they took a lot of confidence out of this race”

LINKS

Rankings

Up Next: Tour of the Great South Coast

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Preview: InForm TM Insight MAKE boys ready for Tour de Tweed

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This weekend, the newly minted Tour de Tweed will continue the Battle on the Border legacy in near-perfect conditions in New South Wales.

With InForm TM Insight MAKE trailing just 28 points behind Team BridgeLane in the teams’ classification, and Jarrad Drizners leading both the individual and U21 classification, there’s a lot to race for.

The four-stage tour begins with a Road Race on Friday in Tyalgum, followed by another Road Race from the Madura Tea Estate on Saturday. An action-packed Sunday in Murwillumbah will feature a time trial course on Tumbulgum Rd and the event wraps up with the Stan Brims Criterium within the industrial estate.

Below, we dive into the tour and how you can watch it, stage-by-stage.

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BROADCAST COVERAGE

The National Road Series Facebook page and Kayo / FOX SPORTS will bring daily coverage to your screens and devices

 Follow us: @inform_tminsight_make

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The Challenge Ahead: Stage-by-Stage

For the tech guide and full course descriptions, visit www.tourdetweed.org

 

DAY ONE – FRIDAY

Stage 1: Friday Tyalgum & Stokers Road Race

Distance: 127km

Elevation: 1597m

Rolling out from the country village of Tyalgum, Friday’s course is centred on a diverse loop under Mt Warning near Stokers Siding.  With numerous hills to get riders out of the saddle, the course showcases a backdrop of beautiful country, farm lands, rivers and mountains.

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DAY TWO – SATURDAY

Stage 2: Saturday Madura Tea Estate Road Race

Distance: 140km

Elevation:  2232m

Rolling out from the Madura Tea Estate, Saturday’s course is a tough course characterised by a number of pointed climbs on classic Tweed Valley country laneways. 

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DAY THREE – SUNDAY

Stage 3: Individual Time Trial

Distance: 9.95km

The course will be held on a Y-shape course based from Wharf Street in Murwillumbah’s CBD.  Spectator-friendly, the course is close to plenty of cafes and good vantage points at the start-finish along the Tweed River.

 

Stage 4: Stan Brims Criterium

Distance: 30 laps x 1.4km circuit (42km)

Elevation: flat and fast

Sunday’s tour grand final features a pesky new course in the industrial estate south-east of the CBD.  With no climb to upset the bunch this year, the peloton will be challenged to pick a strong line and accelerate quickly out of corners to make push to the front of the pack.

Further reading: Read the NRS tour preview here.

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Tour of the Tropics: An Emphatic InForm Tour puts Jarrad Drizners in the NRS Leader’s Jersey

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Taking home two firsts, two seconds, and two thirds during the wet three-day, five-stage Tour of the Tropics, DS Pat Lane says he witnessed some of the best riding to date from the InForm TM Insight MAKE team.

This successful campaign now sees Jarrad Drizners leading the NRS overall going into the Tour de Tweed this weekend. Further, Drizners also claimed the second spot on the podium in the individual classification. As far as the team is concerned, InForm TM Insight MAKE placed second in the tour and holds second position overall; just 28 points behind Team BridgeLane.

Every single rider played a huge role throughout the tour, with our two stage wins coming from Nathan Elliott in stage two and Luke Plapp in stage four.

With the Tour de Tweed kicking off this weekend, InForm’s podium representation throughout all five stages of the Tour of the Tropics could not be better timed.

Here, DS Pat Lane gives us a quick stage-by-stage re-cap, and we hear from some of our podium-getters.

 

DAY 1 

Stage 1 - Milaa Milaa Kermesse

Distance: 114km

Elevation: 2350m

Set on an incredibly tough course with 2350m of elevation, Luke Plapp, Jarrad Drizners and Carter Turnbull spent most of the race in a 12-man breakaway group. With the break splitting on the final circuits, it was Jarrad Drizners who sprinted to third place, just behind Sam Hill and Jay Vine.

 

DAY 2 

Stage 2 - Lake Eacham Road Race

Distance: 95km

Elevation: 1870m

Nathan Elliott’s win at the Lake Eacham Road Race was emphatic, yet again proving his strength and cycling nous. His solo win (2mins44secs ahead of the peloton) moved him to 3rd position on the general classification, with Jarrad Drizners leading the bunch home for 7th.

Nathan Elliott:

“I got in the early break, which established really quickly. All the main teams were represented and we tried to put pressure on Nero. Coming into the circuits, they looked like they were going to get us back but it blew out a bit in the end and I just him them and went solo, so it was awesome to get the win.”

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 Stage 3 – TT

As Drizners and Elliott continued their prominence through the tour, the individual time trial saw the boys finish in 2nd and 6th respectively.

