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Perth Criteriums wrap up, Genesys takes early season edge over Budget

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Going well: Anthony Giacoppo has progressed nicely for Andrew Christie-Johnston and his Genesys Wealth Advisers team. After a good year in 2011, Giacoppo has begun 2012 with a bang winning a stage of the recent Jayco Bay Cycling Classic series and now striking gold in Ballarat.

Going well: Anthony Giacoppo has progressed nicely for Andrew Christie-Johnston and his Genesys Wealth Advisers team. After a good year in 2011, Giacoppo has begun 2012 with a bang winning a stage of the recent Jayco Bay Cycling Classic series and now striking gold in Ballarat.
(Image credit: Shane Goss/licoricegallery.com)
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Emma Pooley (left) stands next to race leader in pink, Nicole Cook.

Emma Pooley (left) stands next to race leader in pink, Nicole Cook.
(Image credit: TriEvents)
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Riders on the start line. There was a healthy field for the open men's race.

Riders on the start line. There was a healthy field for the open men's race.
(Image credit: TriEvents)
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Patrick Shaw leads teammate Giacoppo on stage 2.

Patrick Shaw leads teammate Giacoppo on stage 2.
(Image credit: TriEvents)
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Genesys Wealth Advisers were a constant threat, with the Budget Forklifts squad never far behind.

Genesys Wealth Advisers were a constant threat, with the Budget Forklifts squad never far behind.
(Image credit: TriEvents)
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Anthony Giacoppo wearing the leader's jersey in the Smokefree Perth Criterium Series.

Anthony Giacoppo wearing the leader's jersey in the Smokefree Perth Criterium Series.
(Image credit: TriEvents)
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Luke Davison powers towards the line in the men's under 23 time trial.

Luke Davison powers towards the line in the men's under 23 time trial.
(Image credit: Shane Goss)

An electric four nights of racing in Western Australia came to a close on Tuesday night, with Luke Davison (Budget Forklifts) and Leonie Burford (Hays Recruting) taking the final night’s victories to conclude the fifth edition of the Smokefree Perth Criterium Series.

The story however was of a local rider, Australian criterium champion Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers) who continued the run of form he displayed at the Jayco Bay Classic Series and the nationals, by taking two stage wins, as well as the overall. Impressively the 25-year-old never finished lower than second, in spite of the best efforts of the Eddy Hollands, Budget Forklifts and Plan B teams, and sounds an ominous warning to his domestic rivals that he'll be a hard man to beat in 2012.

"It's a race that I've always wanted to win, I was looking forward to it, and really motivated particulalry after January," said Giacoppo to Cyclingnews. "Wearing the green and gold jersey, the bike, I think if anything it added a little more pressure, but I was really happy to be able to get the overall win. The four of us [Sam Davis, Alex Carver and Pat Shaw] worked really well together all week, I think it's a great sign for us ahead of our next stint of racing [in Asia]."

Davis, also a local, took out the second stage, to add to Giacoppo's wins, to complete a brilliant week for the Tasmanian-based Genesys Wealth Advisers team. NRS rivals Budget Forklifts, played second fiddle for much of the series but did manage pick up some consolation in their 'home race' with Davison's final night win, as well as earning themselves the sprint classification courtesy of Shaun McCarthy.

Davison explained the race had been about perfecting that winning formula, which he believes the team is close to polishing ahead of the National Road Series' opening event, the Mersey Valley Tour in April.

"I think it's impressive that we were able to stand up after the disappointment of a couple of near misses, continue to play to our strengths and get the result," said Davison to Cyclingnews. "I would have to say motivation is without doubt at an all time high at this point [after the win].

"The new setup at Budget Forklifts and the addition of several new sponsors including Specialized, I think we'll be a different team in 2012."

Meanwhile in the women’s event, Olympic champion Nicole Cooke secured the overall, after a classy team peformance from her Hays Recruiting team, which also sent her to two stage wins. Hays Recruiting won all four stages of the event, with Kate Finegan and Leonie Burford taking out a stage each respectively.

Cooke is using the warmer Australian weather as the perfect aid to her gold-medal defense in London later this year, and was joined in Perth by another illustrious Brit, former Garmin-Cervelo rider Emma Pooley (AA Drink Leontien).

A brief summary of the results from the four-day event can be seen below.

Race 1 - Open Men
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers)
2Alex Carver (Genesys Wealth Advisers)
3Brad Hall (Plan B Racing)

Open Women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Nicole Cooke (Hays Recruiting)
2Emma Pooley (AA Drink Leontien)
3Jessica Allen (Glenn Parker Cycles)

Race 2
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Sam Davis (Genesys Wealth Advisers)
2Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers)
3Alex Carver (Genesys Wealth Advisers)

Open Women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Nicole Cooke (Hays Recruiting)
2Emma Pooley (AA Drink Leontien)
3Bella King (Hays Recruiting)

Race 3
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers)
2Sam Witmitz (Budget Forklifts)
3Luke Davidson (Budget Forklifts)

Open Women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Kate Finegan (Hays Recruiting)
2Jessica Allen (Glenn Parker Cycles)
3Nicole Cooke (Hays Recruiting)

Race 4
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Luke Davison (Budget Forklifts)
2Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys)
3Eddie Hollands (Eddie Hollands Bicycle Service)

Open Women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Leonie Burford (Hays Recruiting)
2Bella King (Hays Recruiting)
3Nicole Cooke (Hays Recruiting)

Overall standings
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys)
2Sam Witmitz (Budget Forklifts)
3Alex Carver (Genesys)

Open Women
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Nicole Cooke (Hays Recruiting)
2Emma Pooley (AA Drink Leontien)
3Leonie Burford (Hays Recruiting)