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.
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.
“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.”