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Josh Taylor leads most aggressive classification at Tour of Gippsland

Josh Taylor is a 21-year-old riding for GPM-Wilson Racing and has a tonne of potential.

He won the Tour of Gippsland's most aggressive jersey for the second time following the completion of the Sale criterium on Friday. He is leading the most aggressive classification and will wear the jersey in Stage 7's 33km Bairnsdale criterium and caught up with Cyclingnews.

Alex Malone: You were riding extremely well today in the morning's Sale criterium. I was off the front, albeit very briefly, you came past me like a locomotive and was not waiting for anyone. Your legs are obviously feeling pretty good?

Josh Taylor: Yeah, legs are feeling good so I thought I would try my luck firstly going solo with still around 25 laps remaining [of a 30-lap race] and then again with around 8 laps to go. Unfortunately it didn't really pay off. I was caught by the bunch fairly quickly as they were still keen on collecting intermediate sprint points [which are usually held every 2nd lap]. In these races you there are so many strong teams and sprinters that you've got to take your chances when they pop up.

AM: You won the criterium at Tour of Toowoomba thanks to a brilliant lead-out from your team that could have ended in a 1-2 for GPM-Wilson Racing. It seems like no team has been able to dominate the final laps in the criteriums because the field is very large and there are a number of teams battling for the head of the peloton. Has your team been able to get organised enough to give yourself or one of the other guys a good go in the final sprint?

JT: Yeah, we've been trying to get the lead-outs going in the crits but we are just lacking a bit of speed in our legs after having a bit of a break from racing between [Tour of] Toowoomba and North Western Tour. There are a couple of guys who are going really well but to win a sprint in these races you need almost the entire team at the front. It's quite tough. The team has had a couple of training camps in the outskirts of Sydney, doing some long kilometres so I think we will probably come into some top form for the Tour of the South Coast.

AM: We have a difficult afternoon stage from Mafra to Dargo and there are some decent climbs that are sure to split the bunch, along with the possibility of cross-wind. How are you feeling on the climbs, your clearly going well on the flat criterium circuits but how are you going when the road goes uphill?

JT: Ah, when the road goes up I'm feeling alright, as long as it's tempo but the thing with these NRS races is that they are never ridden at tempo speed. I'll be having a good crack in this stage but I think Sam [Rutherford] is feeling pretty good so we'll definitely look to keep him in a good position throughout the stage until and look after him for as long as possible.

AM: In terms of the overall classification, does your team have someone they are looking after for the GC? Is that perhaps yourself or Sam Rutherford?

JT: Yeah, myself and Sam have been trying to get a couple of intermediate points here are there because these tours are often won or lost by only a few bonus seconds – which are collected in every stage and at the finish line. Mostly, we are looking for stage wins.


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Alex Malone