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01 Sep 2014

2014 Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland

2014 Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland | 3 Sep – 7 Sep

The Satalyst Giant Racing Team is travelling to Warragul for the next round of the National Road Series starting on Wednesday. The Team will be looking to continue the aggressive riding that has seen Satalyst Giant move up to 5th place on the overall NRS Teams rankings. The Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland features seven stages across the greater Gippsland region from the 3-7th of September.

http://nationalroadseries.subaru.com.au/events/tour-of-gippsland/

The Satalyst Giant Racing Team:

  • Pat Shaw – Team Captain
  • Kane Walker
  • Jackson Mawby
  • Theo Yates
  • Alex Smyth-continuing to build some form after a long injury recovery period.
  • Mat Marshall
  • Aaron Slavik- Good to see Slav back in the NRS
  • Sam Welsford-  charging after picking up a gold medal at the World Junior Track Championships.
  • Andrew Jackson-DS

 
Aaron Slavik Stage 1 Gippsland Report inc Theo winning Most Aggressive rider jersey.

Stage 1 of the Lakes oil tour of Gippsland started out to a big crowd in the home town of fellow team mate Kane Walker, Warragul. The bunch was nervous and several crashes ensued. Luckily none of our boys came down. The two main breaks of the day we represented well with theo and Kane reading the moves perfectly.

The First KOM all the boys rode over in the pelo and the quick decent to the bottom of the second KOM meant little time to reposition. Pat was our best placed rider over the 2nd KOM took out 3rd. Unfortunately we missed the break that went after the climb and pat called the team to the front to pull it back. Kane, Theo and Jackson rode like demons and the break was reeled in with 1km to go. This meant however that we didn’t have the firepower to position our sprinters were we wanted. But there is always tomorrow.

Theo’s efforts earned him the Most Aggressive rider jersey, our 4th in the last 7 road stages in NRS competition
 
Alex Smyth Race Report – Stage 2

Stage 2 was an undulating 115km with three major hill climbs. The 3km neutral was mostly down hill and had the bunch on edge. The team positioned themselves well for the opening kilometres of the race as it was straight uphill from the start of the race. No major splits happened in the race until the 50km mark where 7 riders got out to 1min and 9 seconds maximum time gap. Team leader Pat Shaw suffered a puncture just before the move went and good team work by Theo Yates brought the duo back to the main peloton after there were two major splits on the second hill climb of the day. There was some major depth shown in the field today as the average speed was high, but there was a big bunch that crossed the finish line together after a solid pace was set buy the two giants of the race in Avanti and Budget Forklifts.

The two Giant Bicycle teams in the bunch again took out the top two spots in the team classification for the stage, Charter Mason – Giant winning and Satalyst – Giant taking second.

It was a good feeling for me, having a slow leak in my back wheel, to finish in 6th place in the stage. Thanks to Kane Walker for advising me to put tyre sealant in my wheels before the tour, allowing me to finish in the bunch when the leak was plugged with about 15km to the finish.

Hats off to Matthew Marshall who attacked more times than I can count in a fatigued state on the last hill climb, showing he is gaining good climbing form coming up to tour of Tasmania. Another big shout out to Sam Welsford who (almost single handed) closed a rather large gap that formed mid race up one of the major hill climbs. Sam also suffered a puncture early in the race.

The team is staying in Sale tonight, the same town as the criterium and the start of the afternoon road stage tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a test as the longest road stage for the tour containing the largest hill climb for the tour, after a 36km criterium!

From out on the road,
Smythy

 
Stage 3 – The Sale Criterium -Alex Smyth Race Report

With Team Avanti in the leaders jersey it was up to them to control the criterium on the fast rectangle course in sale this morning. Smooth roads were a welcome feeling for the bums of the riders throughout the bunch as many were feeling the hurt after two days on rather bumpy high grade bitumen.

The pace was solid but not super quick as three Avanti team riders controlled the pace behind an early escape of two riders. The two riders out front were slowly extending the gap when Pat Shaw, one of the most experienced riders in the whole bunch, decided to do a faster turn bringing the pace of the bunch up by about three kilometres an hour and bringing the time gap back down by 7 seconds in one lap.

