A Podium finish for the Subaru NSWIS & MS Development Road Team in Port Fairy was the reward for putting it all together in the finale of a demanding week at the Tour of the Great South Coast.
DS Ben Kersten was pleased to see the progression of the team on the final stage.
‘It’s a great feeling. We had a really disappointing day yesterday losing Nathan, and although we’ve had some good results on the tour, a lot of it rested on Jacko getting himself to the finish, so there has been a lot of work around getting the guys riding as a team, and they just put it together today.’
‘As for having a presence in the race, today was the day they finally did it, chasing down the break, getting Jacko in the right position and for it to be on the last stage too was really nice.’
With two fourths already for Jackson Law coming into the final Criterium at Port Fairy, the team were putting it out there for a podium. When a break of 5 riders got a minute on the bunch the team committed to going after it. Jordan Payne & Harry Carter worked on the front to bring it back and were joined by Budget, African Wildlife & Satalyst, catching the break with one lap to go. This left it to Nick & Jackson to finish off.
‘Nick stayed with me, keeping me out of the wind for another half lap and dropped me off right on the Avanti train…I just stepped off them early in the sprint. When I kicked, everyone was stalling because it was a bit too early for Bevan and Sundo and neither wanted to go first; so I decided to go early and get ahead of them – they just came round me in the last hundred metres,” said Jackson.
More than 12 months since last racing NRS, Law found it hard to get into rhythm and speed of racing but following the first stage he felt confident they could achieve a podium. His 4th place on stage 5 also showed he was in good form given the hilly nature of the course, and with Team Captain Nathan Bradshaw the protected rider, in top 20 on GC.
‘The plan wasn’t to have anyone at the finish, being a hilly stage the team were actually riding for me. Jacko had good legs, he kept me out of trouble and in the sweet spot in the top 15-20…, towing me to the front before the climbs etc and while dropping back on the climbs rode his way back on every time and shows how versatile he can be to get over those climbs and still have a punchy sprint.’
For the more track focussed riders, Bradshaw felt backing up from the bigger double days was a particular challenge.
‘Just being able to cope with how full- on and intense the races are, and how long they are – most of us roadies have had a year of these 5-8 day tours so we are more conditioned for them. For Nick and Jacko this is their first race of the season, while Tirian rode Toowoomba,” Nathan noted. It’s also the stress of keeping me out of trouble and up front and not losing time as well. As for Jacko, there were a lot of days he had to be leader for the sprints and had to think a lot about how he was feeling and to know if he is on or not on, etc.’
Close to the best result for the team yet, Jackson felt some of this was down to riders focusing on their specific goal & role in the race and delivering on that.
‘Everyone is really motivated – no one feels they are lost or just following wheels. Nathan summed it up the best – he has learned to follow us and trust us to deliver him where he needs to be and I am the same. That is the best thing we’ve got going here in this team is the trust between us.’
The team travel tomorrow to Wangaratta where they will have a couple of days rest and recon in ahead of the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley which starts next week.