Cantwell strikes for Pegasus

Jonathan Cantwell has given the troubled Pegasus Sports team a boost by winning in the Australian national criterium championships. The twenty-eight year old was too fast for Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers) and Stuart Shaw (Drapac Porsche) in a sprint finish.

"To come away with the jersey is something I will cherish forever," a happy Cantwell said after the race. "I had a handful of guys looking after me today and they did such a fantastic job.”

"This is super important. It's been a rollercoaster month for myself and Pegasus. Fingers crossed we get some good news after we have the national criterium champion within Pegasus. I have been with Pegasus for three years and hopefully we’ll get a Continental licence to keep the boat afloat."

The speed was high and the pressure was on from the outset of the 33km criterium, with the peloton not letting anyone go clear early on. A quarter of the way into the race, Lachlan Norris (Drapac Porsche) and Nicholas Walker (Jayco VIS) made a break, with the duo enjoyed six laps out in front and opening a 30-second gap. Robbie McEwen was driving hard at the front of the peloton to bring the move back but Walker was persistent, attacking at any available opportunity.

More riders tried to break away in the last half of the race but each move was unsuccessful. David Pell (Drapac) attacked with six laps to go building a slight advantage. But with Pegasus driving the peloton with six riders, his move was always going to be short lived. Ben Day did a tremendous job for the team and with three laps to go, Pegasus were in control.

With two laps to go, Travis Meyer attacked, trying to break up the race. His move was unsuccessful but when he was brought back into the peloton near the end of the second lap, his brother Cameron had a try. Steele Von Hoff (Genesys Wealth Advisers) went with Cameron but Pegasus were determined to get the win and again brought the move back.

In the final three hundred metres, Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) was being led out by his teammate Anthony Giocoppo but clipped his wheel and hit the deck. That disrupted the others at the back but Cantwell benefited from a terrific lead out, storming to the line to grab a brilliant win.

"It was a very aggressive race. I raced on New Years day and at the Bay Series and this is my sixth race in the row. I will now have a rest for a couple of days and step into the road race on Sunday," Cantwell said.

Cantwell praised his team-mates after they buried themselves for him.

"Our objective was to ride for me. I can't thank them enough. It means the world to me. I'm going to have it on my wall forever and every time I look at it I'm going to think of the guys that worked their heart out for me. I'm forever in their debt, Bernie Sulzberger and Aaron Kemps in particular. The guys have been riding for me and united as a team for three years now. To keep the jersey in the team for another year is great for us and the sponsors."

With the criterium jersey secured for another year, Pegasus will look towards the road race on Sunday with Bernie Sulzberger in terrific form.

"The team at the moment is fine. With the hiccups and the hurdles put in front of us it makes us hungrier to go out and get both jerseys,” Cantwell said. “Bernie Sulzberger in particular is going strong. He rode the Bay Series recently and he's in great form. I'm going to be forever in his debt and if I can do whatever I can to make him on win on Sunday then that's what I will do.”

Giacoppo and Shaw happy with medals

Twenty-four year old Anthony Giacoppo is a new Genesys recruit and to get second in his first outing in the team is a brilliant result.

"I'm stoked with this result. It's my first Nationals and to get silver was pretty good. I didn't think I was going to go well today. My role in the team was to lead Joel Pearson to the line but unfortunately he clipped my wheel and crashed and I managed to hold onto second. I guess the team will be pretty happy. Hopefully I get picked to do more races."

With Tom Palmer getting third place in the earlier race, Stuart Shaw's third place is a good sign that the Drapac Porsche team is on form and ready for the rest of the program.

"I'm pretty happy with how it worked out. Rhys did a fantastic job,” Shaw explained. “All our guys animated the race. I was happy to get up there and go well in the sprint. This is a good confidence booster for me.”

Drapac's major goal after the championships is the Tour of Langkawi and Shaw is confident the team is hitting form at the right time.

"We have some young talented guys, which is what our program is about. I will be trying to help guys like Tom Palmer and with the form I've got, I'm confident I'm going to help them. Langkawi is a high level race. I won the last stage there last year and I would like to go back there with form. It's a long tour, over 1300 kilometres. Mitch Docker led the race a few years ago and that helped him secure a contract with Skil Shimano so it's an important race for the team."

Nicholas Walker's attacking was rewarded with the sprinters jersey.

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Full Results
1Jonathan Cantwell (QLD)
2Anthony Giacoppo (WA)
3Stuart Shaw (ACT)
4Rico Rogers (VIC)
5Bernard Sulzberger (TAS)
6Zakkari Dempster (VIC)
7Sam Rutherford (NSW)
8Cameron Meyer (WA)
9Fabio Calabria (VIC)
10Tommy Nankervis (VIC)
11Stuart Grimsey (VIC)
12Christopher Luxton (SA)
13Benjamin King (WA)
14Hayden Brooks (QLD)
15Chris Winn (VIC)
16Michael Cupitt (QLD)
17Alexander Malone (NSW)
18Samuel Witmitz (VIC)
19Chris Steffanoni (VIC)
20Nicholas Mitchell (VIC)
21Rhys Pollock (VIC)
22Alexander Smyth (VIC)
23Nick Walker (VIC)
24Lachlan Norris
25Luis Trueba (NSW)
26Steele Von Hoff (VIC)
27Michael Smith (TAS)
28Amir Rusli (MAS)
29Floris Goesinnen (NED)
30Jai Crawford (TAS)
31Johnnie Walker (VIC)
32Robbie McEwen (QLD)
33Dean Windsor (GBR)
34Brendan Brooks (QLD)
35Travis Meyer (WA)
36Chris Jongerwaard (SA)
37William Clarke (TAS)
38Aaron Kemps (QLD)
39Trent Lowe (VIC)
40Cameron Jennings (QLD)
41Lars Pria (ROM)
42Neil Van Der Ploeg (VIC)
DNFPatrick Shaw (VIC)
DNFDamien Turner (VIC)
DNFMatthew Bishop (VIC)
DNFMichael Bulters (ACT)
DNFBenjamin Cheney (NSW)
DNFGiuseppe Cirella (QLD)
DNFAndrew Crawley (NSW)
DNFAndrew Downie (VIC)
DNFCharles Howlett (TAS)
DNFCaleb Jones (NSW)
DNFBen Kersten (NSW)
DNFJake Magee (NSW)
DNFCameron Peterson (QLD)
DNFClarke Petrick (NT)
DNFJason Rigg (WA)
DNFTimothy Walker (TAS)
DNFAntony Dimitrovski (NSW)
DNFAndrew Herrmann (NSW)
DNFKyle Marwood (QLD)
DNFMichael McGee (SA)
DNFJonathan McLachlan (VIC)
DNFReece Treloar (VIC)
DNFAndrew Ward (VIC)
DNFMichael Ward (SA)
DNFRyan Obst (SA)
DNFJoel Pearson (NSW)
DNFDavid Pell (VIC)
DNFScott Townsend (VIC)
DNFDarren Lapthorne (VIC)
DNFBenjamin Day (QLD)
DNFKris Koke (NSW)
DNFMatthew Wood (QLD)
DNSAllan Davis (QLD)
DNSNathan Earle (TAS)
DNSMichael Fitzgerald (WA)
DNSKris Johnston (ACT)
DNSChris Jory (NSW)
DNSScott Law (NSW)

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