The whole team held good position for the majority of the race and were unlucky when swamped by a large bunch of riders on the final laps. A rather easy race had a lot of the fast finishers fresh at the finish. The afternoon stage with a big hill in it has the bunch trying to conserve a lot of energy. 130km with a rather large hill climb (7km with pinches of around 12%) has all the general classification riders chomping at the bit. Slightly different tactics for the Satalyst team going into this stage with very few hill climbers and a young perth team should prove to be very aggressive and I’m sure there will be some very sore legs by the end of the day.

from out on the road,
smythy

 
Stage 4 – Showing Fatigue…by Alex Smyth
Everyone knew that the afternoon stage was going to cause a huge split in the field. There was a major hill climb that started 54km into the stage, and tired legs mixed with speeds of 30-35km/h up the climb in the bunch caused multiple small groups to be formed. Speeds of over 90km/h on the decent meant that lots of groups came together on the straight flowing decent.

There was an incident on some raised train tracks early in the stage which young rider Jackson Mawby was unable to avoid, winding himself and making a huge effort to finish the stage with the main bunch.

Matt Marshall and Pat Shaw were the protected riders for the team and they were put in prime position leading into the climb. Both of them made front bunch which crested the top of the climb just behind the break away, they quickly motivated the group to help it survive because they knew that we had two strong riders that would be able to finish strong in GC as well as Teams GC benefiting. However, the remaining 60km the bunch would linger between 1minute 10 seconds and as low as 12 seconds in front of the bunch. After Pat followed numerous attacks Matt told him to sit on and he would ride to keep that bunch of climbers away for a small bunch kick. Without that effort we would not have achieved our teams GC result. Pat now sits 6th on the General Classification and Matt Marshall 12th on the overall standings.

The main bunch was able to close the gap to the dropped break away riders right on the finish line. A scrappy long sprint showed how tired the sprinters legs were after a long day in the saddle.

Everyone here is looking forward to the last two days of racing this weekend.

from out on the road,
Smythy
 
Stage 5 – Pain in Paynesville – Alex Smyth Race Report

There were some sore legs at the start of the stage this morning. The usual line up to the start line wasn’t fought for as hard as usual as the race started with 4.8km of neutral. Chatting with various other teams, the general consensus about the race was that most teams were happy for a bunch sprint, although a ferocious start didn’t allow any moves to go when team Budget took up the reigns and the bunch didn’t seem to drop below about 46km/h even up the hills. Short and sharp was the terrain, with some very narrow roads through the valleys in between. At stages of the race there were reports of the bunch being single file and stretching back over 400 metres as they snaked through the ‘belgian-esque’ terrain.

The team were very active early in the race, with Kane Walker being in the most promising move early on when one of the strongest riders in the peloton and companion of Kane’s in the break away, Michael Freiberg had a collision with one of the scout motorbikes and crashed in the centre of the road. The incident calmed the bunch down significantly and there was a smooth, but still a solid pace set until the first KOM where the bunch went, to be quite frank, pretty bloody hard.

Marred by a crash mid way up the climb in the centre of the road there was a solid chase buy the majority of the field as the climb flattened out. Only Pat Shaw and Matt Marshall were in front of the crash. The bunch was mostly back together again 65 km in as the terrain steadily got harder with dead roads and attempts at breaks going.

The second hill climb touched on 12% (according to my Garmin) and I was able to witness the ever improving form of Matt Marshall as he attacked and almost held off the field for points in the Hill Climbers Jersey. Unfortunately the climb flattened out before the top and he was just pipped on the line by some punchy climbers but looks to be in good form for some of the stages of Tour of Canberra and Tasmanian style climbing.

The bunch came together in the last 15km and there were some very tired legs in the bunch. The 97km had fatigued not only the legs of the riders but also the minds of some of the bunch and a simple overlap of wheels with about 1km to go saw about 15 riders hit the deck on the windy lead in to Metung.

A huge lead out by Pat Shaw saw him single handedly take on the entire Avanti lead out train and take me within 300 metres of the finish line. With a left hand turn less than 200m to go Scott Law from Avanti Racing Team slipped up the inside around the corner. I let him get a small gap and had a run at him for the finish line but was just overtaken buy the fast finishing Raph Freinstein (Charter Mason – Giant) by a wheel at the finish.