 

DAY 3

Stage 4 - Yungaburra Road Race

Distance: 95km

Elevation: 1520m

The Tour of the Tropics certainly delivered the tropical weather with plenty of rain during all stages, and day three was no different. Drizners and Elliott were both extremely aggressive all day in pursuit of breaking up the GC, and it was Carter Turnbull and Luke Plapp who made their move in a breakaway with five other riders.

With a condensed breakaway group just holding on, Luke Plapp took a stunning photo finish win over Angus Lyons. Adding to some solid stage four results, Drizners lead the group home for 3rd.  

Luke Plapp:        

“It’s great when you get to throw your arms up. It’s been a grim couple of days in the tropics so to get the win is great, especially when our team has been doing so well.”

 Watch Plapp’s win by clicking here.

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Stage 5 - Yungburra Criterium

Distance: 60 minutes + 3 laps

There was a lot that could happen in the final stage of the Tour of the Tropics, with a highly competitive leader board meaning the race was lit up very early. Sam Hill – who was donning the leader’s jersey going into the stage – was dropped 15 minutes into the race, meaning the general classification was highly coveted, particularly for Jay Vine and Jarrad Drizners who were in the breakaway group that took the race to the line.

With Van De Merwe just getting over Drizners in the dying seconds of the race, Drizners sprinted home for 2nd both for the stage and the tour.

Jarrad Drizners:

“It was pretty hectic out there, we smashed them with about 10 laps in. Godfrey Slattery did an absolute ripping turn and Carter Turnbull was up there too, so that was awesome. Then we just continued on with about four of us left. I went early and went hard but just got rolled on the line. Second place, but then I have the overall lead for the NRS so I am pretty stoked.

 

Next up: Tour de Tweed

Ranking & results: click here



Photography: Alison George

Preview: Tour of the Tropics Kicks off the NRS Tour Season

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After a huge month in Belgium, the boys are ready to sink their teeth into the tour component of the 2019 National Road Series tomorrow at the Tour of the Tropics.

Having arrived home from the warmth of Belgian summer last week, the team is now up north and ready for more racing in warm conditions in far north Queensland.

Five stages will be tackled over three days by a strong InForm outfit that DS Pat Lane is confident are ready for the challenge.

“Belgium provides a racing experience like nowhere else in the world, it’s the only country you can come to and have multiple high-level races on any day. This allows us to create an intense month-long block for the riders to maximise their time in Europe.,” Lane says.

“After what I saw the boys achieve over there, I know they’re going into the Tour of the Tropics well prepared.”


Team Lineup:

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Watch:

The National Road Series Facebook page and Kayo / FOX SPORTS will bring daily highlights coverage to your screens and devices each day of the three-day Tour of the Tropics which will be held August 2-4.

Click here for broadcast information.

Follow us:

@inform_tminsight_make


The Challenge Ahead: National Road Series have broken down the Tour, stage-by-stage, here

The Tour of the Tropics will make its Cycling Australia National Road Series (NRS) debut when it opens the Tours season for 2019.

Tour of the Tropics will be set amongst the Atherton Tablelands over three consecutive days from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 August 2019.

The Tour commences with a kermesse race in Millaa Millaa and moves onto Lake Eacham on Day 2 followed by Yungaburra for Day 3. 

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Day 1 

Stage 1 - Milaa Milaa Kermesse

Distance: 114km

Elevation: 2305m

Racing will begin almost straight from the drop of the flag with a proper warm-up a definite prerequisite. The first of two KOMs greets the riders in the first 5kms. Gentle Annie, as is known to the locals, is a 2km climb at 9% taking riders to 1100m (300m) before descending towards Ravenshoe.

This is sure to split the field over the top; however, the road leading to Ravenshoe will limit the ability for the break to consolidate.

A technical 23km section of road, once the major arterial road, may favour the brave. Aggressive riding will likely place pressure at the back of the field once again as they pass through tropical rainforest and pastoral land before entering the Waterfalls loop for the first of 4 – 16km laps.

Theresa Creek Road then leads the riders to three of the major waterfalls of the region, on the way collecting 350m of elevation per lap. The first lap will be a case of becoming familiar with what lay ahead.

It is likely that the winning move will play out on the back half of the closing laps, with a long gradual rise to the finish sure to test after 114km and a total of 2350m of climbing.

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Day 2 

Stage 2 - Lake Eacham Road Race

Distance: 95km

Elevation: 1870m

After the Day 1 start, the NRS field will consider the beginning of this course rather sedate. Some beautiful country back roads will take them to the township of Malanda, with the racing likely to be full throttle as they exit. The exit out of Malanda is a constant uphill grade, before turning onto Hillcrest Road, taking the school bus route back towards Lake Eacham.

If you have your wits about you, you’ll be taking notes of the course as this will also be the battlefield for the individual time trial of Stage 3.

