2010 ELGAS Tour of the Murray River - Stage 1 Report
Drapac's Stuart Shaw draws first blood.
Stuart Shaw claimed a terrific victory in Rochester this afternoon. The thirtytwo year old benefited from a brilliant leadout to take the win ahead of Genesys Wealth Advisers Joel Pearson and Malaysian youngster Harrif Saleh.
The 154.5km stage, the longest of this year's tour was raced aggressively in serene conditions. However, it was marred by a huge crash which took out half the peloton ten kilometres into the race. Despite that, the 131 cyclists that started the stage were unfazed by the mayhem attacking at every opportunity.
Despite many riders trying to break away, no one managed to get a big break on the peloton. With nine intermediate and three mountain sprints, all the favourites of the tour were amongst the action trying to pick up valuable bonus seconds.
With twenty kilometres to go, the big teams in Drapac, Genesys Wealth Advisers and Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans were leading the peloton. However, it was Drapac assuming control in the final three kilometres which set up Shaw perfectly. He didn't let them down taking a close victory over Pearson.
'I'm really happy. It was nice to get a win for Drapac. The guys gave me a hand in the last few kilometres and ripped it. They all did their job to get us to the front. It's awesome,' Shaw said after the win.
Shaw's win put him into the leader's yellow jersey but he is aware of the tough week ahead.
'At the moment the focus is stage wins. If I can manage to pick up a couple more, then I will perhaps look at the general classification. It's a long race,' he concluded.
Joel Pearson was surprised with how he went today but was pleased he's starting to recapture form.
'The result did surprise me a bit. I was feeling a bit sore from the crash early on which broke my bike frame. Towards the end of the race, I felt great and it's a huge morale booster to fight for a win after 154km,' Pearson described.
Richard Lang (Jayco Skins) claimed eleven points to lead the sprint competition and Adam Phelan (McDonagh Blake-Witness) took the king of the mountains jersey. Genesys Wealth Advisers lead the team classification.
Tomorrow has back-to-back stages with a 25.5km criterium at Echuca in the morning followed by a 99.8km road race to Moama in the afternoon.
Stage 1 Results - Top 10
1. Stuart Shaw (Drapac) 3:32:32
2. Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) s.t
3. Harrif Saleh (Malaysian National Team) s.t
4. Zamri Saleh (Malaysian National Team) s.t
5. Michael Phelan (Drapac) s.t
6. Richard Lang (Jayco) s.t
7. Pat Shaw (Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans) s.t
8. Scott Law (Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans) s.t
9. Tom Robinson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) s.t
10. Rico Rogers (Swan Hil Rural City Council) s.t
General Classification - Top 10
1. Stuart Shaw (Drapac) 3:32:15
2. Richard Lang (Jayco Skins) +0.05
3. Joel Pearson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) +0.09
4. Adam Phelan (McDonagh Blake-Witness) +0.10
5. Harrif Saleh (Malaysian National Team) +0.11
6. Michael Phelan (Drapac) +0.12
7. Zamri Saleh (Malaysian National Team) +0.13
8. Tom Robinson (Genesys Wealth Advisers) s.t
9. Pat Shaw (Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans) +0.14
10. Alexander Ray (Hyster - Total Rush) s.t
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