Pollock comes up trumps in Ballarat

Drapac rider rewarded for late attack and nets first leader's jersey

Rhys Pollock (Drapac) upstaged several big names, including current Australian road champion Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo) to claim the biggest win of his career. The Drapac rider won a gusty breakaway victory on the opening stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Ballarat.

Thirteen seconds back, the battle was on for the minor placings with Denmark's Jonas Aaen Jørgensen (Saxo Bank - SunGard) just pipping exciting domestic prospect and Australia's current National Road Series leader, Nathan Haas (Genesys Wealth Advisers).

The win on the 174.6 kilometre stage from Whittlesea tops Pollock's previous best, the 2010 Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic and secured the 31-year-old the first yellow leader's jersey of the five-stage event.

Despite a lack of expected winds throughout the day, the weather conditions while chilly at around 10 degrees, may just be enough to have already created the group of riders that will most likely contend the remaining four stages for general classification honours given the peloton lost around 10 minutes to the lead riders.

Pollock found himself in a group of six with around 30 kilometres to the finish. The selection had whittled back from an initial 15 which ran the gauntlet for the majority of the race. With three kilometres left to race, Pollock took the initiative and was never challenged, cruising to the finish line with his arms raised.

"It's unbelievable," said a stunned Pollock following his win. "I just can't believe it. I attacked because I thought, well, I'm not going to win the sprint. Drapac Professional Cycling Team was relying on me; I had eight minutes to the bunch. I didn't have the confidence so I just thought, ‘attack', and I did.

"I tried [to attack] a few times and I was really suffering but somehow I just got the gap and when you get the gap that close to the finish line and everyone starts hesitating, it's just a dream come true for me to win a stage of the Sun Tour," he continued. "Now I've got the leaders jersey as well, I'm just so happy."

For Pollock, it was a case of making the best of the situation he found himself in given the Drapac plan had been to get two riders in the breakaway which went not far from the departure town of Whittlesea.

"They didn't really want me up there because I'm not really our GC guy but it's just the way it happened," he explained. Pollock recently signed on for his fourth year at Drapac. 

A total of seven riders were forced to abandon during today's opening stage with the biggest casualty, Saxo Bank SunGard's Richie Porte who pulled out after just over 100 kilometres of racing having been dropped twice from the main group throughout the day. The Tasmanian is still recovering from surgery last Tuesday on a deviated septum.

How it unfolded:

The icy morning air didn't stop the Whittlesea community from showing their support at the day's departure, with a big crowd on hand to cheer on the peloton in the 59th edition of the race.

A breakaway of 15 riders formed within the first 10 kilometres containing Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo), Jonas Aen Jorgensen (Saxo Bank – SunGard), Jens Debusschere (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Jonny Clarke (UnitedHealthcare), Mitch Docker, Koen de Kort (Skil – Shimano), Mal Rudolph (Jayco-AIS), Pat Shaw, Nathan Haas (Genesys), Nic Hamilton (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda), Joe Lewis (Australian National Team), Tim Gudsell (Pure Black) , Reinardt JanseVan Rensburg (MTN - Qhubeka), Bernard Sulzberger (V Australia) and Rhys Pollock (Drapac). The gap would steadily increase to around seven minutes before Katusha moved to the head of the main group in an attempt to rescue the situation.

Haas continued his recent aggressive form, taking out the day's first sprint at Riddles Creek just after the 54 kilometre-mark, with Bobridge second and Shaw third giving some indication that the Genesys squad was not just making up the numbers in the high quality field. Haas, 22, again showed that he was there to be counted by claiming second in the first KOM at Woodend, 24 kilometres down the road, behind Sulzberger with Canadian Hamilton putting his hand up for third.

As the peloton started to eat away at the group's lead after 125 kilometres, Jack Bobridge mounted the first of many raids on his fellow escapees with Pollock deciding to chase.

