A crafty sprint finish by Lachlan Norris on the final stage of the Tour of Utah in Park City saw the Australian notch a debut professional victory and Drapac's first on North American soil. A consistent week of racing also sealed sixth overall for the 28-year-old to back up his 11th place at the Tour of California in May.
"Our first win in the USA. I am so happy for this team. We planned today and executed exactly the plan exactly. The pace was hot up the climb and I tried to remain calm and keep my rhythm," Norris said after his stage win having pipped BMC's Brent Bookwalter in a photo finish. "I actually knew it was quite a long drag and I didn't want to go in there first. I've got a little bit of steady acceleration, but I don't have a lot of length in my sprint so I had to make it pretty short and sweet. I guess I judged it pretty well.
"It's exciting, I am excited for everyone on the team. We had numerous top-10 placings this week and guys in the break almost every day. Our morale is high heading into next week for Colorado and I am just so excited," Norris said of the upcoming USA Pro Challenge.
Norris has raced with Drapac since the 2010 season, with the exception of 2013 when he raced in the colours of British Continental team Raleigh and the last few months of the 2011 season when he stagiaired with HTC-High Road. Since finishing tenth at the Australian national time trial championships this January, Norris has enjoyed a successful and consistent season with eighth overall at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and 11th at Tour of the Gila two more stand out results.
Where Norris had more of an Asian racing programme in 2014, this season has seen him switch focus to Italian and North American races since his Raleigh sojourn with Drapac's sport director Agostino Giramondo explaining his stage win was the culmination of years of hard work by the former mountain biker.
"Lachlan took a risk going into those final kilometers. He said this morning he had to put it all on the line and it would either work or go down in a blaze. Lachlan has really developed the last few years and to his credit he has done everything to put this together, from moving over to the States for the season, to nutrition to training. He put it all in today and its a well earned win," Giramondo said.
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