Jayco Herald Sun Tour: Donnelly scoops stage win and race lead as WorldTour riders miss move
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Friday, January 04, 2013

Jayco Herald Sun Tour: Donnelly scoops stage win and race lead as WorldTour riders miss move

by VeloNation Press at 6:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Defending champion Haas sacrifices chances for team-mates Gerrans and Clarke

Aaron DonnellyOn the attack for much of the stage and coping well with sweltering heat, the young Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers rider Aaron Donnelly won a three-man sprint to take the first road stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

The 21 year old outsprinted Calvin Watson (Jayco Vis Apollo) and Josh Atkins (Grays Online New Zealand) to the line in Bendigo, proving quickest in the velodrome finish to the race. The trio were two minutes and three seconds ahead of the next riders, Bradley Linfield (Degani Bakery Café World Tour Academy Team) and Alexander Malone (Satalyst Giant Racing Team), with the rest of the field further back again.

“It’s my first win in a long time. I’ve had a lot of misfortune the last couple of years, a lot of broken bones,” an emotional Donnelly said. Those fractures included damage to his wrist incurred in April, with the tumble down a stairs causing a two and a half month break from the sport.

“It wasn’t the best three years for me but I’m glad I’ve come out strong from it,” he said.

Donnelly took over the race lead from yesterday’s prologue winner Jordan Kerby (Suzuki - Bontrager), who missed the move and dropped to seventh overall, two minutes 39 seconds back. “Unfortunately lost the jersey today,” he said afterwards via Twitter. “Boys worked tirelessly for me but were unable to bring back the move. Thanks for your work.”

Watson is now second overall, fourteen seconds behind, while Atkins is a further three seconds back. 2012 Australian road race champion Simon Gerrans (Jayco Australian national team) is best of the WorldTour riders in ninth overall, two minutes 45 seconds down.

His team-mate Nathan Haas was one of the day’s early aggressors, the 2011 race winner going clear twenty kilometres into the stage as part of an eleven man group. Watson was also present. Haas was hungry for success and took the top points at the top of Mount Macedon, but then was hit by a mechanical on the descent.

While he was able to get back to the break, they were all reeled in by the peloton.

Five riders kicked clear afterwards and opened a lead of over two and a half minutes. Watson and Atkins were present, while Donnelly and Brad Linfield (Degani Bakery Café Academy) jumped across and helped increase the lead to over six minutes.

With many big guns left behind, the peloton chased hard but left it too late. Donnelly, Watson and Atkins fought it out for the stage win in the velodrome, while the rest of the break finished further back. The peloton came in two minutes 35 seconds down with Gerrans and Simon Clarke part of that group. Haas rolled in eleven and a half minute back and, along with Stuart O’Grady, has lost the chance of winning the race. However he has the lead of the mountains classification as a consolation.

Donnelly ends the day a very happy rider, having the stage win, the race lead, plus topping the sprint and best under 23 rider ranking. He talked about his aggressive approach and how it paid off for him. “I recovered for about 10km [after the first breakaway – ed.) and then me and Brad went again,” he said.

“We were sitting about a minute and a half behind the front guys and there was a bit of doubt there for a while. There was a few times were I thought we should sit up but I saw the cars ahead and could see we were closing the gap.”

That persistence paid off and he went on to a very successful finish to the stage.

The race continues tomorrow with a 146.6km race from Mitchelton Winery to Healesville. The race concludes on Sunday with the hilltop finish of Arthurs’ Seat.


Jayco Herald Sun Tour:

Stage 1, Sunbury to Bendigo:


1, Aaron Donnelly (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers) 147.7 kilometre in 4 hours 4 mins 36 secs
2, Calvin Watson (Jayco Vis Apollo)
3, Josh Atkins (Grays Online New Zealand) both same time
4, Bradley Linfield (Degani Bakery Café World Tour Academy Team) at 2 mins 3 secs
5, Alexander Malone (Satalyst Giant Racing Team) same time
6, Brock Roberts (Target Trek Racing) at 2 mins 15 secs
7, Nathan Earle Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers) at 2 mins 29 secs
8, Will Walker (Drapac Cycling)
9, Luke Davison (SASI Cycling p/b Feelgood Fitness) same time
10, Richard Lang (Great Britain) at 2 mins 35 secs

Jayco General Classification:

1, Aaron Donnelly (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers) 4 hours 9 mins 57 secs
2, Calvin Watson (Jayco VIS Apollo) at 14 secs
3, Josh Atkins (Grays Online New Zealand National Team) at 17 secs
4, Bradley Linfield (Degani Bakery Café World Tour Academy Team) at 2 mins 20 secs
5, Luke Davison (SASI Cycling p/b Feelgood Fitness) at 2 mins 38 secs
6, Alexander Malone (Satalyst Giant Racing Team) same time
7, Jordan Kerby (Suzuki - Bontrager) at 2 mins 39 secs
8, Adam Phelan (Degani Bakery Café World Tour Academy Team) at 2 mins 44 secs
9, Simon Gerrans (Jayco Australian national team) at 2 mins 45 secs
10, Simon Clarke (Jayco Australian national team) same time

Victoria’s Best Under-23 rider:

1, Aaron Donnelly (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers) 4 hours 9 mins 57 secs
2, Calvin Watson (Jayco VIS Apollo) at 14 secs
3, Josh Atkins (Grays Online New Zealand National Team) at 17 secs
4, Bradley Linfield (Degani Bakery Café World Tour Academy Team) at 2 mins 20 secs
5, Jordan Kerby (Suzuki - Bontrager) at 2 mins 39 secs

Grays Online Sprint Points classification:

1, Aaron Donnelly (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers) 22pts
2, Calvin Watson (Jayco VIS Apollo) 8pts
3, Josh Atkins (Grays Online New Zealand National Team) 8pts
4, Alexander Malone (Satalyst Giant Racing Team) 6pts
5, Bradley Linfield (Degani Bakery Café World Tour Academy Team) 3pts

Budget Forklifts King Of The Mountains

1, Nathan Haas (Jayco Australian national team) 24pts
2, Chris Jory (GPM Data#3) 16pts
3, Campbell Flakemore (Degani Bakery Café World Tour Academy Team) 8pts
4, Josh Atkins (Grays Online New Zealand National Team) 6pts
5, Aaron Donnelly (Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers) 4pts



Some photos from today's stage (click first image to advance to gallery)

 

 

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