Hitting the second KOM in the spa town of Daylesford, Pollock took the spoils from Bobridge while from the next group on the road, Haas continued his run and took the remaining bonuses. Bobridge and Pollock gained an advantage of around half a minute before the Australian Road Champion got some encouragement from his team car, with the event being run without direct communication from the caravane.

"He stirred me up a bit and I went a bit deep there for the next 20km, but you never know if you never try," Bobridge explained post-race.

"I gave it a nudge and it didn't work out, Rhys ended up taking the stage [and] he deserved it, a good move at the end there."

Bobridge pushed to a 200 metre lead before sitting up and letting Pollock, Haas, Jorgensen, Debusschere and Van Rensburg work with him – for a while gaining an advantage of 1:13 over a group of four riders which sat 3:48 ahead of the next.

The second sprint point loomed at Creswick (150.6km) and Haas was again the man to contend with, taking six points and the position of virtual race leader. Pollock was next with Jorgensen also getting in on the action.

"I was super nervous coming out of the sprint at Creswick that I was going to get dropped," the Drapac rider explained as mind games began to play a part in the way the race was being won. "I felt like I was going to start cramping but I just tried to keep riding tempo and bluff the other guys a little bit."

While Haas would not be able to hold on to what would have been a remarkable race lead, he was able to net second on GC, 15 seconds back from Pollock, along with the Sprint Classification, Young Rider Classification. His team Genesys, also claimed the lead in the Teams Classification in a great day for the orange train.

With 10 kilometres left before the finish in Ballarat, Bobridge again tried his luck before Pollock did the same for a small gap. At three kilometres out, Pollock decided it was now or never, earning the praise of his co-conspirator.

"It was a good move, also he didn't miss his turn all day ... he did his fair share," said Bobridge. "For him to pull the win off, good on him."

Pollock said that it was time to enjoy the day's spoils although was uncertain of how to maintain his position on Thursday's second stage to Geelong.

"We came here to try and win a stage and to win a stage and get the yellow jersey; we'll just do what we can now," he said.