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Day 3

Stage 4 - Yungaburra Road Race

Distance: 95km

Elevation: 1520m

The Historic town of Yungabuura has been a long-time host to cycling in the region, with the community rallying behind the event each and every year. Five laps of this varied 19km circuit will ensure unpredictable, aggressive racing at every turn.

Stage 5 - Yungburra Criterium

Distance: 60 minutes + 3 laps

Yungaburra town centre will be the final showdown of the weekend’s festivities. If a clear leader has not been resolved, this technical course will once again provide another platform for aggressive racing. The course begins with a slight climb to a roundabout, before descending down the backside of the course to a hairpin at the foot of the Yungaburra Hotel before commencing up towards the Start/Finish.

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Belgium Bike Diaries: The Final Chapter

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Leaving Belgium with three wins, four seconds, and three third places, and a team that is now stronger than ever, our month in the heart of cycling was a big one for the boys.

In our final chapter of the Belgium Bike Diaries, DS Pat Lane reflects on the challenges and triumps of the last month. Plus, Jarrad Drizners and Tom McFarlane walk us through the final races.

With the tour component of the National Road Series kicking off tomorrow with the Tour of the Tropics, the excitement is only building for our team. (Read our tour preview here)

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Pat Lane:

“Belgium provides a racing experience like nowhere else in the world, it’s the only country you can come to and have multiple high-level races on any day. This allows us to create an intense month-long block for the riders to maximise their time in Europe. 

The style of racing in Belgium is very different to Australia, it’s characterised by a lot more attacking and aggressive racing. The bunch can be as many as 150 riders around very technical courses. This type of racing is a lot closer to World Tour and watching their improvement over the last month I can see that it has been well worth bringing the guys to Europe to prepare them if they ever get the opportunity to race at the highest level.

The whole team rode fantastically. We had three wins, four seconds, and three third places. It’s been great to see some of the guys really step up with the opportunity here and I believe they have a lot ahead of them. Everyone has had a great time and the bond between riders is even stronger after a month together.”

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The final races, as told by Jarrad Drizners and Tom McFarlane: 

Jarrad Drizners:

Zottegem Stripes - 111km

It was a hard day out with hot conditions and a hilly course. The pace was on the whole race and the bunch became smaller and smaller. A lot of promising looking breakaways were unsuccessful. Dave and Carter did an awesome job in the last lap to bring back two riders for me to have a go in the sprint. I went in early and got rolled to end up in 3rd.

 

Tom McFarlane:

Wachtebeke - 117km

This was a fast race on a very open course. An aggressive race in still conditions on open roads made it difficult for attacks to stick. Plapp was in a late break that got caught through the last corner at 200m to go, Drizners was 3rd after a big lead out from the team

 

Sinaai 117km 

During the race the bunch split up multiple times with a number of different breakaways looking like they would survive to the finish. In the last it looked like it would come to a sprint and the team took control of the front and lead out Drizners, he was first around the last corner at 200m to go and held on to win the sprint

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Belgium Bike Diaries: Turnbull Turns it on for Third & Tour de France Stage One

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During their second week in Belgium, the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys have continued to enjoy the challenges and triumphs of European racing.

With plenty of impressive results, Carter Turnbull’s was the highlight. After riding in the break for most of the 115km Roeselare race, he dug deep to cross the line for an impressive third. The boys displayed some great teamwork, with Turnbull’s teammates instrumental in controlling the peloton, and Jarrad Drizners finishing with the second group in sixth.

Lucky enough to also catch stage one of the Tour de France as it took off in Belgium, the boys enjoyed watching some of the world’s best, as well as riding parts of the course pre-race.

Here, in their own words, David Williams, Tom Benton, and Ben Jones share some insights from the past week.

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David Williams:

Race at Rozebeke, Kermesse, 104km

This was a super tough course with lots of climbing and crosswinds; a very, very technical course. Carter Turnbull, Rudy Porter, David Williams and Jarrad Drizners all followed the moves early on.

Eventually the winning break went away with Jarrad Drizners, who was able to follow the best eight riders all day.

A rider slipped up the road on the main climb on the last lap and held on the whole way, with two others shortly behind. Jarrad has a really strong ride, sprinting in for second in the battle for 4th

 

Tom Benton:

Race at Herenthout - 113.4km
Being the first race with high winds, thoughts of splits were evident in determining the outcome of the race. At lap 4 of 14, a group of six formed bringing together Luke Plapp, Carter Turnbull and Tom McFarlane.

With the gap blowing out quickly, there were constant attacks with aims of creating a chase group to get across. Eventually the hot pace meant a group of around 15 set clear from the remainder of the peloton, which contained Drizners, with it charging across to make the front of the race 20 riders strong with 4 laps to race.

From this group came another breakaway with Plapp and Drizners in a group of 7, which would go to the line. With Plapp controlling the break for a sprint, a late attack from the eventual winner was able to hold on after the masses of work from Plapp and Drizners.