A close one but a huge relief to see that some form is coming along for the remainder of the season. A huge thanks to Andrew Jackson and Jamie Kelly – both who took me aside before the race and talked some sense into me to tell me that it was all in my head, not in my legs. As always, someone who does not get enough recognition is our team manager Wayne Evans. He supported me through multiple operations at the end of last year and his faith in my ability never wavered.

The last stage of the tour tomorrow has a later than usual start, beginning at 1pm. A hotdog circuit around Traralgon typically splits the field multiple times as there is a nasty hill that needs to be crested 30 times with some sharp and almost stand still corners at each end of the course.

The team is super excited to get active and capitalise on any opportunities that may arise in the stage.

from out here on the road,

Smythy

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21 Aug 2014

Local Primary school visit to Promote The Tour of Gippsland 2014

Local Primary school visit to Promote The Tour of Gippsland 2014

The Tour of Gippsland is a prominent event for cycling in the Gippsland area and is only possible with the support of local businesses and schools. As the riders pass through various town of the region it is traditional for the students to catch a glimpse of the yellow jersey as the peloton rockets through.

Promoting cycling at a young age is integral to the growth of the sport and where better to start than the local primary schools. As part of a community awareness of the Tour of Gippsland 2014 a couple of local riders including Kane Walker (Satalyst Giant), Jarryd Jones (AWS) and Brenton Jones (Avanti Racing) dropped into Buln Buln Primary school to take to the students of grades 4-6 about their professional riding careers. The morning was a huge success with anecdotes, prizes, and education (for both riders and students). More school visits are scheduled in the upcoming days leading into the tour.

The Tour of Gippsland will take part in Victoria around the Gippsland region from the 2nd of September starting in Warragul and finishing in Traralgon on the 7th of September covering a total of 508kms over the 5 days of raining. Satalyst Giant Racing will be participating and continuing their upward trend of successes throughout this year’s National Road Series.

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13 Aug 2014

2014 Tour of the Great South Coast

2014 Tour of the Great South Coast  |  13 Aug – 17 Aug

The next National Road Series event for the Satalyst Giant Racing Team is the Tour of the Great South Coast. Conducted in Victoria’s rugged and spectacular south-west region, the 5-day, 8 stage event kicks off today with two stages in Mt Gambier. The Team will be looking to build on the some promising signs from the Tour of the Murray where the results included a top 10 on GC and a podium position.

The Satalyst Giant Racing Team lining up for the Tour of the Great South Coast is:

  • Sports Director: Andrew JACKSON
  • 51 Patrick SHAW – Team Captain
  • 52 Kane WALKER
  • 53 Jackson MAWBY
  • 54 Jono Bolton
  • 55 Mathew MARSHALL
  • 56 Theodore YATES
  • 57 Mitchell COOPER
  • 58 Alexander SMYTH

 

Jono Bolton’s Race Report

Kicking off a tour with a double stage was never going to be easy.
Throw in some rain and a maximum temperature similar to our minimum’s back in Perth, bang! Welcome to the Tour of the Great South Coast.

Stage 1 – A relatively simple crit course with four corners and a little hill.
With a bang we were off. Starting close to the back and missing my clip I spent the majority of the race trying to get to the front. The majority of the team did well to get in good position and ride representing I’m the majority of the moves. I finally got close and with 4 laps to go tried to have a little dig off the front. This was to no avail and I was brought back fairly soon after. Coming into the finish the team was hit with a bit of bad luck with our two fast guys Theo and Pat getting caught up in a bit of a crash but luckily they were both able to ride to the finish.

An hour and a half is all we had after the finish of stage one and the start of stage two, leaving us just enough time to get some lunch down and put on some fresh kit.

Stage 2

10 laps of a just over 6 km circuit; almost all up hill for the first half and mostly down for the second.

With a sprinkle of rain and the sound of the starters gun we were off.
With sprints and KOM points up for grabs on alternate laps the pace for the first lap wasn’t too bad. With not much action for the lap I was able to get myself into a good position for the first sprint.
Staying close to the front once the points had been claimed and the pace slowed, I decided to attack hoping at least someone would come with me – but to no joy. I decided to keep riding hoping a group would come across. Sure enough one did, but this was soon wound back in and I was able to take a bit of a break, Still being close to the front I was able to follow a few more moves but unfortunately none stuck. It was good to see the team being well represented up the front and not many moves going uncovered.

