Marco Haller made light work of his rivals on day one of the 2019 Bay Crits in Geelong, Australia. The Austrian rider, racing under the banner of Katusha Sport, held off Raphael Freienstein (Lexus of Blackburn) and Miles Scotson (MS All Stars) for the win.
"I was really excited to get it going, it’s obviously nice to have a test before the Tour Down Under. Awesome weather, awesome roads, awesome people – I really enjoy it," Haller said in a press release issued by the race organisers.
"I didn’t really know where I was at, since I missed pretty much the whole last season due a severe injury. This, basically, was my first competitive race since my injury so therefore I’m very very happy to start it in this way. I had an incident with a car in training so I had a fracture of the left patella, it took me two surgeries and 190 days to come back on the bike. My career was in danger so I’m very happy to be back."
There was disappointment for home favourite Caleb Ewan. The Australian was racing in Lotto Soudal colours for the first time and was a key favourite for the race. However, he was forced to seek mechanical assistance early on but it was deemed an 'unrecognised mechanical' by the race organisers and meant his race was all but over.
Haller leads the general classification, with the Bay Crits continuing on Wednesday.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha Sport||1:01:32|
|2||Raphael Freienstein (Ger) Lexus Of Blackburn|
|3||Miles Scotson (Aus) MS All Stars|
|4||Michael Freiberg (Aus) Australian Cycling Academy|
|5||Reece Tucknott (Aus) Velofit Santic Racing||0:00:03|
|6||Leigh Howard (Aus) Australian Cycling Academy||0:00:12|
|7||Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha Sport|
|8||Brenton Jones (Aus) Lexus Of Blackburn|
|9||Jay Mccarthy (Aus) Novotel Geelong City Of Greater Geelong|
|10||Craig Wiggins (Aus) Velofit Santic Racing|