Zak Dempster (Rapha Condor-Sharp) has continued his stunning season with his first win on the continent in 2011, taking out the opening stage of the 2.2 ranked Ronde de l’Oise. The Australian has had five wins so far in 2011; including victories in the Halford’s Tour series as well as the Rutland - Melton Classic, but until today was yet to break his duck on European soil.
"This is my first ever win in France, I was close at Circuit Lorraine [2nd on stage 2] but this is a massive satisfaction. I think I’m showing with these results that I am ready to step up to a World Tour team," he said.
Dempster was confident of his abilities in the sprint and used his two teammates perfectly in the finale to set up the win.
"I have to thank Dan Craven and Jon Tiernan-Locke today. They both rode really strongly to ensure that the move firstly stayed clear and secondly, that it would come down to a group sprint," he commented.
"Getting it all to come together was the hard part, then on a sprint like that with the form I have this year I was pretty confident I’d get it."
The Rapha Condor-Sharp rider previously rode for the South-Australia.com AIS squad which has produced cyclists of the cailibre of Cameron Meyer and Jack Bobridge. With the arrival next year of the GreenEDGE cycling project, the Australian may well get his chance to re-unite with some of his old teammates and test his mettle at the highest level of racing.