Full results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling4:09:23 
2Jonas Aen Jorgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard0:00:13 
3Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
4Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
5Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
6Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:20 
7Joseph Lewis (Aus) Australian National Team0:02:38 
8Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:02:39 
9Tim Gudsell (NZl) Pure Black Racing0:02:41 
10Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) V Australia  
11Malcolm Rudolph (Aus) Jayco - AIS0:07:57 
12Patrick Shaw (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers0:08:00 
13Nic Hamilton (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
14Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano  
15Jonathon Clarke (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
16Kasper Larsen Klostergaard (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard0:10:24 
17Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
18Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
19Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team  
20Benjamin Hill (Aus) Australian National Team  
21John Anderson (Aus) Australian National Team  
22Stijn Van Den Bergh (Bel) Katusha Team  
23Cameron Wurf (Aus) Australian National Team  
24Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank-SunGard  
25Aaron Kemps (Aus) V Australia  
26Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank-SunGard  
27Cameron Peterson (Aus) V Australia  
28Michael Freiberg (Aus) V Australia  
29Richard Lang (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
30William Dugan (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
31Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
32Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
33Stuart Shaw (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
34Patrick Lane (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
35James Williamson (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
36Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
37Arran Brown (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka  
38Bradley Potigieter (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka  
39Michael Cupitt (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
40David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank SunGard  
41Dylan Girdlestone (Saf) MTN - Qhubeka  
42Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team  
43Valery Valynin (Rus) Russian National Team  
44Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Katusha Team  
45Yoshimitsu Tsuji (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
46Morgan Schmitt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
47Will Dickeson (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
48Hilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
49Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
50Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
51Glen Chadwick (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
52Brian Mcleod (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
53Yukihiro Doi (Jap) Skil - Shimano  
54Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) V Australia  
55Roman Van Uden (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
56Michael Northey (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
57Darren Rolfe (Aus) V Australia  
58Nathan Earle (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
59Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
60Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
61Dennis Van Niekerk (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka  
62Peter Herzig (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
63Jason Spencer (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
64Matthew Llyod (Aus) Australian National Team  
65Charles Huff (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
66Shem Rodger (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
67Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha Team  
68Benjamin King (Aus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
69Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Russian National Team  
70Loto Petrus (Nam) MTN - Qhubeka  
71Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
72Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
73Alex Carver (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
74Luke Davison (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
75Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
76Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
77Alastair Loutit (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
78Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
79Aaron Donnelly (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
80Nick Aitken (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
81Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
82Andrea Grendene (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
83Alexandere Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
84Sho Hatsuyama (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
85Scott Stewart (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
86Yoshimasa Hirose (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
87Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Australian National Team  
88Jacob Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
89Kenneth Hanson (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
90Matvey Zubov (Rus) Russian National Team  
91Alexey Markov (Rus) Russian National Team  
92Alexander Serov (Rus) Russian National Team  
93Travis Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
94Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
95Brett Lancaster (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
96Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
DNFRichie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank-SunGard  
DNFAdrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
DNFFabio Calabria (Aus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
DNFKyle Marwood (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
DNFNikolay Zhurkin (Rus) Russian National Team  
DNFAkira Kakinuma (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
DNFAtsuhito Wakasugi (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers6 pts
2Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo4 
3Patrick Shaw (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers2 
Sprint 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Hathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers6 pts
2Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling4 
3Jonas Aen Jorgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard2 
Arrival
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling10 pts
2Jonas Aen Jorgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard8 
3Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers6 
4Brett Lancaster (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo4 
5Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto2 
KOM 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) V Australia6 pts
2Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers4 
3Nic Hamilton (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda2 
KOM 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling6 pts
2Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo4 
3Hathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers2 
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Genesys Wealth Advisers12:46:46 
2Drapac Cycling0:02:11 
3Omega Pharma-Lotto0:02:24 
4Saxo Bank Sungard  
5Team Garmin-Cervelo  
6Skil Shimano0:02:26 
7MTN Qhubeka0:02:31 
8Australia National Team0:04:49 
9V Australia0:04:52 
10Pureblack Racing  
11Team Jayco - AIS0:10:08 
12United Health Care Pro Cycling0:10:11 
13Jelly Belly Cycling Team  
14Katusha Team0:12:35 
15Team Budget Forklifts  
16Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
17Russian National Team  
18Utsunomiya Blitzen  
General classification after Stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling4:09:11 
2Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers0:00:15 
3Jonas Aen Jorgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard0:00:18 
4Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo0:00:23 
5Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:00:25 
6Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:32 
7Joseph Lewis (Aus) Australian National Team0:02:50 
8Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano0:02:51 
9Tim Gudsell (NZl) Pure Black Racing0:02:53 
10Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) V Australia  
