Sutton says he'll be next Bay Classic champion

Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) powers out of a corner and towards the yellow jersey as the new series leader.

Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) powers out of a corner and towards the yellow jersey as the new series leader. (Image credit: Shane Goss)

Chris Sutton (Skilled/Lowe Farms) wants to show he's quicker than Graeme Brown in a sprint for the final Jayco Bay Cycling Classic stage of 2010, which would secure the younger rider his first overall title at the Victorian race. Sutton spoke confidently after taking over the leader's jersey by three points following a controversial day of racing on Monday.

"I'm in yellow and we're going to defend it, I know we will," said Sutton. "We'll keep it."

Sutton is employing a very simply strategy heading into the finale. He has the support of former Tour de France green jersey Baden Cooke, former British champion Jeremy Hunt and Melbourne - Warrnambool race winner Zakkari Dempster in his camp.

"It's easy, just beat him," he said. "I'm just going to ride my own race. I've got a great team around [in] all the boys from Skilled/Lowe Farms, so they're going to put me up for the sprint. Baden Cooke is one of the best sprinters in the world - green jersey winner at the Tour de France and multiple stage wins. You name it, he's done it all.

"I know they're going to do everything to help me win the stage tomorrow and hopefully win overall," he said.

Asked if he was faster than Brown, Sutton was straight to the point. "Yes, just quietly, yes," he said. "I know I can tomorrow, I've got the confidence and I know I will. I'm not being cocky, but you've got to believe that you can and I believe I'm faster and I'm going to prove that tomorrow.

"We're going to fire bullets, and we're just going to split the race to pieces," he said. "We'll see what happens."

It's not only Brown that Sutton will need to worry about on the final stage. Both Greg Henderson (Mazda) and Matthew Goss (Team Degani Cycling Café) are reasonable mathematical chances at taking the victory, with the riders four and five points behind Sutton respectively.

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