SCOTT Law has won the first stage of 2014’s Tour of Gippsland in Warragul, narrowly beating Avanti team mate and Warragul rider Brenton Jones.
The finish and race were close, with Law only taking the lead at the last corner and no clear breakaway forming until the end.
“To come away with a win today is pretty fantastic, [especially] with Brenton being in second place, being a Warragul boy,” Law told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“We’ve got him in a good spot to hopefully go for the tour win.
Above: Brenton Jones, Scott Law and third place Jacob Restall. Photos by William PJ Kulich.
“We were all really pumped to come out and have a good start here… and give it a red hot crack, and I think we’ve done a good job.”
Jones said finishing on the podium at his home race felt good and he was pleased Law was at the front with him.
“It feels to be pretty good to be on a podium, to be second, to see some of the locals here watch me get on the podium,” he told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
Above: Brenton Jones speaks to local media.
“The other thing is to ride well as a team, and to have my team mate on the top step too [is] great for the team.
“It would have been nice to win in your home town but I think, still, to be second is still a good result.”
Jones, who had been leading until the final moments of the race, said he lost first place after Law found a cleaner route around the last corner.
Above: Scott Law in the yellow jersey.
“My team mate got a good jump out of the last corner,” he said.
“We only caught the breakaway on the final corner so it was a pretty tight race. They were kind of all over the road and Scott found a good gap and went through there and I just got a bit stuck behind… and had to start my sprint pretty early.”
“It’s still second, so I think it’s a good start to the tour.”
The race was not without injuries; Freddy Ovett and Mark Fagg were taken away in ambulances after a crash.
“Crashes are a part of cycling and unfortunately there was a nasty one with a couple of blokes who had to go to hospital,” race director John Trevorrow told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“Freddy Ovett… had more serious injuries, he was actually knocked out.
“I’m not sure on the injuries, but he came to and when they put him in the ambulance he was actually concious.
Trevorrow said today’s race was good, but tomorrow’s stage from Leongatha to Yinnar would be less close.
“A very good race, I was very impressed. The national road series you can see has really stepped up and the pace was on all day,” he said.
Above: third place and young rider classification leader Jacob Restall.
“There was not one section of the race where they cruised, there was someone attempting to break away all day.
“Tomorrow is, I think, the toughest day. It won’t be like a big bunch sprint like today, it will be spread out all over the place.”
Third place went to Queenslander Jacob Restall, who also took the young rider classification jersey. Click here for the full results.
Law leads Jones by one second heading into the next stage of the tour.
Click here for the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen’s coverage of the start of the stage.
Above: most aggressive classification winner.
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