Cameron Scott of Brisbane Continental Team has triumphed in stage 2 of the New Zealand Cycle Classic, taking the win ahead of Luke Mudgway and Joel Walsh. It was an eventful day on the bikes during stage two of the UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic held in dry, overcast conditions in the Wairarapa today.
The 121km stage, which took riders from Masterton through the wine growing region of Gladstone in the Carterton District and back, featured three notable highlights. These included a great display of solo riding by Jordan Kirby (Brisbane Continental Team Australia), the current world individual pursuit champion; a strong break away by a trio of riders that lasted for over 60km and a fast sprint finish that was eventually won by Australian Cycling Academy’s Cameron Scott.
“It was very aggressive towards the end of the race,” said Scott, who is originally from Sydney but now based in Adelaide. “The plan was to have at least one of our team in contention for the stage and as we edged closer to the end I was in a great position. It came down to all teams vying for that spot and I just had the legs to drive it forward. It was really, really fast the whole way.”
Cameron won the race in 2hr 48 mins 14 secs while New Zealand National Team member Luke Mudgway crossed the line in second and GPM Stulz Joel Walsh third. Stage one winner Nick Reddish (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) crossed the line in 15th place but did enough to retain both the U23 and yellow jerseys.
“The boys did a great job at sheltering me today in the peloton. We had to keep around the front and stay safe and we did that,” said Reddish.
Today’s race which began in Masterton saw the trio of Kirby, Dylan Newberry (Mobius Future Racing) and Carsten Chapman (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) make a break away about 10km into the stage. They worked well together, with Kirby especially, making an effort to drive the group forward – so much so that at the 33km mark they had 5mins on the peloton.
At 74km, the peloton had closed the gap back to 38 seconds but the trio were not ready to relinquish their lead and fought hard to hold a one-minute gap over the main group. At 85km, Chapman and Newberry rejoined the peloton while Kirby produced a great display of solo riding until 100km when he was swallowed back by the main group.
Thereafter a series of attacks were going off the front but nothing stuck and with 5km to go and cycling into a headwind at pace it was anyone’s race. But Scott positioned himself well with 500m to go and put down the hammer to narrowly take the stage win.
Kirby and Newberry’s hard work was rewarded when they were presented with the Most Aggressive and the King of the Mountain Jerseys respectively by Aaron Slight, a former super bike world champion and co-owner of Mitre 10 Mega Masterton.
The 31st UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic continues tomorrow with a 136km stage taking riders from Masterton to the wine village of Martinborough in South Wairarapa. Towards the end of this stage riders will complete nine laps of an 8.1km circuit through the square of the village, meaning it will be a great place for spectators to watch.
The five stage race concludes on Sunday, with a fast and furious 120km circuit race (riders complete 12 laps of a 10km circuit) held on the outskirts of Masterton.