Four Stages Down, Giacoppo takes Gippsland Lead
Genesys Wealth rider Anthony Giacoppo has taken the yellow jersey on day two of the Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland, the fourth event in the Subaru National Road Series.
Giacoppo is now 13 seconds ahead of Budget Forklifts’ Luke Davison in the general classification, and 23 seconds ahead of Drapac rider William Walker.
The West Australian took out the stage three Moe criterium ahead of Edward Bissaker (Jayco Honey-shotz), second, and Malcolm Rudolph (Drapac), third.
The 26-year-old finished a whopping 36 places ahead of Davison in stage three, and with a podium finish in stage four’s road race, the Genesys rider heads into tomorrow’s stage 5 Sale criterium in the leader’s yellow jersey.
“At the end of the day, the tour is going to come down to the time bonus’ and you just need to contest as many as possible to actually win,” said Giacoppo post-race. “That’s the goal, to win the tour… so I couldn’t be happier.”
Davison found his legs again for stage four, winning the road race from Morwell to Yinnar in a sprint to the line which saw Torq BSS rider Brenton Jones finish second, ahead of Giacoppo who grabbed third.
Davison was happy with another stage win for the tour, however conceded he would have his work cut out to regain the leader’s jersey.
“This morning I probably concentrated too much on watching other riders and it worked out quite badly, I got boxed in and I ended up losing seven seconds on the actual front group.
“It’s never a good thing to lose the yellow jersey, especially in the way I did, but it probably makes me a bit hungrier for it now,” says Davison. “I’ll search for those seconds in the sprints and work towards getting a bit of a buffer heading into that last road race.”
The day began in Moe for the criterium before heading down to Morwell for a 54-kilometre road race which saw the first hills of the tour, with the undulating course suiting the sprinters in the best form.
Attacks were on early, all of which were mowed down by a hungry peloton, led by Genesys who were eager to not let anyone out of their sights.
At the 20-kilometre mark Joe Jewis (RBS Morgans), Jonothan Lovelock (Genesys Wealth) and Cameron Bayly (Search to Retain) made a move and worked hard together to contest the first intermediate sprint.
The trio were absorbed by the peloton soon after as the bunch raced through the small township of Naracan.
With 25-kilometre’s to go, five riders made a break and managed to gain a lead of 12 seconds on the bunch. Pat Shaw and Jai Crawford (Genesys), Darren Lapthorne and Lachlan Norris (Drapac) as well as RBS Morgans rider James Hepburn worked together to stay away for 10-kilometres, the Genesys riders picking up some sprint and KOM points on the way.
With just seven kilometres to go, a group of seven riders gained a lead on the bunch and held the break until the desperate peloton chased them down within the final kilometre, ensuring a bunch sprint finish, with Davison taking line honours.
“It was pretty tough, there were a lot of attacks and it was just a matter of countering them,” said Davison. “In the end we saw the five kilometre to go sign and both Budget and Genesys were chasing down the break and we caught them with just a few hundred metres to go so we were very lucky.
“I just stayed near the front and went with all the moves that I was capable of going with and in the end I looked up and saw the finishing line and I just went for it. At one stage I looked across and two of the boys were actually in front of me and I managed just to peg them back,” said Davison of his sprint to the line.
Day three in the Tour of Gippsland will begin in Sale for a 36-kilometre criterium before a road race from Maffra to Dargo in the afternoon. Both Genesys and Budget will be looking over their shoulder at Drapac rider William Walker, who currently holds the sprinters jersey and third position in the GC.
“I believe that my major competitor is going to be Will Walker,” Giacoppo said with Davison echoing his concerns; “Drapac have definitely shown that they have a force to be reckoned with,” he said.
Genesys Wealth Advisers currently sit on top of the overall team standings, ahead of Drapac, second and Budget Forklifts, third.