Drizners finished in 6th and Plapp in 7th.

 

Race at Moorslede-Slypskapelle - 111km

The team of those favouring a flatter kermesse were met with what would become an unusual race relative to previous editions. The main break escaped on lap 4 of 15 which contained the ever consistent Luke Plapp in a group of 10. With this move blowing out, it looked follow the script of precious races, with the peloton never seeing that move again. However at lap 9 the break was well in sight with the gap coming down to around 50m.

With the boys thinking it was curtains for this original break, a group of 4 escaped across which motivated the break to work harder and peloton to sit up, allowing this original break to rapidly increase their gap again. A few laps later a group of 10 managed to escape the peloton containing Benton which would eventually reach the lead group with half a lap remaining. Unfortunately for our boys in the lead group, the eventual winner broke away solo on the last lap, with Plapp unable to gain any freedom due to being heavily marked all race.

He would be our best finisher in 5th place.

 

Ben Jones: Brakel kermesse & Tour de France Stage One

My first race up was a kermesse in Brakel, It was 10km by 9 laps of a hilly circuit. The pace was on from the gun and I found myself in a three-man break away. We were away for about four laps, then were brought back by a reduced bunch. By the 7th time around, the legs were feeling cooked from the break away at the start of the race, so while I didn’t finish the race the way I would’ve liked, I learned a lot from being competitive early on.


We were very excited to ride out and watch the world tour riders take on some iconic climbs in Belgium such as the muur van Geraardsbergen and the Bosberg. After finding a back road to the top of the Bosberg, we found a good spot to view the race after about 45mins the race came past and the atmosphere was crazy even more so because greg van avermaet was in the break. We then headed back into oudnardee to watch the finish of the stage, which saw Austrailan Caleb Ewan finish in third. 

To follow the InForm TM Insight MAKE Belgium campaign, follow us on Instagram here.

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Pat Eddy off to Yorkshire for the 2019 UCI Junior Road World Championships

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It’s been an incredible year for Australian Under-19 Time Trial and Road Champion, Pat Eddy, and with the announcement of his selection for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, it just got even better.

From September, 22-29, Pat Eddy will complete in road race and time trial events among the world’s best juniors, with his eyes firmly set on becoming a junior world champion. An incredible experience for any young rider, Eddy could not be more excited about the challenge that lies ahead.

Pat Eddy says:

“I'm super keen to get over to the UK and race at the worlds in September. Going into the year as a bottom age Under 19, I didn't really expect to do enough to be selected for the world champs in 2019.

It was more of a goal to be picked as a top age rider next year, so just to get the opportunity to race is unbelievable. I've had a great few months of training leading up, and still have much more time to prepare, so I definitely think I have a chance to get top five in the time trial.

The road course seems to suit me also so I could be in with a shot there as well. With the recent success of other Aussies at the world champs, it's definitely been a goal of mine to achieve a good result at the championships.”

Belgium Bike Diaries: Plapp and Drizners do the 1-2 to kick off a promising Belgium campaign

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The InForm TM Insight MAKE boys came together in Belgium early last week for their much anticipated month of training and racing in Belgium’s heart of cycling, Oudenaarde.

In what was a promising weekend of racing for the boys, it was Luke Plapp and Jarrad Drizners who started it off with a bang; crossing the line together in first and second at the 70km criterium race in Ostend.

“Everyone arrived in Oudenaarde on either Monday or Tuesday, so the first few days were used to adjust to the change of time zone and climate,” Carter Turnbull says.

“With Godfrey Slattery, Luke Plapp and Jarrad Drizners having arrived in Europe a little earlier, the three of them, joined by Conor Leahy and Nathan Elliott, began the racing campaign really successfully.”

Below, the boys share with us - in their own words - how week one panned out.

Thursday 27th June: 70km race in Ostend

The boys kicked off their Belgium campaign with a bang, with Luke Plapp and Jarrad Drizners doing the 1-2 on the 70km criterium course in Ostend; a course characterised by 40 laps of a 1.75km circuit. 
With a big weekend of racing ahead of the whole team, they were off to a flying start, with Plapp set for another podium come Sunday.

Luke Plapp:

“The crit was pretty eye opening – very different to what we experience in Melbourne. It was a really good experience. We had all the boys there – Nathan, Jarrad, Conor and Godfrey – who guided me through the race and helped me out. And Jarrad and I were able to run away with it in the end.”

Jarrad Drizners:

“It was a pretty hectic crit. We were in a few good moves that got brought back, with Plapp and I in a break together with about three laps to go. He was having a good night and with about a lap to go he just lit it up, and rode away and I went with him and we were able to get the first and second.”

 (Watch Plapp and Drizners cross the line here.)

