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.
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.
Stage 2 – Sam Miranda Winery
Saturday, October 12
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.