PhysioHealth Swift Carbon Cycling Team collects three jerseys at Tour of Tasmania

physiohealth-logo-standardSwift Carbon logo The team taking on the hilly course and field of 103 riders, included Jason Lea, Callum Gordon, Morgan Smith, Jack Sowry, Mitchell Dedman, and Trent Morey. The goal for the tour was to collect either a mountains, young rider or most aggressive jersey and to achieve a high place in the teams classification. Prologue The tour commenced with a 2 km individual prologue at the picturesque Basketville motor race way north of Hobart. The conditions for the short time trial was very hot and windy and uneventful from the teams point of view.  Jack Sowry was our best placed rider 14 seconds behind the best time by Charter Mason’s Ben Hill who averaged and incredible 49 kmh. Jason, Morgan and Callum were a further 2 seconds back well positioned for the rest of the week. Stage One Stage one was a held through a mountainous 120 km route from Lake Pedder to New Norfolk. The course included two sprints and two KOMs. With the instructions to be aggressive, Morgan Smith took off on a solo breakaway at kilometer zero. Morgan’s stayed away until 1 km before the first sprint at the 15 km mark. As soon as Morgan was reeled in Jason Lea counter attacked on his own solo effort wining the sprint points and collecting a three second time bonus.  Matthew Ross from the VIS and Matthew Leonard from Navalist bridged across to Jason soon after to form the day’s breakaway, which was caught 10 km from the finish. Prior to being caught Jason won the second sprint at Glenora as well as a first and second in the KOMs. The stage was won by African Wildlife’s Sean Lake who counter attacked on his own solo effort when the day’s break was caught by the peloton. Sean held off the peloton for 10 km and won by a length from Avanti’s Anthony Giacoppo in a very exciting finish.  Jason, Morgan and Callum finished with the leaders ensuring a good team result. The wash up from stage one was that Jason was awarded the most aggressive rider award and won both the points and KOM jerseys. He was also equal first in the young rider classification after collecting 9 bonus seconds. This was clearly our best day as a team and provides a new challenge, defending jerseys. Stage two Pre-warned stage two was a miniature version of the famous European spring classics Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Amstel Gold Race, which meant no flat roads and no straight stretches of road!! In addition two brutal KOMs, the last - Gunns Plains a four kilometer 16% monster. The stage started through the undulating outskirts of Ulverstone, in terrain that was very similar to Mount Pleasant near Eltham. As expected being a short 106 km the start was very aggressive. The first significant break included PhysioHealth Swift Carbon’s Callum Gordon. However the strong teams were keen to ensure a strong presence at the front of the race so the field was back together after 10 km. The first KOM resulted in the field breaking into the contenders and the gruppetto. Thankfully Jason, Callum and Morgan were with the lead group. The Gunns Plain KOM came with 30 km to go and an elite group of 15 riders survived over the top including Jason Lea in a perfect position to defend his KOM jersey and take over the young rider’s jersey. Callum Gordon was in the second group of 10 riders 45 sec behind the leaders and Morgan Smith on his own 10 seconds behind Callum. Unfortunately, one of Jason’s main rivals in the young riders classification, VIS’s Alex Morgan, took the category 1 Gunns Plain KOM and followed it up with sprint bonus soon after, which meant Jason was one point behind in the KOM and one second behind in young rider classification. The lead group including Jason was caught by a strong chase by Charter Mason with 2 km to resulting in a group of 30 riders contested the final sprint, including PhysioHealth Swift Carbon’s Callum Douglas and Jason Lea. The stage was won by Pat’s Veg Brad Evans, which meant he also collected the leaders jersey. Morgan Smith followed soon after and Mitchell Dedman and Jack Sowry in the groupetto inside the time cut. Unfortunately Trent Morey was eliminated as he finished outside the time limit. Despite a grueling day there was no damage done to the teams goals with Jason still in a perfect position to collect a KOM jersey and a podium in the young riders classification, and with three riders finishing in a good position our team position improved to the top half the teams classification. Stage Three The 120 km stage 3 was all about the category 3 Frank Ford Climb at the 37 km mark and the Category 3 Holwell climb at the 50 km mark. The PhysioHealth Swift Carbon team looked for opportunities to put Jason Lea in a position to get some crucial KOM points and with luck some bonus seconds for the young rider classification. However, the VIS marked every move that Jason was in subsequently Morgan Smith took the opportunity to agitate and establish a crucial three rider break, and collect the 3 Holwell KOM points and the 3 Dalrymple Rd sprint points. But most importantly he was awarded the most aggressive rider jersey making it the fourth jersey for the team in this years Tour of Tasmania. Morgan’s break was caught with 10 km to go and the quick down hill sprint was narrowly won by Charter Mason’s Daniel Fitter from African Wildlife’s Michael Schweizer, with Natalists Wes Sulzberger in third. Charter Mason’s Ben Hill also took back the general classification, on count back from Avanti’s Brad Evans. At the conclusion of the stage it was status quo for PhysioHealth Swift Carbon, as far as team and individual positions in the various classifications. But Morgan Smith’s presence alongside Jason Lea and Callum Gordon means the team is now recognized as one of key teams that animates races. All results can be found at www.metarace.com.au
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