Not content with leading the Tour of Tasmania, Bernard Sulzberger stamped his authority on the event in the penultimate stage, winning the George Town to Scottsdale race in classic style.
After keeping himself safe in the morning stage from Launceston to George Town, Sulzberger had some unfinished business to achieve. Sulzberger emulated the performance of his younger brother Wes, who won the same stage in the 2006 Tour of Tasmania.
Three times this week he had finished in second place - twice to his Fly V Australia teammate Jonathon Cantwell - but he wasn’t going to let this one slip by.
Sulzberger didn’t feature in any of the early intermediate sprints or hill climbs, allowing the likes of William Clarke (Praties), Nathan Hass (Discover Tasmania.com/TIS) and luckless British Champion Kristian House some success.
Clarke was later rewarded by winning the daily Most Aggressive rider award, while Hass wrapped up the Tall Timbers King of the Mountain Championship, which will be formally presented to him after Sunday’s final stage at Westbury.
But as has been the case all week, the Fly V team was driving the peloton and when they decided it was time to reel the leaders in, the gap disappeared quickly.
Team manager Henk Vogels has ruled the team with absolute efficiency. Sulzberger’s Scottsdale win was the team’s fourth stage victory of the tour and the team will be favourites to add one more on Sunday.
Second home to Sulzberger – but a clear bike length behind – was former Australian road champion Matt Wilson, who had attempted an unsuccessful solo breakaway 20 kilometres from the finish. Third was West Australian Luke Durbridge, who earlier this week won the Spreyton to Mole Creek stage.
Sulzberger’s main challenger, current national road champion, Peter McDonald was fourth in the stage but moved up to second in general classification, although the 39 second deficit he carries into the last stage should see him stay in that position.
|1||Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)||2:14:09|
|2||Matt Wilson (Jayco VIS)|
|3||Luke Durbridge (Team Jayco AIS)||0:00:02|
|4||Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche)||0:00:03|
|5||Darren Lapthorne (GHD Burnie)|
|6||Rohan Dennis (Team Jayco AIS)|
|7||Jai Crawford (Savings & Loans)|
|8||Brett Tivers (Prime Estate Buyers Group)|
|9||Nathan Earle (Praties)|
|10||Ben Day (Fly V Australia)|
|1||Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia)||14:52:02|
|2||Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche)||0:00:39|
|3||Luke Durbridge (Team Jayco AIS)||0:00:41|
|4||Ben Day (Fly V Australia)||0:00:57|
|5||Phillip Zajicek (Fly V Australia)||0:01:02|
|6||Cameron Jennings (Budget Forklifts)||0:01:56|
|7||Jai Crawford (Savings & Loans)||0:01:58|
|8||Rohan Dennis (Team Jayco AIS)||0:02:02|
|9||Matt Wilson (Jayco VIS)||0:02:13|
|10||Dylan Newell (Praties)||0:02:28|
|1||Richard Lang (Budget Forklift)|
|1||Nathan Hass (Discover Tasmania.com/TIS)|
|1||Jonathon Cantwell (Fly V Australia)|
|1||Bernard Sulzberger (Virgin Blue)|
|1||William Clarke (Praties)|