Durbridge in impressive form in Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic
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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Durbridge in impressive form in Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic

by VeloNation Press at 3:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Video
Stage victory moves Australian champion close to yellow jersey of Dempster

Luke DurbridgeLuke Durbridge proved he will be one of the main riders to beat in the upcoming Australian national championships when he powered to victory on today’s third stage of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic.

The 2013 national road race and TT champion broken clear early on with Ballarat’s Patrick Shaw (Satalyst), built a lead of over a minute and stayed out ahead for over half of the Portarlington criterium.

Shaw was then no match for him when it came to the gallop to the line, with Durbridge taking the win with some ease. It was his second consecutive win on the circuit, and followed on from his runner-up slot two years ago.

“I don’t mind the old Portarlington circuit,” he said afterwards, with a little understatement. “I’m glad it stayed dry, but I think it is the third time I have had a good result here so it is always great to get the win here,” Durbridge said.

“I was doing the head wind section, but as a time triallist I think that is fair enough, and Pat did the top section and we said ‘let’s work together until the finish and have a sprint at the end’.”

While Durbridge has far bigger international results than Shaw, he said that he took nothing for granted. “I think whenever you get in a breakaway with Pat Shaw you always get a little bit nervous,” he explained.

“You never know if he is hurting or you never know if he is going hard or not. But I had him at the finish there. I’m just lucky I had the legs.”

Early on, eleven riders got clear after a crash in the bunch. These were Durbridge and Shaw, as well as stage one winner Zak Dempster (SASI Cycling), Mitch Docker (Orica-GreenEGDE), Marc Williams (Budget Forklifts), Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor JLT), Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT), Cameron Bayly (health.com.au), Josh Taylor (Charter Mason), Ryan Cavanaugh (Jayco VIS) and Mark O’Brien (Satalyst Giant).

The cooperation was sporadic and so Durbrige and Shaw launched clear, combining together to open what would turn out to be a winning lead.

Behind, Tom Scully (Total Rush/Hyster Racing) and Dempster were chasing hard; while they couldn’t get back up to the leading duo, finishing third and fourth respectively, the effort ensured that Dempster retook the race lead he lost when Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge) triumphed yesterday.

“That was probably the hardest, most (significant), fourth place of my whole life,” he said. “I laid it all out there and it’s good to come out of it with something other than a fourth place. Leading into tomorrow is a real honour in a series like this.

“I got a bit boxed in when Durbridge went. Luke is one of my good mates and if you give him fifty metres you might as well give him a kilometre. That was a big mistake by me and I paid for it for about 35 minutes.

“Initially for three laps I went really, really all out. Then I continued going all out but it was two against one, well really three against one because Luke is like two.”

Behind, Caleb Ewan (Subaru NSWIS) and Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics) led the bunch in for fifth and sixth. Goss didn’t finish in the points and as a result, he slipped back.

Dempster now has 21 points in the overall standings, one more than Jones and three more that Durbridge. Goss on 17 and Ewan on 16 are also close enough to scoop the final overall victory tomorrow.

“We will have a crack,” said Dempster. “There are so many guys that are going to be mixed in. If we sit down tonight it would take us six hours to get through every possible scenario.”

Meanwhile young Irish rider Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT) continues to lead the Sprint Ace classification, although Durbridge is now just one point behind and is a big threat.

The race finishes tomorrow in Williamstown. The tight circuit will require high skill and this technical element will be exploited by those aiming for the stage win and the yellow jersey.

Michelton Bay Cycling Classic

Stage three, Portarlington:

1, Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) 12
2, Patrick Shaw (Satalyst) 10
3, Tom Scully (Total Rush/Hyster Racing) 8
4, Zakkari Dempster (Sasi) 7
5, Caleb Ewan (Subaru NSWIS) 6

General classification:

1, Zakkari Dempster (Sasi) 21
2, Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics') 20
3, Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) 18
4, Matthew Goss (Orica GreenEdge) 17
5, Caleb Ewan (Subaru NSWIS) 16
6, Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEdge) 14
7, Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT) 13
8, Patrick Shaw (Satalyst) 10
9, Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor JLT) 10
10, Tom Scully (Total Rush/Hyster Racing) 8

Sprint Ace classification

1, Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT) 14
2, Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) 13
3, Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEdge) 4


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