Saturday 29th June: 117km Bever

Saturday was set to be the hottest day we would experience as well as the first race for a few of the riders, so it was always going to be a difficult day. With a large break of roughly 10 riders going clear in the race including Elliott and Drizners, the race was over within the first half hour for the main field. After a hard race with extreme temperatures, Elliott tried his best to set up Drizners in the final lap, however the hope for victory was over with one rider staying away in front of the break to take a solo win and then another two escaping late, meaning the sprint behind was for fourth place. Jarrad opened up early but wasn’t quite able to hold on and ended up in 6th place overall.

Sunday 30th June: 114km race in Hansbeke

At lap two out of 19 Plapp, Drizners and Elliott broke away with five other guys and worked together well to eventually get a 25-second gap back to the peloton. They continued to extend their lead to 45-seconds with three laps to go and the win was going to come from the break.

Luke Plapp hit it a 1.5-kilometres to go, but got caught just before the line and managed to sprint to second.

 

To follow the InForm TM Insight MAKE Belgium campaign, follow us on Instagram here.

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Baysider Leader: Belgium beckons for bayside team

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InForm TM Insight MAKE was featured in the Bayside Leader last week, in an interview with Tom Benton and Patrick Lane as they prepare for a month of training and racing in Belgium later this month.

From the feature:

While 2018’s trip to Belgium may have left 19-year-old team member Tom Benton with a broken collarbone, the Melbourne University student and old Brighton Grammarian is hungry to get stuck into some challenging racing.

“After last year’s injury, I couldn’t be more excited to be given another opportunity to compete in Belgium again,” the commerce student says, who recently won the young rider’s classification at the infamous Melbourne to Warnambool Cycling Classic.

“The kermesses over there are brutal, but our team is going from strength to strength after some great wins at the Tour of Brisbane and the Tour of East Gippsland, so I think we’re equipped to be right up there amongst tough competition.”

No Podiums, but Plenty of Prowess at the 59th Grafton to Inverell

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They say it’s a race that can unfold in many ways, and the 59th David Reid Homes Grafton to Inverell proved that yet again. A course that highlights the intricacy and ever surprising nature of racing, the G2I was a spectacle from beginning to end.

Constant attacks and ever-changing breakaway groups were made all the more challenging by difficult hill climbs, cross and head winds, and debris on the long and infamous road from Grafton to Inverell.

With this level of animation, picking a winner for the 228km race was impossible right up until the finish line.

Having won the event in 2018, Nathan Elliott had a target on his back all day. Where he made moves, many followed, making it hard for the strong rider to ever truly get away.

While Elliott finished with the front group, it was a two-man race to the finish line between William Hodges and Dylan Sunderland that saw Hodges claim his first National Road Series win.

Elliott was in the strong chase group that nearly caught Hodges and Sunderland with Nick White, Troy Herfoss, Peter Milostic, Liam Magennis, Brendon Davids, Liam White, and Marcus Culey.

With no one willing to attack too early, it became clear that Sunderland and Hodges were going to stay away and take the race all the way to the line, with Nick White winning the bunch kick and Elliott crossing the line in ninth.

“It was quite an exciting race with the situation constantly changing,” Elliott says.

“We had Raph and Marko represented in the main early moves that were dangerous then Carter and Rudy did a monster effort chasing and putting me back into contention at the front.”

In an impressive example of teamwork, the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys rode smart all day.

Mark O’Brien was hugely influential to the race, and the experienced rider worked tirelessly for the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys as he rode up the front at many stages throughout the day. Freienstein animated the race early riding up front with O’Brien in the first breakaway group of the day.

Rudy Porter held his position impressively, and both he and Carter Turnbull powered at the front throughout many moments of their first Grafton to Inverell. Pat Lane set them the task to bring the breakaway group back, and the two 18-year-olds got to work.   

Just as Elliott rode for Turnbull at the Tour of East Gippsland last weekend, Turnbull worked hard to get Elliott back into a strong position after falling back a bit at the hill climb, which had him looking strong for the finish.  

While Elliott was disappointed not to podium, the G2I specialist (he’s finished in first, second and third over the years) rode an extremely strong race for a man that was being watched closely.

As DS Pat Lane put it, “that’s just bike racing. The boys did everything they could today and they rode very well as a team. Some days you win, some days you don’t.”

Elliott’s disappointment yet again proves his commitment and care for his team.

“Unfortunately we missed the front three that got away, I gave it a good crack at bridging to them on wire gully and got within 10 seconds but didn’t end up making it,” Elliott says.

“I was really proud of how the boys rode and despite not getting the result that we deserved I think we can be happy with how we rode as a team. “

With Grafton to Inverell the final one-day classic on the 2019 NRS calendar, many of the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys now have their sights set on a month of training and racing in Europe before an action-packed Tour season kicks off in August, with the Tour of the Tropics.

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InForm TM Insight MAKE Ready for Grafton with Last Year's Champions

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It's one of the biggest races on the cycle calendar, and the toughest one day course in Australia: the 59th Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic. 

