THE South Australian invasion of northern Tasmania continued yesterday with George Tansley adding the Devonport criterium to four major wheelraces already won by teammates in Launceston and Latrobe this week.
The morning after Jack Bobridge and Danielle McKinnirey completed a Silverdome wheelrace double, Tansley continued his own impressive carnivals record, adding the second race of the criterium series to the Burnie Wheel he won in 2011.
In a race hampered by strong winds and marred by a serious pile-up on the second lap, a break of Tansley, Bobridge, Tasmanian Campbell Flakemore and German Christian Grasmann formed with seven of the 20 laps remaining.
With Bobridge's experience as a team and individual pursuit world champion and Flakemore's impressive time trial pedigree, the group consistently extended its lead over the chasing pack containing Tasmanians Matt Goss, Nathan Earle, Tom Robinson and Ben Grenda.
Flakemore attacked on the last lap but as the quartet entered Bluff Road for the final time Tansley stormed past to claim the $1500 prize with Grasmann adding a third to his second at Latrobe, Bobridge fourth, Robinson breaking away for fifth and Grenda winning the sprint for sixth.
``I knew I was feeling good, made my move and fortunately Jack came across as well,'' said the Adelaide 20-year-old.
``With Campbell in the group I knew Genesys would not chase and when Christian joined us and we had a gap we worked really well together.
``When you get a gap like that you all have the same objective so you work together and it wasn't until the last lap that we started racing each other.
``You just start looking at each other and it became a battle of poker faces towards the end.
``It was a bit like a team pursuit but a lot slower and a lot longer.''
European six-day specialist Grasmann, winner of this year's Bendigo madison, described the race as being like a Belgian kermesse, while Flakemore admitted the offshore breeze made conditions ``super hard``.
``I like racing in the wind because it suits the strongest riders,'' said the Hobart 21-year-old who collected $1000 for second place.
``I hit them on the second straight of the last lap and George just caught me when I ran out of legs in the last 100 metres.
``But it's always good to race in Tassie and I really enjoyed that.''
South Australian Miles Scotson edged out Flakemore for the sprint title and leads the series by a point from Bobridge while Grasmann's two podium finishes have him leading the overall series, which wraps up in Burnie tomorrow night.