May 16, Stage 5: 23km
Blair and Fay set blistering TT times in stage 5
- Cycling News
May 16, 2013, 17:08 BST,
May 16, 2013, 18:15 BST
Blair and Fry lead overall with two stages remaining
Andy Blair showed his dominance today taking out the 22.2km individual time trial (ITT) of stage 5 of the Ingkerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro with a blistering 48:29; and Jenny Fay's new skin-suit proved the goods, flying home in a time of 56:43.
The stage began at the Alice Springs Golf Course, with riders going off every 30 seconds in their individual time trial to attack an epic course full of flowing singletrack, smooth riding and interspersed with sections of 4WD track.
Fay, a National Time Trial Champion (on the road), was surprised and very happy with her win, just 40 seconds faster than current yellow jersey holder Rowena Fry.
"I am surprised! I woke up this morning thinking I did way too much work yesterday." Fay said.
"I believed that I had to go in hard today as it was my last opportunity before another mass start tonight and tomorrow; so I just went out as hard as I could.
"Obviously my technical skills during the week have improved and I am starting to believe that I'm able to, if I put my mind to it." Fay said.
However, it is Fry who goes into the final two stages leading the general classification by two minutes and 18 seconds ahead of Fay and local woman Terri Rhodes sitting a further 25 minutes back.
It was Blair's blitzing time over the 22.2km time trial stage that showed his peaking form, confirming his place as the yellow jersey holder going into the final two stages, ahead of teammmate Shaun Lewis, and emerging talent Michael Crosbie.
"It was a different time trial course to last year so it mucked up my strategy a little bit as I thought it would be a bit more technical whilst allowing me to recover in the middle section." Blair said.
"Today was a bit more 'pedally', but I set out to try and chase Shaun (Lewis) who started 30 seconds ahead; and once I'd caught him, the next carrot was (Michael) Crosbie, and we managed to catch him as well. So for me, the stage was successful and it was good to take the win," said Blair.
Regarding tonight's night stage over the same course with a mass start, Blair believes it could be on from the get-go.
"Tonight could be more tactical as there are plenty of passing opportunities. It'll definitely be a more dynamic race and quite likely a sprint finish." Blair said.
Kyle Ward set a bench mark earlier in the stage, being the first rider to break the 50 second barrier with 49:18. Despite Ward's short lived lead this morning, and being plagued with bike malfunctions and illness through the week, he was happy with his form.
"It was nice to get out a decent ride today after losing my seat on stage 3 and now with a blood infection, I just wanted to give it everything and not only show everyone what I've got, but to have a positive finish to the stage race as I may not be able to continue," Ward said.
"It was by far the best stage so far! It was great to be able to have a free flowing ride and not the pressure of someone else attacking. So it was all about going as hard as you can for as long as you can. All the technical singletrack was really flowing. The rain made it tacky and smooth - really awesome out there," said Ward.
Tonight's Stage 6 sees riders return to the Alice Springs Golf Course for a 6:30pm mass start; whilst tomorrow's final Stage of the week is a 40km course over varying terrain. Both stages are set to see some 'action' racing, in the pursuit of the famed Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Enduro yellow jersey in both the men and women's field.
Men stage 5
|1 ||Andy Blair ||0:48:29 || |
|2 ||Shaun Lewis ||0:00:28 || |
|3 ||Ben Hogarth ||0:00:44 || |
Women stage 5
|1 ||Jenny Fay ||0:56:43 || |
|2 ||Rowena Fry ||0:00:49 || |
|3 ||Kelly Bartlett ||0:04:14 || |
Men general classification after stage 5
|1 ||Andrew (Andy) Blair ||7:21:04 || |
|2 ||Shaun Lewis ||0:02:09 || |
|3 ||Michael Crosbie ||0:04:19 || |
Women general classification after stage 5
|1 ||Rowena Fry ||8:00:56 || |
|2 ||Jenny Fay ||0:02:18 || |
|3 ||Terri Rhodes ||0:29:49 || |