The unforgiving combination of being the second longest one-day race, and one of the hilliest, claiming victory on the 228-kilometre course is highly coveted; an iconic win for any cyclist.

While they may have fought for first and second respectively last year on different sides, InForm TM Insight MAKE teammates Nathan Elliott and Raphael Freienstein will now face the event together on Saturday, with a strong, hungry team who are ready for the challenge.

With 3382m of climbing, including the formidable 17km climb of the Gibraltar Range, 2018 winner Elliott knows all too well that the race can unfold in many ways, but is excited to take it head on with the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys.

“It’s really exciting to have one of the strongest teams in the field going into this race,” Elliott says.

“Raph and I came first and second last year, and our DS Pat Lane has won this event too. On top of that, we have O’Brien, Turnbull, Porter, Drizners and Plapp who will be right up there, so I am really looking forward to it.”

Experience in Elliott, Freienstein, and Mark O’Brien – who’s previously won the NRS – is complimented by a highly skilful young bunch. Lucas Plapp and Jarrad Drizners are members of the Australian Cycling Team’s Podium Potential squad, and Carter Turnbull and Rudy Porter are in fine form after claiming first and fifth at the Tour of East Gippsland last weekend.

For previous G2I winner and DS Pat Lane, it’s the best event on the calendar.

“It’s my favourite race in Australia for sure. It’s always a really tough one, and gets a good deserving winner with the distance and climbs on the course,” he says.

“With the team we have here, we have a lot of guys who can pull of the win and it’ll be an exciting day in the car.”

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The InForm TM Insight MAKE line-up for the Tour de Brisbane includes:

Nathan Elliott

Raphael Freienstein

Mark O’Brien

Carter Turnbull

Rudy Porter

Lucas Plapp

Jarrad Drizners

Links:

Start list

Course map

How to watch: 

The Grafton to Inverell will be streamed via the National Road Series Facebook page facebook.com/NationalRoadSeries

Opening Show – 7 – 7.30am: Watch pre-race interviews and the first 15 minutes of the race.

Replay & Highlights Show – 4 – 5pm: Watch one hour of ‘as-live’ coverage, including the finish plus post-race interviews.

Carter Turnbull turns it on at the Tour of East Gippsland

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A chaotic crash during stage one of the Tour of East Gippsland may have knocked seven of our riders off their bikes, but it didn’t deter them from getting organised for Carter Turnbull the next day, who took out tour honours with an impressive, consistent weekend of racing.

With third-places in both stage one’s road race and stage two’s time trial, Turnbull confirmed his tour win in stage three; where he crossed the line in second with great support from his team, and an instrumental ride from both Nathan Elliott and Tom Benton.

Strong rides from Rudy Porter and David Williams saw the young guns also finish in the top 10 in the general classification, and impressively, five of our riders finished in the top 10 in the stage two time trial.

With Turnbull, Elliott, and Porter all heading to Grafton for the celebrated 228-kilometre National Road Series Grafton to Inverell this weekend, the trio’s solid individual performances and impressive team efforts have them primed for a great day of racing.  

 

STAGE-BY-STAGE RESULT HIGHLIGHTS

Stage 1 Road Race

Carter Turnbull: 3rd

Rudy Porter: 5th

 

Stage 2 Time Trial

Carter Turnbull: 3rd

Nathan Elliott: 4th

Tom Benton: 5th

Rudy Porter: 7th

Patrick Eddy: 8th

 

Stage 3 Road Race

Carter Turnbull: 2nd

Will Moloney-Morton: 6th

Rudy Porter: 7th

 

General Classification

Carter Turnbull: 1st

Rudy Porter: 5th

David Williams: 10th

 

QUOTES

Carter Turnbull

“It was a shame having a number of guys come down in the crash during stage one but for the remainder of the stage everyone raced well to have Rudy and I in the winning break.  Going into the final stage after getting third in the previous two stages had me sitting 30 seconds down in GC in second place.

I was in the break again with Nathan Elliot and Tom Benton driving it for me to make up the time on GC, so all I had to worry about was staying close enough to Nick White who was in third and I was really happy to come away with the win for my team.”

Pat Lane

“Going into the last stage we decided as a group we would throw everything at the GC and try to come away with the tour win. Given we had Carter and Rudy close to the lead, we wanted to stack the break with strong guys and then send either of them across. Tom Benton, Nathan Elliott and Carter did this perfectly, with a great win by Carter and a great fifth in the general classification for Rudy.”

 LINKS

Next event: Grafton to Inverell (NRS)

VRS Calendar (next event in August)

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Tour de Brisbane: Drizners Dominates the Crit, Freienstein Fires in the Road Race

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In perhaps one of the most stellar performances the InForm TM Insight MAKE team has ever displayed, the boys walked away from the Tour de Brisbane with the win at both Saturday’s UCI Brisbane Blast Criterium, and Sunday’s inaugural NRS Tour de Brisbane Road Race.

