Coming up one spot short wasn't a disappointment for Adam Semple who finished in second-place to Nathan Earle (Huon Salmon-Genesys) on Stage 3 at the Woodside Tour de Perth. The former Drapac Professional Cycling rider found a home at the Perth-based Satalyst-Giant squad for 2013 after injury ruined his 2012 campaign and if anything the result was confirmation that he is past the worst of his concerns and can now focus on returning to his form of old.
The former AIS recruit believes that if he continues to progress like he has in training, there's no reason why he shouldn't aim to win the overall classification at a number of Subaru National Road Series races this year. The hillier the better, according to the 23-year-old.
"I don't know the details of all the tours but Toowoomba and Adelaide are meant to be quite 'bergy' so I'm definitely looking to go to those firing," Semple told Cyclingnews.
"Each race you do you just move up one step, one gear higher so hopefully I'll get that effect from this tour and the gents will as well and we'll just keep on pressing for the next races."
The day had gone more or less to script but it wasn't just Huon Salmon-Genesys, who retained the lead of Joe Cooper and won the stage with Earle that had reason to sleep easy last night. Semple, was unsure how his legs would cope after spending months away from racing due to a form of "obscure arthritis" but with a lap remaining of the 140km race and still feeling good, he marshalled his teammates - most who are coming off the six-stage Tour de Taiwan - to the front.
"When I started to feel quite good on the last lap I just marshalled the gents and said 'let's get up there with 30k to go and just hammer it all the way to the finish so I can hit out'.
"They have always done a course around there [Kalamunda] but never that exact one, I knew all the roads like the back of my hand; the descents and everything. That was a huge advantage for the team and we used that on one specific descent that is about 8k long. We got on the front every lap and just drilled it!
"We were able to put everyone under pressure at one of the most dangerous places, it also kept us out of danger [being at the front."
Semple had wanted to go earlier than what eventuated but even with a huge amount of course knowledge the bunch were unwilling to allow the mulitiple-time Tour de Taiwan stage winner and 2011 Tour of Bright victor too much breathing space.
"I wanted to get away earlier. I'd planned to go up the climb through Mundaring, with about 30k's to go and then try and ride solo to the finish. I had a dig and opened the bunch up a bit but no one really wanted a bar of it," Semple told Cyclingnews.
"I hit out with about 5k to go and Earle came across to me. That was sort of the plan but because I haven't raced in so long I didn't know how my legs would be. It was just about monitoring how my legs were feeling and then try to capitalise on that.
"I hit out with about 500 to go and cramped up big time. He got on my wheel as I was recovering from rigor mortis and then he pumped me in the sprint. He rode like a machine because he also rode the final 2k on the front."
The general classification is not an objective for Semple at Perth but with plenty of racing to come in the 2013 NRS season, he believes it won't be long before he can compete for the overall classification once again.
"I'm definitely still on the up. I'm in the middle of a building phase so hopefully I'll be up there by the time the next NRS races come around.
"Every week my form is jumping up a large junk in training so if I was going to be completely brash about it I'd say I'm going to Toowoomba and Adelaide to win them, the overall. I'd like to anyway."