John Herety draws positives from 2015 SunTour

Australia’s oldest stage race began on Thursday 4thFebruary with the 62nd edition taking place on the hot roads of Victoria state. The five day event began with a prologue in down-town Melbourne
and finished on Sunday with a 122km stage featuring three laps of the gruelling Arthurs Seat climb.
The race capped off JLT Condor’s month long block of training down under and was an ideal event to kick off 2015 thanks to the mix of climbs and high quality competition including Orica-GreenEdge, MTN-Qhubeka and Drapac sending teams to compete.
The Men in Black rode strongly in the Australian heat ensuring results on stages two, three and four. Mike Cuming made the hotly contested breakaway on the second stage with Graham Briggs featuring in the bunch sprint at the end of the day.
On stage three Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) cantered to stage three victory of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour ahead of Tyler Farrar (MTN-Qhubeka) in a carbon copy of Friday’s result which featured the same finish. Felix English finished 7th avoiding a crash in the final four kilometres of the race as the peloton swept up the two remaining riders of the day’s breakaway.
With Felix English, Graham Briggs and Tom Moses all finishing inside the top twenty, the team was rewarded with stage 3’s team prize.
The fourth and final 122km stage culminated with three leg wrenching ascents of the tough Arthurs Seat which sees the road averaging just over 8%. Within 10km of the start, the main breakaway of the day was established and JLT Condor’s Richard Handley ensured he made the 13-man group.
On the first ascent of the climb, Handley rode aggressively, forcing a spilt in the front group and forming a leading five man breakaway with Tanner Putt, Cameron Bayly, Steele von Hoff and Samuel Spokes. The five escapees stayed away until 5km to go and the final ascent of Arthurs Seat when pro tour outfit Orica-GreenEdge set a ruthless tempo on the front to neutralise the danger from the Handley group.
With what was left of the main bunch swallowing the break and only 3 kilometres left to climb, it was JLT’s young rider Tom Moses who excelled, staying with the leaders and finishing 17th.  
“The Jayco Herald Sun Tour was very tough this year, the race is the finale of the Australian summer and there are plenty of riders and teams in peak form. Orica-GreenEdge came to dominate the race and they were very strong.” Explained Team Manager, John Herety.

“This race is the start of our season and we head back to Europe with a good block of training banked. During this race there were strong performances from Mike Cuming and I’m pleased to see Richard Handley riding aggressively. Graham Briggs and Felix attained good positions in the highly competitive bunch sprints and we were rewarded with the team prize on stage 3.”

JLT Condor will spend one final week in training in Victoria, Australia before heading back to Britain. The next race for JLT Condor will be the Tour de Normandie at the end of March.
Images: JXP Photography

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