Cameron Ivory, Dylan Sunderland and Raphael Freienstein had good cause for celebration after completing dominant performances in the Tour of Tasmania.
Ivory finished the week as he had begun it, with a victory double.
Seven days after claiming both the hill challenge and elite criterium titles at the Stan Siejka Launceston Classic, the Adelaide-based New South Welshman added the tour’s final stage to his second successive victory in the prologue.
Sunderland iced another powerful performance and tour win by Bennelong Swisswellness by finishing safely near the front of the main group following finishes of first, second and second in stages one to three.
And Freienstein completed a personal global double by adding Australia’s National Road Series title to the equivalent in his home country of Germany.
To cap off a successful week he also finished second on the final stage, fourth overall and, perhaps most remarkably, claimed the tour’s sprint and hill climb classifications.
While there were no changes to any of the classification leaderships, the final-stage 54-kilometre criterium in Devonport provided a fitting and sun-drenched climax to what has been an excellent tour.
It also afforded the trio of major winners deserved recognition with Ivory (GPM-Stulz) delighted with his week’s work.
“I’m super happy with that – it’s been a good week in Tassie,” said the 26-year-old.
“To finish off with another win, I couldn't be happier and my teammate (Cam Roberts) got third overall so it’s been a great week.”
It was also difficult to wipe the smile off the face of a beaming Sunderland after he claimed his first NRS tour win.
“I’m pretty happy to get that,” said the Inverell 22-year-old who has not looked back since winning the opening stage up to Grindelwald.
“We did not have to do too much today and the Bennelong guys were awesome defending my lead and made it easy for me.”
Meanwhile relief was the overwhelming emotion for Freienstein after the Melbourne-based 27-year-old from Kaiserslautern cemented a successful season-long campaign.
The old cliche about winners and grinners.— Rob Shaw (@TheShawThing) November 18, 2018
Stage winner Georgie Whitehouse of @SydUniWmn, inaugural women’s #ToT18 winner Justine Barrow and @Nat_Road_Series winner Grace Brown of @holdencycling@CyclingAus. Full @ExaminerOnline wrap coming up. pic.twitter.com/DrcwOy94qq
“I’m super relieved to finish the job because it’s been a long season,” he said.
“When I was going into the first round I was not thinking about anything overall but having the jersey today is a great feeling.
“I couldn’t have asked for more from the week – a stage win (stage 3 to Riana), second on teams and series victory. It’s incredible how well such a young team has ridden to defend the series lead.
“Our gameplan was to be represented in every move, I just had to follow the other guys and was given a super leadout at the end.”
Oliver Martin completed an eventful week by winning the unofficial Tassie cup as the best-placed home-state rider.
A week after crashing within sight of the finish line of the Stan Siejka Classic, Martin finished the tour in fifth place (+1:02) and formed part of a Launceston trio with Jonathan Butler and Tom Robinson as Rabble Continental won the team classification.
Dulux TIS teammates Kaine Cannan (+1:47) and Zac Johnson (+3:50) finished ninth and 15th overall and there was more home-state success when Andrew Christie-Johnston’s dominant Hobart-based Bennelong Swisswellness outfit won the NRS team classification.
“We knew we were going to have a good tour but this is just a nice bonus,” Robinson said. “It’s been a great week for us and this is a great way to finish off the season.”
The first ever women’s Tour of Tasmania podium suggested bright futures for both the riders and the event.
While the assorted classification winners plus stage, tour and overall National Road Series champions had good reason to spray their champagne across the Devonport foreshore, the success of the inaugural women’s event cemented its future on the Australian cycling calendar.
As series winner Grace Brown shifted her focus to a future in the elite WorldTour, the Tassie event’s success appeal could not have been better demonstrated than by Justine Barrow and Jamie Gunning (Splatt Lawyers).
The pair had taken first and second in both opening stages before clinching general and young rider classifications respectively despite the former being twice the age of the latter.
“I may be double her age but she has more experience on a bike than me,” Barrow said. “I’m a relative newcomer to the sport.”
The 39-year-old only took up cycling four years ago but has since won national and world masters titles and was entering this tour as an individual.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic. I never expected to get an NRS win. I would have been extremely happy with a podium so I’m a bit emotional to get this. It’s a dream come true.”
Fellow Melburnian Brown, 26 (Holden Team Gusto), confirmed the NRS crown in the same state she won time trial gold and road race silver at the Oceania championships earlier this year plus last year’s Mersey Valley Tour.
“I quite like racing in Tasmania," she said. “I’ve got a lot of good memories here.
“I’m pretty chuffed with the result because it’s my last NRS season so it’s cool to finish on the top of the leaderboard and it’s been great racing in Tassie.
“I’m going to be racing with Mitchellton-Scott in the WorldTour next which is stepping up a level so I think that will be a game of survival.”
The final stage 36-kilometre criterium around the Bluff saw Georgie Whitehouse (Sydney Uni-Staminade) edge out Ruby Roseman-Gannon (St Luke’s Health) in a sprint finish.
Launceston’s Kathryn Woolston (Veris) was the leading Tasmanian overall, finishing 12th (+9:02), after a mid-race crash curtailed the hopes of Exeter’s Catelyn Turner (St Luke’s Health) and forced the withdrawal of Cairns-based Launcestonian Holly Ranson (Splatt).
Turner’s teammate Nicole Frain, of Hobart, finished eighth on the stage.