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Avanti round out podium
Steele Von Hoff (Garmin Sharp) opens his 2013 season at Tour Down Under
Steele von Hoff has won the men's national criterium title while Drapac, who had controlled the race, finished empty handed. Anthony Giacoppo and Bay Crits winner, Brenton Jones, came in second and third for Avanto while Ballarat boy Pat Shaw won the points jersey. With a large crowd cheering on the riders all afternoon and into the evening, von Hoff explained how the atmosphere helped him to the win. "The crowds were amazing today, I heard many people yelling out my name so it was really good," von Hoff said.
"I’ve been on the podium, bronze, silver, gold. I can’t be happier than this. It was an unfortunate mishap by the Drapac guys who laid it down on the top corner at a crucial moment and AJ (Giacoppo) and myself got away down the bottom straight and just drove it to the line," von Hoff said.
The race had been controlled by Drapac and Avanti with a blur of red and blue ever present on the 40km circuit. A crash on the top corner of the course on the final lap derailed the Drapac train with Jonothan Cantwell, Adam Phelan and Robbie Hucker all hitting the deck and effectively ending the race. "There was a mishap in the top corner with some sort of dust up but this is a race you just have to take advantage of that stuff," von Hoff said.
Having won his first senior road title, von Hoff won't be resting on his laurels, explaining that he will target Sunday's race with the goal of taking another green and gold jersey home. "I’d love to challenge for that jersey with all the Drapac and Orica-GreenEdge boys going its going to be very difficult," he said. Von Hoff will have the advantage of teamates there as well having been the only Garmin-Sharp rider today.
"I hate to say it, but I’m a confidence rider and I when I get a few bad results I get down on myself but then to get a win boosts everything and I start to ride better and everything goes well. I’m hoping that this gets the ball rolling in 2014," von Hoff said after winning the race.
With a slight tailwind on the Sturt St course, the pace from the get go was frenetic as the sole Orica-GreenEdge rider and defending champion, Cam Meyer, played his hand early and forced counter-moves from Drapac led by Cantwell.
Cantwell was patrolling the peloton and getting various teammates to ride off the front. Avanti were sitting back letting Drapac control the race and when Phelan got away with four others to quickly gain 10 seconds on pack, there was little response from the men in blue.
Patrick Shaw won the three intermediate sprint points largely uncontested and as local rider was a popular winner of the MARS jersey. "My plan was to win the bike race. I am in the best form that I've had for years. I wanted to give myself a chance for a result tonight. Unfortunately a big crash at the end derailed me, otherwise I'd be guarantee a top five spot," Shaw said. "I am very proud how of my guys raced tonight. They were really riding well. We don't have the respect this team yet, but we are gaining it very quickly."
Another Meyer attack proved to be not much more than a fizz before Chris Jory was the last rider to launch an attack of any substance and was out the front for a lap but once the bell went, Drapac looked like having it in the bag with Cantwell on his way to repeating his 2011 win.
The crash on the top corner slowed the entire peloton and ended Drapac’s chance for a second green and gold jersey this week while von Hoff, positioned perfectly, pounced and struck gold.
Meyer ended the race in fourth place while out of contract Allan Davis who spent most of the race mid-pack came in eighth place.
|#||Rider Name (State)||Result|
|1||Steele Von Hoff (VIC)||1:00:55|
|2||Anthony Giacoppo (WA)||0:00:02|
|3||Brenton Jones (VIC)|
|4||Cameron Meyer (WA)||0:00:04|
|5||Michael Fitzgerald (WA)|
|6||Rico Rogers (VIC)|
|7||Neil Van Der Ploeg (VIC)|
|8||Allan Davis (QLD)|
|9||Craig Hutton (NSW)|
|10||Darren Lapthorne (VIC)||0:00:08|
|11||Eric Sheppard (VIC)|
|12||James Rendall (VIC)|
|13||Jonathan Bolton (WA)|
|14||Dominik Dudkiewicz (VIC)|
|15||Michael Cupitt (ACT)||0:00:13|
|16||Nicholas Wood (SA)|
|17||Luke Pledger (WA)|
|18||Daniel Nelson (VIC)|
|19||Daniel Braunsteins (VIC)||0:00:17|
|20||James Szollosi (QLD)||0:00:21|
|21||Jake Magee (NSW)||0:00:24|
|22||Daniel Bonello (NSW)||0:00:31|
|23||Joshua Prete (QLD)||0:00:36|
|24||Jacob Kauffmann (NSW)||0:01:07|
|25||Cameron Bayly (SA)||0:01:09|
|26||Shannon Johnson (VIC)|
|27||Jay McCarthy (QLD)||0:01:10|
|28||Joshua Taylor (NSW)||0:01:14|
|29||Bernard Sulzberger (TAS)||0:01:34|
|30||Patrick Shaw (VIC)||0:01:43|
|31||Nathan Earle (TAS)||0:01:47|
|32||Chris Jory (NSW)||0:01:50|
|DNF||Thomas Donald (QLD)|
|DNF||Tim Guy (NSW)|
|DNF||James Hepburn (QLD)|
|DNF||Marc Williams (ACT)|
|DNF||Troy Herfoss (NSW)|
|DNF||Aaron Donnelly (NSW)|
|DNF||Jacob Sutherland (VIC)|
|DNF||Chris Stack (SA)|
|DNF||Ewyn Carter (VIC)|
|DNF||Andrew Williams (WA)|
|DNF||Lee Burchell (VIC)|
|DNF||Kane Walker (VIC)|
|DNS||William Clarke (TAS)|
|DNS||Thomas Palmer (ACT)|
|DNS||Tommy Nankervis (VIC)|
|DNS||Zakkari Dempster (VIC)|
|DNS||Daniel O’Keefe (NSW)|
|DNS||Luke Fetch (VIC)|
|DNS||Reuben Donati (NSW)|