The team formerly known as SASI (South Australian Sports Institute), now Euride Racing signalled their intent to be amongst the Subaru National Road Series best-ranked teams by finishing the four-day Woodside Tour de Perth with an impressive 8th-place overall courtesy of Harry Carpenter. The youthful squad that aims to develop South Australian talent also finished fifth in the team classification, perhaps a sign of things to come in 2013.
Carpenter's overall result and second-place in the Rottnest Island time trial was not a surprise for the 20-year-old who opened his season at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, picking up a respectable second-place to Orica GreenEdge's Mitch Docker on the final day in Williamstown and eventually finishing the brutal criterium series in seventh overall.
The Adelaide resident finished 4th at the Tour of the Murray River in 2012, the same race won by Luke Davison who spent the final part of last season with the SASI outfit, but to get the year off to a solid start at Perth has given him confidence ahead of the next round of the NRS at Battle on the Border.
"We will hoping to get the series of to a good run in Perth because we definitely have a team that can win and be right up there with the likes of [Huon Salmon]-Genesys and Drapac," Carpenter told Cyclingnews.
Carpenter entered the final stage at Perth in fourth-overall, with two Budget Forklifts and three Huon Salmon-Genesys riders hot on his heels but this gave no real reason for concern. Carpenter proved his place amongst the top contenders on the difficult circuit around Kalamunda on Stage 3 and were it not for a bout of illness, he would have likely kept his fourth-place, rather than dropping to eighth.
"I was happy with my ride, we were a little bit unlucky, especially on the last stage with punctures and I got a bit sick on the last day so that was a bit of a struggle but I was very pleased with the time trial result on the second stage," he said.
"I wasn't feeling great on the final day. The night before I was awake for most of the night and I think that took a bit of a toll the next day."
Expectations for Battle on the Border
With Round 2 of the National Road Series just around the corner, running from 2-5 May and quickly followed by the FK Gardner Tour of Toowoomba 9-5 May, Carpenter says that as long as the course offers a bit of everything and is raced hard, he should be in the mix for another good result.
"I think I'm a bit of an all-rounder. I don't mind a few hills, I'm not going to win stages when there's huge climbs but a hard tour with a combination of flat, climbing and time trials, that sort of suits me," he explained. "I will be doing Battle on the Border and Tour of Toowoomnba. I think I'll be able to have a good crack in that," Carpenter said excitedly about the prospect of performing well in the 9.3km time trial at Battle on the Border in a couple of weeks time.
"I've been working on time trialling a lot lately, aiming at the National's and Oceania's. I've been getting stronger and stronger so to get second in Perth was really great. I get out on the time trial bike a couple of times a week but also in training sessions I've been really focussing on efforts based around a time trial."
The final day at Battle on the Border features a tough hill-top finish at Mount Warning which may be a little too much, according to the young SA rider but if he's truly worried, he's yet to show it.
"The hill-top finish might be a little bit tough but we'll see when we get there. I'll definitely be aiming to get another good result there but we've also got guys who can win at all these races."