Back-to-back stage wins at the Tour of the Great South Coast capped off a successful week for Pat Bevin and his Avanti team as the National Road Series (NRS) leader added another general classification to his growing palmares. Bevin won the Adelaide Tour earlier in the season, finishing second behind teammate Joe Cooper at the Battle on the Border before the mid-season break having emerged as the rider to watch in the final races of last year's NRS with overall Tour of Tasmania and National Capital Tour.
Having started his season with victory on the queen stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and second place overall, Bevin then won a stage and finished fourth at the Tour de Taiwan before starting his 2015 NRS campaign in Adelaide. With the mid-season break seeing a haitus of racing in Australia, Bevin was off to the Tour de Korea with Avanti where he finished second overall. 24-year-old Bevin battled with Caleb Ewan on the sprint friendly parcours, finishing second on five occasions but managed to get the better of the Orica-GreenEdge fast man with victory on stage 4.
Bevin was second behind teammate Pat Shaw to start the Tour of the Great South Coast which he followed up with fourth, second, fourth, second and second, before claiming the final two stage wins continuing his consistent stage racing in 2015.
"I'm extremely happy to take out the final stage and the overall general classification win today, capping off a week of amazing work from the Avanti Racing boys," Bevin said of his return to the top step of the NRS podium. "It's been a tough race, having to be attentive all day, every day, so it is a great reward. I'm really looking forward to next week and carrying on the momentum we have picked up early after the mid-season break in the NRS."
Bevin was also kept busy during the mid-season break as he was one of nine invitees to a Tinkoff-Saxo training camp in Livigno, Italy held in July.
Avanti team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston explained that Bevin's winning return wasn't as straight forward as it looked as the Kiwi started the race in less than ideal circumstances with a chest infection but proved himself as the strongest rider in the peloton.
"I am sure that Patty will make an impression on the world scene," Christie-Johnston said. "He can sprint and he can climb. This tour really suited him. We love this tour and its diverse conditions and terrain. We always bring our best team"
While Bevin dominated the general classification with Raphael Freienstein (CharterMason) finishing runner-up, 28 seconds in arrears with African Wildlife Safari's Michael Schweizer in third place, it was another returning rider in Scott Sunderland who took control of the bunch sprints. The BudgetForklifts fast man won four of the eight stages available replicating his North American success which included the opening stage of the Tour of Americas Dairyland.
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