Jordan Kerby claimed Drapac Pro Cyclng's first podium of the team's current US swing Friday during the stage 3 time trial at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, tackling the rolling 26km course in 24:21, claiming third place 31 seconds behind stage winner Tom Zirbel (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies).
“I am happy for Jordan to get the team's first podium of the race today,” said Drapac director Tom Southam. “He rode a quality TT in regards to pacing and uphill strength. He competed today against guys with a lot more experience on this course, so it is good to be close to win. Kerby is in good form and will be a major factor for us in the upcoming races.”
Kerby was obviously pleased with the performance.
“The legs were a bit lag at the start of warmup as yesterday’s stage was really tough,” he said. “The more I warmed up, the legs started to come around. Out of gate legs felt good. I like to go hard at the start so the uphill was good out at the beginning as you can make up time rather quickly. I focused after that on keeping a good tempo to the turnaround. Over the top of the last climb, I just tried to relax and control. I felt good and I'm happy with the result."
Turning to Saturday's criterium in downtown Silver City, Kerby said the team will race for sprinter Wouter Wippert, who Kerby believes is in with a good shot for the stage win.
“Tomorrow, we go for Wouter, so we will organize in our typical manner, get him set up and sorted,” Kerby said. “He is the fastest guy in this race in my opinion. We are looking to get that stage win.”
Drapac's Lachlan Norris is currently sitting 19th in the general classification at 2:14 and will look toward Sunday's closing Gila Monster stage to move up the GC rankings.