FLOWERY Gully cyclist Bernard Sulzberger won stage 6 of the Caterpillar Tour of Tasmania in Penguin yesterday, but even a puncture couldn't prevent Jack Haig (Huon-Genesys) from retaining his grip on the yellow jersey.
Sulzberger edged out stage five winner Rhys Gillett (African Wildlife Safaris) in a sprint finish, with team mate Robbie Hucker rounding out the podium, 29 seconds behind.
However it was Haig who stole the show, recovering from a puncture to finish fourth and maintain a 1:43 general classification advantage over Hucker.
``At about 500 metres down the descent to Gunns Plains I got a front wheel puncture,'' the Bendigo-based rider said.
`` I quickly took out my wheel and changed it and then I waited up for the main peloton to catch me before riding with them into the valley.''
Haig was quick to thank the work of his team mates who sacrificed their general classification ambitions to assist the yellow jersey rider in catching the breakaway, which included main GC rivals Hucker and Darren Lapthorne (Drapac).
``Drapac are really giving it all to us.
``They're really strong guys and I've got a lot of respect for them, as I train a lot with them in Bendigo,'' Haig said.
After taking a time gap at the top of the second King of the Mountain, a five-man breakaway of Hucker, Lapthorne, Haig, Gillett and Sulzberger splintered in the last 20km to Penguin.
Sulzberger and Gillett shook the Bendigo trio with 5km remaining, leaving the chasing three to fight it out for the last podium spot.
In claiming the sprint victory, Sulzberger followed in the footsteps of his sister Grace, who won a similar stage in the 2013 Mersey Valley Tour, part of the women's Subaru NRS.
``Grace won this stage recently, so its good to keep the family tradition and back it up with another win,'' Sulzberger said.
``I managed to stay with Jack on the climb and just get across to them and get away pretty quickly at the end to finish it off, which was good.''
The penultimate stage will start at 10.30am today in Burnie and head inland for two King of the Mountain climbs, before returning to the seaside city.