Santos Festival of Cycling: Welsford takes stage 4 while Durbridge holds firm on GC

Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) showed just why he’s wearing the Australian criterium champion’s jersey, taking victory on stage 4 at the Santos Festival of Cycling  while Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange)  safely crossed the line to take the overall jersey that he laid claim to on the very first day of racing in South Australia.

The criterium win at the 1.1 kilometre long Victoria Park circuit in Adelaide was the third stage victory for Team Garmin Australia at the four-day National Road Series race. 

“Richie [Porte] went in front and pulled some big turns to pull the break back and then it was all up to me and Kell [Kelland O’Brien] and [Luke] Plapp to bring back that last little bit and hopefully I was in a good position for the wheel. The last straight was a big drag race and it was really technical and we did that corner at probably 65k an hour. We had one shot at it and that was it,” said Welsford straight after the stage.

Welsford came in ahead of Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) who just couldn’t stick with the charge of the national champion as he flew through the final corner and then powered through the last straight to take a clear victory. Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) slipped through for third in a tight battle for the final podium spot.

”It was a really good job by the boys keeping me fresh all day and I was disappointed I couldn’t finish it off,” said Groves.

One of those teammates that kept Groves fresh was Durbridge. The blue jersey of the overall leader was working hard at the front on the final laps before riding over the finishing line to confirm the overall victory that he looked sure to take after the very first stage of The Santos Festival of Cycling , which was run as a replacement to the normal WorldTour event. 

Team BikeExchange was always marked as a squad to beat as it was the only WorldTour team racing alongside the domestic teams and a sprinkling of WorldTour professionals who had returned home for the Australian summer. The national team, led by Porte, Team Garmin Australia not surprisingly turned out to be the biggest threat and while Team BikeExchange ultimately lost the stage tally battle one-to-three their dominance on the overall couldn’t have been more clear.

In the end Durbridge took the GC with a margin of two minutes to Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) and 2:31 to Jumbo Visma climber Chris Harper who was racing for Cervelo-Tonsley Village at the event.

“It has been a fantastic week for us,” said Durbridge. “I  think the boys did a really good job today. Everybody dug in and gave Kaden the best opportunity and he came over second so we have got to be happy with that and we have got to be happy with the week. This has really set us up for the summer.”

How it unfolded

A day with temperatures in the 40's meant the heat was still on even though the men started racing well into the evening. However, that didn't mean there was any taking it easy with the breaks coming thick and fast as riders jostled for not only the stage win but the points and time bonuses on offer during the intermediate sprints.

Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) was one of the most attentive at the front as he started the stage on equal points with Durbridge in the sprint competition and clearly wanted to leapfrog the overall leader and also make sure no one else came up from behind.

It was a group of eight clear out the front that approached the first intermediate sprint point on lap 10 and while Monk tried to jump out of the pack and take the points Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make) was far too quick. Freiensten’s efforts, and the three bonus seconds that came with them, bumped him up to fourth place overall while Monk’s second was enough for him to secure the sprint competition. 

After that the break ebbed and flowed and ultimately by the time the next intermediate sprint approached at 20 laps there were four out the front, with two forging ahead to contest the sprint. Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) came out on top, beating Brendon Davids (Olivers Real Food Racing).

The group of four came back together but as the gap to the peloton dropped to only ten seconds with 5 laps to go it wasn’t long until their time was over. All eyes were now on that final line and Porte and Durbridge were two of the riders that could be seen working hard on the front to try and set up the final sprint for their competing teammates.