After a bit more of a rest I decided to have another dig on the far side of the course. After getting a bit of distance I was joined by 4 more riders and with the chance to have a bit of a sit in I managed to get one of the sprints. Not long after we were joined by a couple of other riders and then the group. Again good to see the giant satalyst colours in the mix at the front. With not much left in the tank I did my best to stay with the group and cross the line. After finishing I was stoked to hear I had be awarded the most aggressive rider. Well done to Pat for finishing in the top ten and a couple of the other boys up there to get the team third in the teams category.

Bring on tomorrow!
 
Race report – Stage 3

Stage 3 of the Tour of the Great South Coast brought a welcome rest day for the majority of riders in the field today. A fast start to the race didn’t allow any breaks to form after the 1.3km neutral section. There was a small break of just four riders that gained a large gap when half the peloton stopped for a “nature break” about 30km into the stage. The bunch was well controlled by just a small number of the Team Budget train keeping the rest of the team fresh for the final kilometres. 75km into the stage the gap had dramatically dropped to the peloton and the break were within sight. The bunch didn’t want to catch the break too soon as that would cause major counter attacks, so as the budget train tried to let the gap increase Satalyst Giant rider Theodore Yates took the initiative and attacked with two others bridging across the gap quickly and joined the breakaway. As a strong unit the break sprung out to over 2 minutes in front in a matter of minutes and the bunch once again enjoyed the buzzing of the freewheel as they slowed to a comfortable pace.

Unfortunately the break with Theodore was plagued by team politics and when they lost cohesion the bunch quickly sucked them back and the race was destined for a bunch kick with around 15km to go in the stage. A high pace mixed with a straight finish caused an absolutely chaotic finish to the stage, and it’s amazing that there were not any serious injuries in the final kilometres. A quick detour via a nice green paddock helped Pat Shaw avoid a crash and enter the top 10 places in the finish while the rest of the team sucked up places in the top 20 getting the team second in the teams classification for the day.

Tomorrow’s stage 4 is a criterium, right through the fishing town of Portland. 30 laps of a 1.6km circuit which contains two hairpin turns and a steep hill will test the legs of the team and the fresh legs in the bunch. The forecast is for nice weather with light winds. The morale is high going into the stage and a good team effort has helped boost the confidence of all the guys here on tour.

From out here on the road,

Mitchel James Cooper & Alexander James Smyth
Team Satalyst-Giant
hoo haa

Jackson Mawby Race Report Stages 6 & 7.

What an outstanding day for the team!

First up was a 40km criterium around the narrow streets of Koroit. The back straight was particularly treacherous. A two-lane road narrowed to one lane side street through a corner. The peloton played it cool, however, and everyone kept it upright. The crit provided a good opportunity for the sprinter folk in our team to give it a hot crack. Pat, Theo and Alex united in the intermediate sprints in to protect Pat’s second place overall. Pat picked up several bonus seconds and retained his second overall at the crits end. The team rode aggressively, with Jono and Jackson both making several attempts to get away. Pat ran 5th in the bunch sprints to pick up 6th on the stage.

The arvo rolled round for a 105km road race, finishing in Peterborough. The race was super aggressive. Breakaway attempts continued right up till the 50km mark where Avanti finally let a break go away. Kane represented the team well in the break, picking up bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints. Jono, aggressive as always, also did a fine job marking breaks. Avanti controlled the race, and by the 80km mark, the peloton was groupo compacto. A 12 rider break slipped away, containing Mitch and Jackson. Mitch contested the KOM in order to protect Pat’s second place on GC. This provided an ideal launch pad for Jackson to launch across to Cameron Peterson, who followed through with a move after placing 2nd in the KOM. Cameron and Jackson worked well for the remaining 15km, caught with less than 1km before the finish. Jackson was gutted the break didn’t stay away, but picked up the most aggressive rider.
The team also won teams classification afternoon, making it two arvo road races in a row, putting the team in the second place overall on teams classification. With a good performance tomorrow, the team could potentially win teams classification.

The team is very proud of their efforts today. Tomorrow we will ride aggressively and hope to win teams classification.

