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McCauley thrilled with 1st big win in 2 years
Aug 17th, 12. In horrid conditions, Gordon McCauley showed the Aussies up during today's 5th stage of Tour of the Great South Coast where he took his first big win in two years.
"It kind of justifies my decision to go back to an elite licence next year," the 40 year old current Masters 2 NZ Club Champion told RoadCycling.co.nz after the victory in Victoria, Australia.
In Tour of Southland type conditions, McCauley layered up with two undershirts, race jersey, rain cape, knee warmers and full finger gloves for this morning's 16 lap, 40km criterium.
It was day three of the five day tour which the Kiwi is racing as a guest rider for Australian team Drapac.
With his teammate Darren Lapthorne in the yellow leader's jersey, McCauley lit things up in the wet and windy conditions when he stole off the front of the much reduced peloton after three of the seven intermediate sprints.
"I just wanted to try and pick up a few time bonuses to try and defend Darren's lead," he said.
Along with one other, McCauley never got more than 20sec ahead of the bunch, but it was enough. On the final lap the peloton were closing in and one rider managed to jump across to the duo - but McCauley had gas left in the tank to outpace them both and take the victory.
The 42 rider peloton was a mere 3sec behind but the majority of the field dragged themselves across the line minutes later. It was no surprise that McCauley won the award for the stage's Most Aggressive Rider. He is also 6th on GC.
McCauley, who was stoked to take the win, said he had not trained properly since his build up to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi back in 2010, but four months ago he made the decision to step things up again.
With the focus back on, he lost 7kg and found his turn for speed was still there, which his Aussie team benefitted from today.
"It was a perfect day for Drapac - stage win and we kept the yellow jersey," he said.
McCauley considers his last big win was back in 2010 when he won the overall title at the Tour of Tasmania, also in horrid conditions.
Today's afternoon stage, a road race, was cancelled after the weather was deemed too extreme. After this morning's race, organisers met with Victoria Police who revoked their permit to conduct the afternoon stage.
"Police explained they felt it was unsafe for their members to work on the event and that they were also concerned for the safety of motorists and the public," Race Director John Craven said.
The Budget Forklifts Tour of the Great South Coast, the second tour in the Scody Cup series, continues until Sunday.
NZ team PureBlack Racing are also contesting this tour but have had a difficult time with crashes on the opening day leaving Dion Smith with a broken collarbone and most of the other riders - with the exception of NZ Road Champion James Williamson - with various levels of road rash. Taylor Gunman pulled out of today's race due to the injuries he sustained earlier in the tour. Tom Vessey is their best rider on GC, 32nd +1m52s.
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