Thursday, 6 January 2011

Gerrans victorious in sprint as Goss takes leaders jersey in final day of the Jayco Bay Classic

Simon Gerrans was crowned leader of the sprinters classification on the final day of the Jayco Bay Classic as Sky headed into their second season as a ProTour team. Taking the Green Jersey on Monday, he made his calculated move along with the now infamous bad boy Mark Renshaw. With Gerrans outpacing his compatriate, he had the maximum points in the bag on the first intermediate sprint before the pair were brought back into the fold of the peloton.

Sky riders Sutton and Swift were prominent in further breaks that eventually saw Sutton placed 4th in the finish after much jostling in the last 900m that saw Goss (E3/Pure Tasmania)emerge as the fastest finisher ahead of Allan Davis ( and Michael Matthews (Urban). Sutton ended the series as Sky's highest placing overall at fifth with Henderson placed at sixth and Gerrans finishing in 9th.

Crits such as this traditionally mark the beginning of the year as pre season openers before the season proper kicks off on the 16th with the Tour Down Under. With just 10 days to go until the start, HTC-Highroad and Ag2r La Mondiale will be the first two international teams to land in Adelaide ready for the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under.
Mark Cavendish, a former Track World Champion, Madison (2005, 2008), will be competing for the first time at the Santos Tour Down Under. Cavendish has 15 stage victories (2008/9/10) in the Tour de France under his belt and will be looking to kick of this years season with a better start than last years which saw him struggle with health problems and a series of crashes that saw the suspension of team mate Renshaw in a controversial sprint as Cavendish failed to live up to his own expectations. Later redeemed by victory he was seen emotional on the podium as he began to see his hard work finally pay off.

Meanwhile, Ag2r La Mondiale is the only team to have competed at every Santos Tour Down Under since it began in 1999, producing the most overall winners of the Santos Tour Down Under, taking out the honours in 2000 (Gilles Maignan FRA); 2003 (Mikel Astarloza ESP); 2006 (Simon Gerrans AUS) and 2007 (Martin Elmiger SUI).

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