On Saturday, the 2016 National Road Series (NRS) will conclude with the 277km Melbourne to Warrnambool classic and provide one final opportunity to teams and riders to improve upon their standings in the overall rankings. Avanti IsoWhey Sports hold a commanding lead in the team standings are set to claim the award for a sixth straight year while 2014 individual winner Joe Cooper leads teammate and 2010 winner Pat Shaw by four points.
The 100th edition of the race was won by Scott Sunderland ahead of Alexander Edmondson (Orica-BikeExchange) and 2014 winner Oliver Kent-Sparks. Sunderland will return in a bid to defend his title and become the ninth rider in the race's history to become a multiple winner. The Team Illuminate rider will be racing with the InForm Racing squad on Saturday and has just one teammate for company, but as he told The Advertiser, he isn't concerned by the lack of numbers.
"The thing with the Warrny is you could have a whole team and it’s still going to be difficult," Sunderland said. "With 277km there is so much that can change throughout the day, it's probably seven hours on your toes all day and if there is a move it's making sure it's the right move."
Sunderland will need to overcome the likes of Scott Law (Subaru NSWIS & MS) and Jesse Kerrison (State of Matter/MAAP) along with individual riders Brenton Jones and Nathan Elliott to become the first back-to-back winner of the race.
Shaw, 30, will retire from cycling at the conclusion of the race and could overtake Cooper, who isn't racing the Warny, to claim the individual award should he pick up four points. Sam Chrome sits third and could complete an Avanti clean sweep of the podium but will need to hold off Chris Harper (Swiss Wellness Cycling Team) and Ben Dyball (mobius Future Racing) who are two, and four points off his tally of 22 points respectively.
Avanti are all but assured to wrap up the team ranking award once again with mobius Future Racing on 59 points, the closet challengers to its tally of 174 points. State of Matter/MAAP are third on the standings with 40 points with Subaru NSWIS & MS and SASI/Callidus Cycling Team next on the table with 33 points.
2016 NRS standings ahead of the Melbourne to Warrnambool
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Joseph Cooper (Avanti IsoWhey Sports)||48||pts|
|2||Patrick Shaw (Avanti IsoWhey Sports)||44|
|3||Sam Crome (Avanti IsoWhey Sports)||24|
|4||Chris Harper (Swiss Wellness Cycling Team)||22|
|5||Ben Dyball (mobius Future Racing)||20|
|6||Patrick Lane (Avanti IsoWhey Sports)||19|
|7||Robert Stannard (mobius Future Racing)||18|
|8||Dylan Sunderland (State of Matter / MAAP)||18|
|9||Angus Lyons (Jayco/John West VIS)||17|
|10||Alexander Porter (SASI/Callidus Cycling Team)||15|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team|
|1||Avanti IsoWhey Sports||174||pts|
|2||mobius Future Racing||59|
|3||State of Matter / MAAP||40|
|4||Subaru NSWIS & MS||33|
|5||SASI/Callidus Cycling Team||33|
|6||SwissWellness Cycling Team||32|
|7||Pat's Veg Cycling||28|
|8||Jayco/John West VIS||22|
|9||Oliver's Real Food Racing||12|