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.
Stage 1 - Milaa Milaa Kermesse
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.
Stage 2 - Lake Eacham Road Race
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.
“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.”
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.
Stage 4 - Yungaburra Road Race
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.
“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.
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.
“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