Aussie Victory for Team Sky as Hayman Triumphs in Paris-Bourges

Team Sky’s 2006 Commonwealth Games Road Race Champion, Mathew Hayman, battles to a superb victory at Paris-Bourges on Thursday with Endura Racing’s Paul Voss winning Mountains prize.

The 33-year-old Australian worked his way into a 14-man breakaway group in the early stages of the 190.4-kilometres one-day race which took place in wet and windy conditions in north-central France. The escape group was never allowed to stretch its advantage much beyond two minutes and heading into the closing 50km the break began to split, with Hayman one of six riders to forge clear on the last climb.

Their lead was down to 30 seconds coming into the last 10km but despite being caught late on by what remained of the peloton, it was Hayman who found the decisive kick in Bourges to land the spoils from Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank – Sungard).

It was his first victory since the Commonwealth Games Road Race in 2006 and on a memorable day for Team Sky Greg Henderson (third) and Chris Sutton (tenth) also both made the top ten. Hayman said: “I was leading into the last 400 metres and managed a good sprint. I’d seen that the guys behind were lining up so I just went and Baden Cooke got alongside me but couldn’t quite get over me and Greg was finishing very fast on the outside but the line came quicker.

“I was really happy with that – I think we got away after about 15km and I ended up kind of winning a sprint so there was a bit of disbelief afterwards! My last victory was the Commonwealth Games in 2006 so it’s been a while in between but it’s nice to win a race in a Team Sky jersey.

“I knew [last week] at Franco-Belge that I was going pretty well and Steven [de Jongh, the team’s Sports Director] in the car told me to make sure I was confident in my sprint and I guess that’s what I did. I’m now really looking forward to Paris-Tours on Sunday, it’s really the last classic for the the kind of guys like me who enjoy those sort of events. It’s been a bit of a goal of mine at the end of the year after the World Championships.”

“This win today puts the icing on the cake and means I’ll go in there pretty relaxed but knowing I’ve got good form.”

Hayman was part of a large group of riders that got away early in the race, a group that included Endura Racing’s Paul Voss. Voss was very active in trying to get away  again and create a smaller selection which he managed eventually on one of the races big climbs. Behind, his teammates Alex Blain and Jack Bauer joined a big chase group and in the finale, with the front groups having come together, it was a sprint for the win where Hayman was fastest with Alex Blain best for Endura Racing in 6th. Jack Bauer was 14th. Voss meanwhile won the mountains prize for the race.