11Malcolm Rudolph (Aus) Jayco - AIS0:08:09 
12Patrick Shaw (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers0:08:11 
13Nic Hamilton (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda0:08:12 
14Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano  
15Jonathon Clarke (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
16Kasper Larsen Klostergaard (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard0:10:36 
17Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
18Maarten Neyens (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
19Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team  
20Benjamin Hill (Aus) Australian National Team  
21John Anderson (Aus) Australian National Team  
22Stijn Van Den Bergh (Bel) Katusha Team  
23Cameron Wurf (Aus) Australian National Team  
24Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank-SunGard  
25Aaron Kemps (Aus) V Australia  
26Luke Roberts (Aus) Saxo Bank-SunGard  
27Cameron Peterson (Aus) V Australia  
28Michael Freiberg (Aus) V Australia  
29Richard Lang (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
30William Dugan (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
31Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
32Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
33Stuart Shaw (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
34Patrick Lane (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
35James Williamson (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
36Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
37Arran Brown (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka  
38Bradley Potigieter (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka  
39Michael Cupitt (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
40David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank SunGard  
41Dylan Girdlestone (Saf) MTN - Qhubeka  
42Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team  
43Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Katusha Team  
44Yoshimitsu Tsuji (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
45Morgan Schmitt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
46Will Dickeson (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
47Hilton Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
48Thierry Huppond (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
49Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
50Glen Chadwick (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
51Brian Mcleod (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
52Yukihiro Doi (Jap) Skil - Shimano  
53Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) V Australia  
54Roman Van Uden (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
55Michael Northey (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
56Darren Rolfe (Aus) V Australia  
57Nathan Earle (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
58Chris Jongewaard (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
59Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
60Dennis Van Niekerk (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka  
61Peter Herzig (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
62Jason Spencer (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
63Matthew Llyod (Aus) Australian National Team  
64Charles Huff (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
65Shem Rodger (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
66Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Katusha Team  
67Benjamin King (Aus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
68Alexander Khatuntsev (Rus) Russian National Team  
69Loto Petrus (Nam) MTN - Qhubeka  
70Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha Team  
71Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
72Alex Carver (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
73Luke Davison (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
74Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
75Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
76Alastair Loutit (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
77Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
78Aaron Donnelly (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
79Nick Aitken (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
80Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
81Andrea Grendene (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
82Alexandere Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
83Sho Hatsuyama (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
84Scott Stewart (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
85Yoshimasa Hirose (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
86Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Australian National Team  
87Kenneth Hanson (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
88Jacob Keough (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
89Matvey Zubov (Rus) Russian National Team  
90Alexey Markov (Rus) Russian National Team  
91Alexander Serov (Rus) Russian National Team  
92Travis Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
93Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers  
94Brett Lancaster (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
95Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
961350:10:56 
Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers18 pts
2Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling14 
3Jonas Aen Jorgensen (Den) Saxo Bank-SunGard10 
4Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo8 
5Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto2 
6Patrick Shaw (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers2 
KOM classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rhys Pollock (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling12 pts
2Hathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers8 
3Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo8 
4Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) V Australia6 
5Nic Hamilton (Can) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda2 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Genesys Wealth Advisers12:46:46 
2Drapac Cycling0:02:11 
3Omega Pharma-Lotto0:02:24 
4Saxo Bank Sungard  
5Team Garmin-Cervelo  
6Skil Shimano0:02:26 
7MTN Qhubeka0:02:31 
8Australia National Team0:04:49 
9V Australia0:04:52 
10Pureblack Racing  
11Team Jayco - AIS0:10:08 
12United Health Care Pro Cycling0:10:11 
13Jelly Belly Cycling Team  
14Katusha Team0:12:35 
15Team Budget Forklifts  
16Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
17Russian National Team  
18Utsunomiya Blitzen  
Young rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Haas (Aus) Genesys Wealth Advisers4:09:26 
2Jack Bobridge (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo0:00:08 
3Jens Debusschere (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:00:10 
4Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:17 
5Joseph Lewis (Aus) Australian National Team0:02:35 
6Malcolm Rudolph (Aus) Jayco - AIS0:07:54 
7Benjamin Hill (Aus) Australian National Team0:10:21 
8Michael Freiberg (Aus) V Australia  
9Richard Lang (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
10Patrick Lane (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
11James Williamson (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
12Bradley Potigieter (SAf) MTN - Qhubeka  
13Dylan Girdlestone (Saf) MTN - Qhubeka  
14Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha Team  
15Marcel Kittel (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
16Brian Mcleod (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
17Roman Van Uden (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
18Boy Van Poppel (Ned) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
19Jason Spencer (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
20Shem Rodger (NZl) Pure Black Racing  
21Benjamin King (Aus) Team Type 1 - Sanofi  
22Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
23Alex Carver (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
24Luke Davison (Aus) Budget Forklifts  
25Thomas Palmer (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling  
26Alastair Loutit (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Kenda  
27Aaron Donnelly (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
28Nick Aitken (Aus) Jayco - AIS  
29Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  
30Alexandere Geniez (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
31Sho Hatsuyama (Jap) Utsunomiya Blitzen  
32Matvey Zubov (Rus) Russian National Team  
33Travis Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo  

 

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