Extreme winds cause stage abandonment in Geelong

Final day of Victorian championships postponed

Race organisers were forced to abandon the final stage of the 2009 GMHBA Tour of Geelong as gale force winds of up to 65 kilometres an hour struck Portarlington on Sunday. The winds were powerful enough to fell trees near the race compound and also saw the postponement of the road 2009 Victorian Open road championship, which had been held this year in conjunction with the final days of the Tour of Geelong.

The Victorian womens road championship were cancelled early in the day, however, as the wind dropped the men were instructed to prepare for what would have been the final day of racing in the GMHBA Tour of Geelong, only to be told 15 minutes later that their race had also been cancelled due to the extreme weather conditions.

"I am very disappointed that we have had to call off the race," said race director John Craven. "The first four days of the Tour have been wonderful and we have seen outstanding results from the teams, in particular Fly V Australia who ran a superior race across the board, for everyone involved rider safety is paramount."

The cancellation of the final stage meant that results remained the same from the previous day's criterium. Queenlander Darren Rolfe (Fly V Australia) claimed the general classification ahead of teammate David Kemp and William Clarke (Praties). Rolfe also claimed the mountains classification

Fly V Australia also took the sprinters jersey as Jonathan Cantwell finished 7 points ahead of Charles Howlett (Cycle City).

Stage six of the Tour was also to serve as the Victorian mens open road championships. It is expected that the final day of the championships - the mens and womens road races - will now be held on October 25, following the Melbourne to Warrnambool road race.

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