Jayco-2XU may have hoped to have taken the win with star sprinter Ben Kersten in the Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic on Sunday, but were left to rue what could have been after a puncture early in the race followed by a long chase, took their toll.
The Classic does not allow the presence of team vehicles in the convoy which meant that Kersten, and teammate Mark Jamieson, had to bridge back up to the main field completely unassisted, eventually making the juncture after the better part of an hour yo-yoing behind. That effort proved costly as Kersten was later dropped from the front group on the final decisive climb up Razorback Hill, less than 25 kilometres from the finish.
"By the time I got back [from the puncture], I was so far in the red I couldn’t come back out of it for the rest of the day," said Kersten. "I was drinking bottles and gels and food and splashing water on my face. I averaged 170 heart rate for the some four hours. I just went too far into the red and stayed there."
Despite the incident, Kersten felt that in retrospect Razorback may well have been too much for him in any case.
"I just tried to do my best [here in Goulburn], but I climb like a dead-weight," Kersten said. "I think I’d forgotten just how hard that climb up old Razorback is. Our team and Suzuki-Trek did a fantastic job to get it set up for a sprint but, I know that at the end of the day I suffered because I couldn’t make it up the final hill. Not, because we didn’t do everything right."
Kersten has ridden impressively since his return to the National Road Series in August, posting three wins, as well as third overall at the recent Tour of the Murray River. He has recently been recruited by Jayco-2XU, after leaving his former team V Australia by mutual consent.