Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic: Jones takes overall as Ewan grabs stage win on final day
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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic: Jones takes overall as Ewan grabs stage win on final day

by VeloNation Press at 7:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Video
Video highlights from final stage in Williamstown

Mitchelton Bay Cycling ClassicTwo years after being left in a coma by a bad racing crash, the young Australian rider Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics’) moved a step closer to a big pro career when he won the final overall classification in the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic.

Jones finished second on the fourth and final stage, sprinting in behind another highly promising young Australian, Caleb Ewan, and just ahead of the overnight leader Zakkari Dempster (Sasi).

That final gallop proved crucial, seeing him end the four day race just one point ahead of Dempster in the general classification.

Speaking afterwards, he explained that he got important advice from a twelve time Tour de France stage winner and three-time Maillot Vert.

“I had a few text messages and a call from Robbie McEwen last night,” Jones revealed. “He gave me some nice advice and said ‘be strong, be smart and show your aggression up there and tell everyone that you want it and you need to be there, you deserve to be there.’

“I was nervous, there was a lot of cat and mouse and argy-bargy up there. I rode a good position all race with the support of Steele Von Hoff. It’s pretty amazing to have a Garmin Sharp ProTour sprinter helping you out and I learnt a lot from Steele, he is a great guy and he kept me safe all day.”

Heading into the final day five riders were close enough to take the overall. However the rider who lurking in third, yesterday’s winner Luke Durbridge, was a non-starter due to a sore throat.

His big goal is to defend the Australian time trial and road race championship titles he won last year and so he decided to play it safe.

Jones knew that day one winner Dempster was in good form and so it was important to play things just right. “From the start in the warm up, and this morning when I woke up I thought, that’s it - put the race face on, get motivated, I really want this one,” he said.

While his career looked to be threatened by the bad crash in the 2011 Tour of Toowoomba that left him in a coma, he said that once he was recovered, he was more focussed on what he wanted to achieve.

“The accident maybe took six months off my season back then so where I am now I could have been there a bit earlier,” he said. “But everything happens for a reason and I think that accident has just made me stronger and got me to where I am today

“From that day, I thought ‘this is it, no fear anymore. It’s all go…no red lights, all green.

“For me the ultimate is to be a professional, that’s number one. Number two and number three would have to be Tour de France. I have gone over there and seen the Tour de France before and I guess that little dream has always been in the back of my head as something I really want to do.

Today’s stage was expected to be an aggressive one due to things being so tight at the top but the various teams ultimately kept things under tight control. Just two riders got any sort of leeway, with Marc Williams (Budget Forklifts) and Harry Carpenter (SASI Cycling) working hard to stay out front but never opening a threatening gap.

The peloton was affected by a big crash fifteen minutes from the end. Officials gave them a lap out, then things came back together with three laps to go. Ewan, who won a stage and the overall series last year, was initially in the wrong position and decided to move early, opening a slight gap around the final corner and then holding off the others to the line.

Jones and Dempster thundered in second and third, with Tom Scully (Total Rush/Hyster Racing) and Matthew Goss (Orica GreenEdge) fourth and fifth.

“It seems like I rode myself into the race,” said Ewan, who had crashed in training prior to the Mitchelton Bay Classic start and expressed worry about how it would affect his chances.

“I was actually really nervous coming into this race because I really wanted to show that I still had it and I hadn’t really shown that in the rest of the series.

“It got really sketchy in the second last corner with guys coming on the inside. I actually got pushed outside, and I knew if I didn’t go then and get the jump into the corner then I couldn’t win. So I jumped really early and it paid off.”

Young Irish rider Felix English held onto his lead in the green jersey competition, taking a big result for his Rapha Condor JLT squad. Orica GreenEdge was best team.

Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic:

Stage 4, Williamstown:

1, Caleb Ewan (Subaru NSWIS) 12
2, Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics') 10
3, Zakkari Dempster (Sasi) 8
4, Tom Scully (Total Rush/Hyster Racing) 7
5, Matthew Goss (Orica GreenEdge) 6

Final general classification:

1, Brenton Jones (Procon Telematics') 30
2, Zakkari Dempster (Sasi) 29
3, Caleb Ewan (Subaru NSWIS) 28
4, Matthew Goss (Orica GreenEdge) 23
5, Leigh Howard (Orica GreenEdge) 18
6, Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) 18
7, Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT) 16
8, Tom Scully (Total Rush/Hyster Racing) 15
9, Graham Briggs (Rapha Condor JLT) 15
10, Patrick Shaw (Satalyst) 10

Sprint Ace classification

1, Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT) 16
2, Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) 13
3, Marc Williams (Budget Forklifts) 8


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