Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo) started the Jayco Herald Sun Tour not quite knowing if the recent knee injury which flared up at last week's Tour of Beijing was going to force him into taking a back seat on any general classification ambitions.
The Garmin-Cervelo rider was a non-starter in the Chinese capital for the final stage on Sunday, choosing instead to use the time as recovery heading into the Australian five-stage race, his final outing of the season. It is also his final race with Garmin-Cervelo, as he will move to GreenEdge for 2012.
The injury is the one which has caused some issues for the 22-year-old over the past few seasons.
"I've had a little bit of a problem since I first started but it will be alright," Bobridge told Cyclingnews. "I can feel it coming on now so I won't let it get too bad. The first 50 kilometres will get the body going again and get a bit of a sweat up," he predicted.
Bobridge was clearly feeling no ill-effects and was rambunctious in the 15-man breakaway, pushing eventual stage winner Rhys Pollock (Drapac) right until the final three kilometres when the latter attacked. The Adelaide native went on to finish fourth in the sprint behind.
Given that he was taking a ‘wait and see' approach to his general classification ambitions for the week due to the concerns over his knee, Bobridge, may need a little more time to see if there are any ramifications from his constant attacking. He currently sits fourth overall, 23 seconds behind Pollock heading into Thursday's second stage.
"It's the last race of the season so if it's a little bit niggly I'll probably keep riding anyway heading into a break," he said.
Though Garmin-Cervelo are a man down due to the broken hand Matt Wilson suffered on the eve of the Tour of Beijing which also ruled him out of the Sun Tour, they are still one of the strongest line-ups of the race, and Bobridge is surely a threat with Sunday's winner more than likely to come from the current top 10 on GC.
"To come out and feel like that - it's a good sign for the rest of the week," Bobridge said post-race.