Waking up to a much drier but no less windy day two of the Visit Victoria-Campolina Tour of the Great South Coast, stage three presented a 128-kilometre coastal and rural race in Port MacDonnell, characterised by challenging cross winds and zero protection from the elements.
An exciting race ending in a bunch sprint of approximately 30 riders, it was Australian Cycling Academy’s Samuel Welsford who made it to the finish line first, followed by Nicholas White in second, and stage two winner and leader of the general classification Ayden Toovey in third.
A gruelling five laps (each 26-kilometres) kicked off with strong teams putting pressure on the field early, splitting the race into a number of different groups.
At the 50-kilometre mark, the front group of 25 riders was predominantly made up of five teams making their mark on the race; InForm MAKE, Drapac EF P/B
Cannondale Holistic, Bennelong Swiss Wellness, Australian Cycling Academy-Ride Sun and Oliver’s Real Food Racing.
As the riders continued to push deep into the fourth lap, Thomas Kaesler attacked and held a 100-metre gap to the bunch, with Thomas MacFarlane (InForm MAKE) chasing. The break lasted for a few kilometres, ending with the group of approximately 25 riders joining forces, bringing it back together as they entered an intense fifth and final lap.
Pressures compounded as the experienced Michael Vink and our young under 19 Oceania Champion Carter Turnbull (InForm MAKE) rode off together with a lead ebbing and flowing from 40 to 20 seconds well into the second half of the final lap.
As the group came back together and drew closer to the finish line, a powerful attack by Oliver
Martin showed promising signs for the 23-year-old before the chase to the finish line was on, with Martin swallowed up by peloton and a fast bunch sprint.
Photo – Con Chronis