NATHAN Earle and Bernard Sulzberger have delivered a Tasmanian one-two in the Tour of Taiwan.
Earle, of Hobart, lived up to his billing as favourite for the tour's 25th edition by clinching victory in the 137-kilometre second stage from Tainan City to Guanzihling.
However, the member of Andrew Christie-Johnston's Tassie-based Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Advisers team missed taking the leader's jersey on what was considered the queen stage by three seconds from stage 1 winner Kirill Pozdnyakov, who finished fifth, six seconds behind.
Flowery Gully's Sulzberger, 29, (Drapac) finished second in the same time of 2:53.15 with Oddbjrn Klomtsen Andersen (Team Fry-Bianchi) third.
``It's just happiness and relief,'' Earle told cyclingnews.com.
``The boys of my team did a great job taking me to the climb with the bunch all together as we wanted it to be.
``With 1 kilometre to go, I was in 15th position and I thought I delayed it a bit too much but the key to succeed was to not get too excited too early. When a Japanese rider attacked with 800 metres to go, that was no worries.''
Victory adds to an impressive season for the 24-year-old who has also won stages of the Herald Sun Tour and NZ Bike Classic, taking the overall title in the latter.
Earle's teammate and fellow Hobartian, Jai Crawford, finished 17th, 23 seconds behind, and occupies the same position on general classification.
Earle and Sulzberger also sit first and second in the king of the mountains classification and Sulzberger is second on points, six behind Pozdnyakov.
Stage 3 in the Changhua county represents another chance for Earle to challenge Pozdnyakov on a short uphill finish in front of the Baguashan Buddha statue.
The seven-stage tour ends in Taipei on Sunday.
thLaunceston cyclist Clay Murfet finished 11th overall in the Tucson Bicycle Classic in the US. In the time trial on his road bike, Murfet was 40th, in the 135km road race he came second and in the criterium he was 16th.
RESULTS: Stage _ 1 Nathan Earle (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser 2:53:15, 2 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling, 3 Oddbjrn Klomtsen Andersen (Nor) Team Fry-Bianchi, 4 Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Team Hong Kong China, 5 Kirill Pozdnyakov (Rus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team 0:00:06, 6 Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team, 7 Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) MTN Qhubeka, 8 Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team, 9 Mark Dowling (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team 0:00:12, 10 Sigurd Nesset (Nor) Team Fry-Bianchi.
General classification _ 1 Kirill Pozdnyakov (Rus) Synergy Baku Cycling Project Team 6:08:34, 2 Nathan Earle (Aus) Huon Salmon-Genesys Wealth Adviser 0:00:03, 3 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DRAPAC Cycling 0:00:07, 4 Oddbjrn Klomtsen Andersen (Nor) Team Fry-Bianchi 0:00:09, 5 Ki Ho Choi (HKg) Team Hong Kong China 0:00:13, 6 Masakazu Ito (Jpn) Aisan Racing Team 0:00:19, 7 Mohammad Saufi Mat Senan (Mas) Terengganu Cycling Team, 8 Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) MTN Qhubeka, 9 Adiq Othman (Mas) Champion System Pro Cycling Team 0:00:25, 10 Mark Dowling (Irl) Polygon Sweet Nice Team.