Pat Shaw – Team Captain
Tour of Great South Coast in review

Back home in Ballarat after what was a very successful week for the Satalyst – Giant Racing Team. Firstly the ability of the team as a whole, riders, mechanic (Jamie Kelly) and manager (Andrew Jackson) to push to be better as a unit has impressed me immensely.

We began the tour with firm goals; to be aggressive and create our own opportunities. To everyone’s credit in the team we did exactly that in securing three of the most aggressive stage awards during the tour.

We factored in every major break away during the tour and always fought hard throughout the stages. Which resulted in a fantastic 2nd place in the overall Teams Classification. To achieve this it takes the full effort of all 8 riders everyday in every stage, with the help of Jamie and Andrew with the work between and after stages they do this was made genuinely a lot easier to achieve.

Huge shout out must go to Kane Walker, 14th on GC whilst racing the tour as a massive foundation for our group Kane also spends a huge amount of time on our evening meals making sure the riders and staff are fuelled for the next day and getting the nutrients required to recover. His efforts are as usual with Kane well above standard and not easy job especially after the long hard days on tour.

A big cheer for all the boys, listened to team plan everyday and followed it, even if it seemed crazy, as mentioned our plan was to be aggressive. This made the bunch weaker over the stages, which allowed me to break away on the hardest stage of the tour and take a total of 23 KOM points, securing the jersey for the team and elevating myself to a high individual GC. I’m very heavily marked in these races and without the relentless and highly fatiguing work all the boys do to help me I would not be able to achieve the high GC results I have been.

Although we are not the biggest team in the NRS we sure raced as well as any other this week. We did our sponsors, supporters and ourselves proud, no doubt. Without the support from our sponsors we are nothing. Huge thanks to our title sponsor Satalyst, we really appreciate your support and without it we couldn’t be doing any of this, the huge steps of development and progression is in most parts thanks to your fantastic ongoing support of the team. Thanks Giant Bicycles Australia for our superb bikes, Torq Nutrition Australia for race nutrition and post race recovery (this is a big reason we can back up each and everyday) Cyclemania, Snap, McDonald’s, InfoCrank and all the other Team sponsors.
Lastly thanks to the crew back in Perth doing great work for the team and the staff that were on tour, now focus is only riding the momentum into and beyond Tour of Gippsland (September 3rd-7th),

Thanks everyone!!!!

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09 Aug 2014

Sam Welsford wins Team Pursuit Junior Gold

Satalyst Giant Racing Team Young Gun Sam Welsford is currently in Seoul Korea with the Australian Junior Track Cycling team competing at the Junior World Championships.
Fantastic news from day 1 for Sam as he was a member of the Men’s Team Pursuit team that won the Gold medal beating Columbia in the Gold medal ride off in a very solid time of 4:06 for the 4km journey.

This makes it two from two for Sam and the Aussie team as they were successful in 2013 on the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow the scene of the recent Commonwealth Games track competition
Sam will line up in the Men’s Omnium later in the week, a gruelling 6 event (flying lap, scratch race, elimination, points race, 3km Individual Pursuit and 1km Time Trial) held over 2 days, the rider with the lowest accumulated points from the 6 events is the winner, so the idea is to place as high as possible in all events.

I’m sure all at Satalyst Giant and our fantastic support network wishes Sam and the Aussie crew their best wishes for the remainder of the event.
Well done Sam

Thanks Andrew Jackson
Satalyst Giant racing team
Director Sportif

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28 Jul 2014

Tour of Murray 2014

Great result overall with top 10 on GC, 6th in Teams Classification, Kane Walker podiuming during one stage and Pat Saw winning most aggressive rider award in Stage 1

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Stage 1 Report – by Pat Shaw

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Stage 2 Report

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Stage 3 Report

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Stage 4 Report

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Stage 5 Report

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Tour Wrap-up

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23 Jun 2014

Sam Welsford Adelaide International Sprint Series

Sam Welsford takes 5 wins at the International Sprint Series in Adelaide

In Sam’s words:
“For the past week I have been competing in Adelaide for the international sprint series. As I am part of the Australian junior world team, we were required to race the u19 section. The racing was full gas from the start and was top notch. My main goal was to use new techniques and learn as much as could, results were just a bonus. I came away with 5 wins and a couple of top fives so I learnt a lot.”