Though when the bell for the final lap rang it was time for the sprint trains to take over. They delivered Groves and Welsford to the front to squeeze through that final corner at a blistering pace before Welsford crossed in first and quickly went to find his teammates to celebrate taking the final victory of the tour.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 0:59:41
2Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange)
3Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane)
4Elliot Schultz (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
5Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia)
6Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
7Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make)
8Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
9Nicholas White (Team Bridgelane)
10Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:00:03
11Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane)
12Pat Drapac (Cycle House Racing)
13Myles Stewart (Nero Continental)
14Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make)
15Sam Volkers (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
16Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling)
17Oliver Anderson (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
18Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
19Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
20David Randall (Butterfields Racing)
21Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
22Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
23Kaine Cannan (Velofit Australia)
24Chris Luxton (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
25Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia)
26Sam Crome (St George Continental Cycling Team)
27Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make)
28Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental) 0:00:11
29Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team)
30Justin Gassner (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
31Alex Holden (GIANT Racing Team) 0:00:14
32Angus Lyons (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
33Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
34Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team)
35Jason Thomason (Butterfields Racing)
36Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing)
37Jacob Langham (Velofit Australia)
38Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia)
39Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing)
40Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team)
41Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team)
42Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing)
43Steele van Hoff (InForm TM Insight Make)
44Ryan Cavanagh (St George Continental Cycling Team)
45Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
46Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia)
47Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make)
48Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange)
49Will Golding (Butterfields Racing)
50Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia)
51Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:00:20
52Alex Edmondson (Team BikeExchange) 0:00:23
53Cameron Meyer (Team BikeExchange) 0:00:26
54Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team)
55Will Hodges (GIANT Racing Team)
56Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 0:00:28
57Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia)
58Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make)
59Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental)
60Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
61Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:00:30
62Drew Morey (Team Bridgelane)
63Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team)
64Rylan Dowdell (Butterfields Racing)
65Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:34
66Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team)
67Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 0:00:37
68Reece Tucknott (CCS Cycling)
69Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing) 0:00:50
70Mark O'Brien (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:01:03
71Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team)
72Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team) 0:01:06
73Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team) 0:01:09
74Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:01:20
75Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange) 0:01:34
76Jordan Kerby (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:01:40
77Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 0:02:00
78Jimmy Whelan (Team Garmin Australia) 0:03:47
79Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
80Cam Roberts (CCS Cycling) 0:03:56
DNSCameron Ivory (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
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Ziptrak Sprint 1: 20 Laps to go
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make) 3
2Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 2
3Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 1
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Ziptrak Sprint 2: 10 Laps to go
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 3
2Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 2
3Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 1
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Sprint Finish
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 3
2Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 2
3Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) 1
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Bridgelane 2:59:06
2MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team (144, 0:00:03
3InForm TM Insight Make (64,
4CERVELO-Tonsley Village (41, 0:00:06
5Team Garmin Australia (7, 0:00:11
6ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast (53,
7OLIVERS Real Food Racing (71, 0:00:17
8Velofit Australia (162,
9St George Continental Cycling Team (85, 0:00:25
10Butterfields Racing (125, 0:00:28
11Team BikeExchange (13, 0:00:34
12Nero Continental (185, 0:00:39
13Cycle House Racing (91, 0:00:42
14GIANT Racing Team (174, 0:00:51
15WorldTour Composite Team (24, 0:01:23
16CCS Cycling (101, 0:04:33
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Final general classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 8:10:59
2Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 0:02:00
3Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:02:31
4Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:03:06
5Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane) 0:03:08
6Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:03:24
7Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:03:32
8Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 0:03:34
9Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:03:38
10Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental) 0:03:46
11Angus Lyons (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:04:09
12Sam Crome (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:04:23
13Kaine Cannan (Velofit Australia) 0:04:46
14Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 0:04:53
15Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:05:09
16Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:05:16
17Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:05:42
18Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:06:06
19Nicholas White (Team Bridgelane) 0:06:25
20Cameron Meyer (Team BikeExchange) 0:07:51
21Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 0:07:54
22Mark O'Brien (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:08:35
23Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 0:10:04
24Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 0:10:14
25Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:11:33
26Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 0:13:47
27Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 0:16:03
28Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 0:16:57
29Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:17:16
30Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:19:03
31Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 0:19:10
32Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing) 0:19:16
33Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing) 0:19:21
34Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 0:19:36
35Chris Luxton (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:20:26
36Elliot Schultz (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:20:31
37Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:20:55
38Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:21:02
39Will Golding (Butterfields Racing)
40Alex Holden (GIANT Racing Team) 0:21:04
41Myles Stewart (Nero Continental) 0:21:07
42Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia) 0:21:08
43Oliver Anderson (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:21:23
44Reece Tucknott (CCS Cycling) 0:21:26
45Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team) 0:21:52
46Jacob Langham (Velofit Australia) 0:22:06
47Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) 0:22:10
48Justin Gassner (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:22:22
49Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:22:44
50Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing) 0:22:51
51Drew Morey (Team Bridgelane) 0:23:19
52Sam Volkers (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:23:25
53Will Hodges (GIANT Racing Team) 0:24:10
54Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing) 0:24:55
55Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:24:56
56Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:25:05
57Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:25:16
58Pat Drapac (Cycle House Racing) 0:25:25
59Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:26:37
60Jason Thomason (Butterfields Racing) 0:26:51
61Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team) 0:26:56
62Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia) 0:28:26
63Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:28:45
64Jimmy Whelan (Team Garmin Australia) 0:28:57
65Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:30:08
66Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:30:34
67Ryan Cavanagh (St George Continental Cycling Team)
68Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:30:49
69Rylan Dowdell (Butterfields Racing) 0:30:50
70Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:30:54
71Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team) 0:31:49
72Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:32:22
73Jordan Kerby (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:33:14
74David Randall (Butterfields Racing) 0:35:29
75Cam Roberts (CCS Cycling)
76Steele van Hoff (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:35:32
77Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:35:35
78Alex Edmondson (Team BikeExchange) 0:36:22
79Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange) 0:36:52
80Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:39:59
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Ziptrak Sprint Classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 9
2Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make) 8
3Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 7
4Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 6
5Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 5
6Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 5
7Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 5
8Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 3
9Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 3
10Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 3
11Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 3
12Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 3
13Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 2
14Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 2
15Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 2
16Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 2
17Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 1
18Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) 1
19Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team) 1
20Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 1
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Shimano King of the Mountain Classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 13
2Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 10
3Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 9
4Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 7
5Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 5
6Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 5
7Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team) 5
8Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 5
9Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 3
10Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 3
11Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 2
12Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 1
13Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 1
14Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team) 1
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Focus Young Rider Classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 8:12:59
2Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane) 0:01:08
3Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 0:01:34
4Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:01:38
5Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental) 0:01:46
6Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:03:09
7Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:03:16
8Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:04:06
9Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 0:08:14
10Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:09:33
11Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:15:16
12Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:17:03
13Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 0:17:10
14Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing) 0:17:16
15Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing) 0:17:21
16Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:18:55
17Will Golding (Butterfields Racing) 0:19:02
18Myles Stewart (Nero Continental) 0:19:07
19Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia) 0:19:08
20Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team) 0:19:52
21Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) 0:20:10
22Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:20:44
23Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing) 0:20:51
24Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing) 0:22:55
25Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:22:56
26Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:23:05
27Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:24:37
28Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team) 0:24:56
29Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia) 0:26:26
30Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:26:45
31Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:28:08
32Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:28:34
33Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:28:49
34Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:28:54
35Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team) 0:29:49
36Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:30:22
37Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:33:35
38Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:37:59
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Teans classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Bridgelane 24:43:49
2Team BikeExchange 0:00:33
3InForm TM Insight Make 0:03:36
4ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast 0:05:27
5Team Garmin Australia 0:06:45
6CERVELO-Tonsley Village 0:13:31
7St George Continental Cycling Team 0:19:39
8Cycle House Racing 0:25:12
9OLIVERS Real Food Racing 0:26:06
10Nero Continental 0:33:12
11Velofit Australia 0:34:15
12MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team 0:38:15
13Butterfields Racing 0:49:11
14CCS Cycling 0:50:58
15GIANT Racing Team 0:54:42
16WorldTour Composite Team 1:04:17

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Production editor

Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.

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