Saturday, 22 January 2011

Bobridge beats himself up about late-stage crash as Cameron Meyer takes a second stage

Adelaide sensation Bobridge, part of a three-man breakaway late in yesterday's pivotal Willunga stage that included fellow Aussie Richie Porte and German Ben Hermans, led the field over the second ascent of Willunga Hill but was reined in on the run to the finish line. With 4km to ride, Bobridge made a sharp left-hand turn - one of the last bends of the 125km southern circuit - and slid, crashing to taste the tarmac.

The under-23 world time-trial champion was quickly back on his feet and rejoined the race, allaying concerns he could be forced out of tonight's city loop final stage. Sporting only minor physical injuries and a somewhat bruised ego the young rider was furious with himself.

"It's alright, it will pull up," said Bobridge "I just over-reacted to a rider in front of me, went into the corner a bit rough and ended up on the ground."

But Meyer, whose overall lead was reduced from 12sec to 8sec ahead of HTC-Highroad's Matt Goss, praised the effort of Bobridge in controlling the race tempo.

"It would have been good to have him in the last 4km but unfortunately, he had a bit of a slide-out on that last corner," Meyer said.

"We'd done enough for me to be in the right situation with 4km to go that it didn't matter. The boys rode superbly and, at the end of the day, we're very happy."

Bobridge said until the crash, his day had gone to plan.

"I was riding for Cameron all day, I went with the front guys on the climb there and it worked out perfect," he said.

"At the end of the day, HTC had to do the work there, which they did and set it up beautifully.

"I knew the guys were coming pretty hard behind. I had really good legs, just disappointed I couldn't be there for Cameron at the end."

While Meyer remains in overall lead, his margin is slight leaving it wide open for the likes of Robbie McEwan to take the top spot in the final stage: a dream he has already admitted he would like to realise here.

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