Jarrad Drizners was the man who came out on top at the criterium, with Raphael Freienstein claiming honours in the road race. In a game of musical chairs, Freienstein also crossed the line for second in the criterium, while Drizners just missed out on the podium for fourth at Brisbane’s first ever road race.

This puts InForm TM Insight MAKE second in the team’s classification going into next month’s Grafton to Inverell. Further, Freienstein is now back in the NRS leader’s jersey – a jersey he feels comfortable in given his overall NRS win in 2018 – and Drizners now dons the Best Young Rider’s jersey.  

While the Brisbane Blast was not a National Road Series event – and therefore did not go towards the series points system – it put our boys in good stead for what would again be a huge day of racing the next day.

With a warm climate and exciting courses, here’s how the weekend panned out.

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UCI Brisbane Blast Criterium

The criterium course was smooth and flowing, with 55 minutes of racing the prelude to a final three laps that couldn’t have been more successfully executed by our team. With good legs and a tactical plan, Freienstein led Drizners into two of the sprint laps as practice rounds for the final showdown, and the pair looked like they had it down pat.

In an impressive line of white and black, all seven of the InForm TM Insight MAKE boys were up the front in a train going into the final lap, riding the rest of the sprinters off their wheel and allowing Drizners to get the job done.

Plapp and Elliott played a big part in this, and, on top of that, German gun Freienstein was impressively able to cross the line in second after his huge lead out efforts.  Completing the podium was Pro Racing Sunshine Coast’s Alex Porter.

Drizners says: “I was feeling confident that we’d be able to pull off the win, because Raph and I were able to pull off the lead out really well for the two intermediate sprints that I won. The whole team played a huge part in getting me across the line, so I’m glad that I was able to finish it off for us all.”

Tour de Brisbane Road Race

As a new addition to the NRS calendar, the fully-closed inner-city circuit that had been painstakingly planned for the inaugural Tour de Brisbane classic was a highly anticipated one.

Navigating steep descents, narrow roads, and tight U-turns, the course was a fast but technical one. Wide streets turned narrow, tunnels and bridges emerged, and the chase group came so close to mowing Freienstein and Sunderland down.

Starting in the city’s cycling hub of South Bank, the course was characterised by an inner city circuit, a challenging Mount Coot-tha climb, and the fast, undulating hills south of Brisbane.

After some early animation created by a small breakaway of Jesse Coyle, Jay Vine, Dylan Sunderland, and Dylan Newberry, it was Raphael Freienstein, Dylan Sunderland, and Liam Magennis who brought the heat to the men’s road race.

In a dramatic finish that nearly saw the peloton swallow them up, Freienstein and Sunderland dug deep to hold on. Having retired from the breakaway group some 15kms to go as Sunderland began to attack, Magennis left the two men up front and it all came down to a bunch kick for the third place.

Tristan Ward claimed the third spot on the podium just ahead of Jarrad Drizners, whose fourth place has put InForm TM Insight MAKE in a strong position going into round three of the National Road Series.

On top of his win, Freienstein also took home the sprint jersey.

Freienstein says:

“I’m feeling stoked. I’m glad that I got away with the win, but we had a good back up in the bunch. In my head, I couldn’t help thinking if you stay away and come away with second or third it’s always a pity, so it was either ride up front and give my team an easy ride so that Drizners could maybe get it in the bunch kick, or win it myself. I am super stoked that Sunderland and I managed to stay away from the chasing group, and that it was backed up by a fourth place for my teammate Jarrad Drizners.”

LINKS

Next event: Grafton to Inverell

NRS Rankings - Individual

NRS Rankings - Teams

NRS News

Read the Courier Mail cover story

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InForm TM Insight MAKE due north for Tour de Brisbane

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This Sunday, Brisbane will become the centre of Aussie cycling as the inaugural Tour de Brisbane, part of the National Road Series Classics, takes over the city.

For the first time in the city’s history, the 110-kilometre road course will be fully closed, with the riders enjoying 1,422 metres of climbing as they take in some of the city’s well-known landmarks.

DS Pat Lane says: “Tour de Brisbane is a race I’ve been really looking forward to for a while. The organisers have come up with a very exciting course. It’s a profile that could unfold in many different scenarios with the difficult climb up Mount Coot-Tha so early in the race. The roster we have selected should give us competitive options despite how it unfolds.”

Starting in the city’s cycling hub of South Bank, riders make their way across the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, offering a panoramic view of the city’s skyscrapers and river. The course then carries on down to the Story Bridge, leading into the city itself.

Riders will then make their way through the inner-CBD and onto the Riverside Express Way and Western Freeway, both closed for the first time for a bike ride. A challenging Mount Coot-tha climb then awaits, before continuing through the city and down through the undulating hills south of Brisbane.