Thanks to Kevin Anderson @ Chameleon Photography

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04 Jun 2014

Bicycle Safety Presentation

We were at the Goldfields Cyclassic recently we had organised to have a presentation with the local school. There are only 32 school children in Menzies so have 10 turn up is not too bad. Jono has got his presentation on bicycle safety down pat – firstly introducing the team and the reason for the team bicycle safety and helmet safety initiative sponsored by McDonald’s.

Questions and answers about bicycle safety were going back and forwards. Sam Welsford then gave a talk about helmet safety, describing how the correct wearing of a bicycle helmet saved him from getting concussion when he crashed at the Tour de Perth.

Riders then asked the school children questions about bicycle safety and awarded the Bell Helmets to the person with the correct answer. All in all a successful event held in the main street of Menzies at the Goldfields Cyclassic – we’ll do it all again next year. Here are some photos from the day including the Logistics Coordinator holding onto the helmets in case they got lost. Big thank you to Andrew Mawby for the photos.

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01 Jun 2014

Goldfields Cyclassic 2014

Day 1 of the Goldfields Cyclassic started with an early flight out from Perth Kalgoorlie to kick off the first stage of the inaugural 2-day handicap. Over 200 Starters were present to race showing the growing popularity of the event. We had our work cut out for us today with a strong A grade field and with big cash prizes it was sure to be an aggressive race. As we left Kalgoorlie the roll through quickly started and we were sitting on 50khr until the first sprint point 18km out of town. We had decided to contest the sprint point so I launched an early attack from about 700m out and took the sprint with the boys following any wheels trying to bridge across to me. The surge of the sprint hurt a few legs and we begun to see people start sitting on so we gradually increased the pace until the field begun to dwindle in numbers. The B-grade field managed to do a good job and hold us off until around the 20km to go sign but when they were caught the attacks started. Groups tried to frantically get away however with the group travelling over 50khr nothing was sticking. Sure to be a bunch sprint the boys moved Sam Welsford into a great spot, as he was looking strong all day. Nick GD from Arbitrage launched his sprint early along with a few others however Sam was positioned perfectly to come past Nick to take the win with Nick GD in second and myself in 3rd and Jonathan Bolton in 4th with the rest of the lads very close behind.

Everybody rode extremely well and there are too many good things to mention individually as it was one of those days where everything worked very well. Tomorrow brings another tough stage but with the boys all feeling very strong we are hoping to take another win for Satalyst Giant.

Race report by Andy Williams

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28 May 2014

Giro Tifosi Dinner

Fantastic Giro dinner at The Vic 27th May put on by the Satalyst Giant Tifosi jointly with the Cam Meyer VIP Club. WA cycling fans filled the venue for a four course long table format feast whilst watching the Giro live on the big screen. The 16th stage of the Giro proved to be an epic battle over three major climbs, including the Stelvio in challenging weather with the GC contenders hitting each other relentlessly. But the highlight of the evening was a live, exclusive, interview with Cam Meyer, now recuperating in Andorra, talking openly about the highs and lows of riding in the Giro.

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22 May 2014

Tour of Toowoomba 2014

Stage 1 Tour of Toowoomba race report – Mathew Marshall

Satalyst-Giant began their Tour of Toowoomba campaign outside the cities’ town hall as the fresh, overcast morning started to dissipate through the neutral section revealing some welcoming sunshine.

Pat and Theo went with the first of many short lived moves early in the race, largely due the sheer speed throughout the stage. The peloton essentially stayed together for the rest of the stage as it tracked north-west through the small rural towns Acland and Muldu before heading back towards Toowoomba via Goombungee where Jono followed a compelling solo move which pressed the stronger teams in to a corner into the latter stages of the race.

As Jono rejoined the peloton before the final K.O.M Brendon subsequently managed to shut down a threatening move containing the N.R.S leader Joe Cooper. Pat then helped position Theo towards the front of the heavily reduced field leading into the finale which resulted in a strong 6th placing.

The boys will now rest in anticipation for the Tours queen stage tomorrow concluding in the infamous Bunya Mountains.

