Four Tasmanians are within a minute of the lead heading into the final stage of the Tour of Gippsland.
With just the notorious Mount Baw Baw stage of the National Road Series tour to come, Launceston’s Rabble Continental teammates Tom Robinson and Oliver Martin plus Hobart’s Ben Van Dam (Nero Kom) and Rio Olympic mountain biker Scott Bowden (Bennelong SwissWellness) are among 13 riders 58 seconds behind Victoria’s overall leader Raphael Freienstein (InForm Make).
Jake Oliver was the first TIS Racing Team member home on the 48-kilometre third stage Sale Criterium, coming in 11th while veteran Daniel Furmston, who was a late call-up when Jacob Langham withdrew, rolled back the years to finish 23rd. Daniel Di Domenico was 40th and Zac Johnson 43rd.
Johnson sits 34th overall (+3:53) and eighth in the young rider category (+3:05), Di Domenico is 47th, Furmston 48th and Oliver 52nd.
Di Domenico (19th), Furmston (41st) and Johnson (50th) were all 20 seconds off the pace in the opening stage kermesse around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, with Oliver 61st (1:44) and coach James Watson delighted with the efforts of all four riders.
The NRS calendar winds up with the Tour of Tasmania beginning on November 14.
In the overall NRS standings, Martin is sixth on 187 points, behind NSW leader Ayden Toovey (645). Van Dam is 11th (144 points) and Bowden 20th (70).
Perth’s Rio Olympic track rider Georgia Baker is seventh in the women’s rankings, led by Grace Brown (415).
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