InForm TM Insight MAKE newcomer and no stranger to NRS success, Jarrad Drizners, is confident that the boys are primed for a great road race.

“I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into my first NRS race of the season this weekend with the team! My last race with the team was at the Road Nationals where we had some good success, so I’m keen to keep the ball rolling.”

Lane adds, “It’s the first time we have the Podium Potential Academy guys joining us for the NRS, they have just finished the Australian Track Championships and are on great form.” 

Luke Plapp, Jarrad Drizners, Conor Leahy and Godfrey Slattery are the four InForm TM Insight MAKE riders who’ve joined the Podium Potential squad managed by the Australian Cycling Team. Track commitments will remain the priority for the talented youngsters but linking up with a National Road Series squad will allow the riders to gain greater exposure to all types of racing and will aid their progression towards lofty track goals.

Coupled with a diversely strong team and Rudy Porter’s return, Lane is confident with the InForm TM Insight MAKE line-up.

“Rudy Porter has also been improving quickly after his break and I think we will see a big ride from him.”

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The InForm TM Insight MAKE line-up for the Tour de Brisbane includes:

Raphael Freienstein

Nathan Elliott

Jarrad Drizners

Rudy Porter

Lucas Plapp

Godfrey Slattery

Tom Benton                                                                                                                    

 

Links:

Start list

Course map

How to watch: 

The Tour de Brisbane will be streamed via the National Road Series Facebook page facebook.com/NationalRoadSeries, and Kayo Sports.

Opening Show – Facebook only: Sunday from 6.05am (approx.). Pre-start interviews, the roll out and the opening 10km through Brisbane city of both Men’s and Women’s races.

Replay & Highlights Show – Facebook & Kayo: Sunday from 11.30am. Two hours of “as live” coverage including the start of both Men’s and Women’s races, the KOM’s, Sprints and all the action coming into the finish (plus post-race interviews and podium celebrations).

No Fairytale For Elliott While Freienstein Finishes Fifth In Warrnambool

Photo: Con Chronis

Photo: Con Chronis

The 2019 National Road Series kicked off yesterday at the Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool, the 262-kilometre classic was taken out by under 23 National Champion Nicholas White.

144 riders took to the start line in Avalon and the attacks started at the drop of the flag with InForm TM Insight MAKE represented in all the key moves. Throughout the first 70 kilometres there were several attacks but nothing managed to stick until the decisive 13 rider break pushed clear. All the major teams were represented in the escape, so the pace in the peloton was switched off completely. The slashing of the tempo in the peloton saw the gap balloon out to 14 minutes at one point. Will Moloney-Morton and Tom Jones began to ride a solid tempo at the front of the bunch after the main field had been threatened to be pulled from the race due to the significant time gap between the two groups.

Included in the winning break was 2018 NRS winner Raphael Freienstein, Oliver Martin (Drapac Cannondale Holistic Development Team), Harrison Bailey (GPM-Stulz), Nicholas White (Team BridgeLane), Brendan Johnston (Stitch and Dirt), and Cyrus Monk.

“With 13 riders in the move it would have been nice to have a second rider there. The guys did a great job following moves early and I think they relaxed a bit given we had Raph there,” Team Director Pat Lane said.

Photo: Con Chronis

Photo: Con Chronis

With the major players in the front group having no teammates in support, the final 40 kilometres was a cagey, tactical affair with no rider being able to snap the elastic to gain the advantage to cause problems for the others in the front group. With much of the pressure being put on Freienstein and White to pin back the attacks, a cool head was required from the favourites at the back end of such a taxing race.

With two kilometres to go, it felt like there was only one outcome, a sprint finish. White kept his cool and timed the slightly uphill sprint to perfection, winning comfortably ahead of Bailey and Johnston, with Freienstein coming in for fifth.

“I was happy to have a sprint as I knew nobody would let me ride off the front. Unfortunately at the end of a big day, and not having any long races under the belt this summer, my legs were just cooked and once I launched my sprint I had nothing left and my legs started to lock up,” Freienstein said.

Freienstein who always has the teams best interests at heart, said he was disappointed to not repay the faith the team showed in him.

“I’m still upset that I let the team down as they fully backed me in the break and I couldn't finish off the job. Everyone in the team seemed really strong and had a great race. Big engine Tom Benton had a fantastic day and is now leading the under 21 NRS, so that’s a big positive to take out of the weekend.”

Photo: Steve Whiting

Photo: Steve Whiting

“Nick White is the deserving winner, he was super strong all day and played a smart game. He is coming off a really big summer winning the under 23 National Championship and racing the Tour Down Under, I guess he also had the better racing preparation leading into the ‘Warnie’,” Freienstein said.

The National Road Series now heads to the sunshine state for the Tour de Brisbane on April 14.