Wednesday's stage of the Herald Sun Tour was a close one: a photo finish between local hero David Tanner (Australia Under 23 team) and Japan's Satoshi Hirose (Japan-Latrobe City), and Tanner was devastated when the judges ruled in favour of Hirose. John Trevorrow talked to the young Australian after the finish.
David Tanner (Australia Under 23 team)
Q: A win into your home town would have been a fairy-tale come true. It must be devastating?
A: Especially since I’ve had a terrible season finishing second a few times in France. I think I’ve had about 12 second places over the past two years. That’s the way it goes I suppose. I’ve got to work on my sprint a bit. I was in every move and I attacked as hard as I could. Really that was the best selection I could have made and I had to make a big effort to get to them. Once we got clear Johnny Clarke did some massive turns and had us all hanging.
Q: You stepped into him a little bit near the finish.
A: Yeah I should have stepped into him a bit more.
Karl Menzies (Health Net Presented By Maxxis)
Q: How was it today?
A: Same as yesterday - group went away, no GC riders in it so we just rode tempo. The team just rode awesome. The boys just kept on the front all day and I just sat in out of the wind. I just have to wait until tomorrow."
Q: Can you hold onto the yellow jersey tomorrow?
A: I don’t know. I’m not a climber so there’s no real pressure on me. There’s a lot more pressure on Gerro and the other boys. I’ve never been up Lake Mountain but I hear it’s real tough for the first four or five kilometers then it levels out quite a bit. I’m prepared to suffer so we’ll wait and see what happens.
Patrick Shaw (Australia Under 23 team)
"It was bad luck for David as we all wanted him to win in his home town. I got in the move and once we opened the gap it was pretty steady until the seven riders went clear and got to 45 sec. But Hilton Clarke was storming through and did most of the work to bring it back."
Simon Gerrans (Australian National Team)
"Started out quick but it settled down once the break went and then it was HealthNet on the front with a bit of help from DFL and an easy day for me. Well it’s not that easy, it was very hot and a long day in the saddle."
Sitoshi Hirose (Japan-Latrobe City)
When asked about his chances for the rest of the Tour, including tomorrow’s much awaited climb up Lake Mountain, Sitose was surprisingly upbeat, despite the reservations of his team manager about his ability on the hills.
"No problem up the mountain - at school I was a mountain biker and did not take up road racing until I was at university. Today gave me good motivation. I think I am finally in good condition after three years with a problem in my lower back. Training has been getting better every day."