Stage 2 Tour of Toowoomba race report – Brendon Meney

Today was the Queen stage of the Tour of Toowoomba with a127km Road race finishing at the top of Mt Bunya, a 6.3km climb averaging just over 7%.

Although we raced a good race yesterday our results at the finish line let us down. So last night we had a team meeting assessing our ambitions and started today’s race with that fresh in our minds.

Our tactics were simple. Get someone in the breakaway and the rest conserve energy for the final climb. Pat Shaw won the first intermediate sprint with a solo attack very early on and Jackson was instrumental with getting himself in the break away that stuck, even though he was feeling under the weather. He managed to pick up 3rd in both the first and second KOM’s and gained 1 point towards stage aggressor.

The rest of us rode together in the bunch a lot better than we have recently which was a positive gained after last night’s discussion. The pace was high 40km out from the base of the climb as everyone wanted a good position. But we stayed near the back to avoid wasting energy in the “washing machine” effect. The bunch reeled in Jackson’s breakaway just after the second last KOM.

We moved from the back of the Peloton to the front 10kms from the base of the climb. And tried to remain as close to the front as possible to give ourselves a better chance on the hill. Pat, Mat and myself climbed pretty close to one another on the climb and we finished within 10 seconds of each other, with 12th (Pat), 15th (Mat) and 19th (me) and achieving 3rd on the teams classification for the stage behind Avanti and STR. Well done to them both

Jono got 30th, Theo 57th and Jackson 85th. Tomorrow we have the teams time trial in the morning and a 110km Road race in the afternoon.

Stages 3 & 4 Report by Jackson Mawby.

Two words that every bike rider in the NRS peloton despise: double stage.   The morning consisted of an out-and-back 20km TTT, followed by a 114km road race in the afternoon.

After a very solid 3rd on team’s classification on stage 2, we earned the right to 3rd team out of the start gate. An hour delay caused by fog and a dramatic course change due to water on the road saw us off at 10:09. The team spoke extensively in team meetings about how we were to ride the TTT, and on the day, we bloody nailed it.   We were smooth, fast and consistent. The 4th rider stopped the clock, so being furthest down and GC, Jono and myself pulled some hard turns in the back half to set the team up for a good result. A 48km/h average saw us ride to a very respectable 6th place, only 3 seconds off 4th. The team was stoked with this result, having rivaled much healthier TT equipped teams. We certainly rode outside ourselves.

3 hours later, the riders were lining up on the start line for the 114km afternoon road race. This stage is notorious for brutal crosswinds, and there was certainly some tense looking bike riders on the start line. 6kms in, an already lined-out peloton was split by a crash, and suddenly, there were numerous groups of riders all scampering to rejoin the front group. Pat, Theo and Jono all made the front split, and were very prominent in forcing the gap between the 1st and 2nd groups. Matt, Brendon and myself were less lucky and found ourselves in the second group. Matt suffered even more bad luck and punctured on one of two gravel sections on course. Given the almighty pace being forced by the front group, Matt was unable to rejoin our bunch (not-so-fun fact: we covered the first 40kms of the race in 49:20mins!!).

After a long chase, the 2 front groups merged creating a reduced peloton of approximately 50 riders. Satalyst was well represented with 5 riders in the front group. The pace eased for a number of kilometres before the front bunch was again split by a steep climb and more brutal crosswinds. Numerous breaks were sent up the road before a group of 3 riders established a good gap, and once again, the pace of peloton eased off.

The chase began in earnest with approximately 25kms to go, with Avanti, Budget and African Wildlife doing the bulk of the work. In the closing kilomteres, it became apparent the break had worked hard enough to hold off the peloton, and the pelo sat up. Numerous attacks from the peloton began in attempt to bridge to the breakaway. Pat jumped on one of these moves, and I jumped on another, and coming into the final finishing circuit, our breaks merged. I rode the front in attempt to bridge to the leading breakaway, but we ran out of road too soon. Pat finished 5th and I rolled in for 7th, but we were more than happy with this result. In addition to 2 riders in the top ten, we also moved up to 4th on overall team’s classification.

Unfortunately, Theo was caught up in a crash coming into the final finishing circuit. He suffered a deep cut to his left knee and a gash to his left elbow. He is up and walking and remains in high spirits.

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