Report & Results – Herald Sun Tour


Will Clarke wins the prologue for the Herald Sun Tour with Steele Von Hoff (NFTO) the top rider from the British teams

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Results – Herald Sun Tour

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The 62nd edition of Australia’s oldest stage race kicked off with a prologue won by Will Clarke on day 1 of the Herald Sun Tour. Aussie Steele Von Hoff (NFTO) was the top rider from the British teams.

Other placings for the riders in British teams are: 14th Felix English, 17th, Kristian House, 23rd Chris Lawless, 26th Graham Briggs, Matt Brammeier 37th, Michael Cumming 40th, Richard Handley 47th, Gabriel Cullaigh 48th, Tom Moses 52nd, Scott Davies 54th, Jake Kelly 59, Grant Ferguson 72 and Josh Edmondson 89th.

Event Press Release

Will Clarke (Drapac) powered to victory in the Prologue to become the first man to wear the yellow leader’s jersey of the 2015 Jayco Herald Sun Tour, blitzing the 2.1km course in front of an estimated crowd of more than 20,000 in Melbourne.

Clarke, from Tasmania, was third in the prologue in 2014 and it was a result that burned. “I’ve been thinking about it for 12 months so I’ve had a bit of time to go over it and figure out where to make up a bit of ground,” he said following his win.

The 29-year-old used his raw power to set a winning time of 2:35.53, with ORICA-GreenEdge sprint sensation Caleb Ewan less than a second in arrears (2:36.42). Rounding out a solid day for the Melbourne-based Drapac squad, Brenton Jones was third in a time of 2:36.85.

“I always knew it was about just driving it as hard as you can for the whole time,” explained Clarke. Ewan, despite a trademark deft touch on the corners on the first half of the course, had an outstanding last kilometre. He will wear the State Government Victoria white jersey as the best under 23 rider on Thursday’s first stage beginning in Mt Macedon.

“Coming into that last one-and-a-half kilometres, there’s a few little corners but nothing too serious,” he said. “They’re not corners that you lose too much time on. With a course like that it suits a really powerful guy like Will so he was always going to be hard to beat.”

Likely to be one of Ewan’s rivals this week on the sprint stages, Jones was pleased with his prologue form. “Explosive acceleration out of the corners helps a lot,” he explained. “But when you see the finish line, as a sprinter, you have white line fever. You look at the finish line and you give it everything until you cross it.”

Defending champion, Simon Clarke (ORICA-GreenEdge) crossed the finish line in a time of 2:37.33, in seventh place. Keen to get an early jump on his rivals for a second Sun Tour victory, Clarke was pleased with his ride. “It went well,” the Vuelta a Espana stage winner said. “I was hoping for a little bit better but at least I didn’t get any worse.

“My goal was to finish ahead of the GC guys and put as much time into them as I could. As far as I could see, the only real threat was Will Clarke who obviously won today and had a super ride.” His Drapac namesake dismissed his chances of holding on to the yellow jersey when the race reaches its conclusion on Sunday after three ascents of Arthurs Seat, but suggested his teammates could be in with a chance.

“I’m probably not a GC rider for Drapac but we’ve got some strong climbers and BJ [Brenton Jones] for the sprints so hopefully I can help him out there in the sprint stages and maybe even look for a breakaway for myself,” he said.

Simon Clarke has 548km to work on that advantage.

Robert Power (Jayco-AIS Australian U23 National Team) was the first rider to leave the start house in Federation Square. The runner-up in last year’s Tour de l’Avenir setting the pace for the rest of the field, crossing the finish line in a time of 2:47.38. That time was quickly overtaken, with the second rider to get underway, Chris Lawless (Great Britain National Team) staking a claim for the hot seat with his time of 2:42.32. Australian Damien Howson (ORICA-GreenEDGE) demonstrated his strength against the clock, the former Under23 World Champion in the time trial next to set the benchmark time, motoring home in 2:41.28.

Reigning National Road Series champion and current New Zealand Road Champion, Joe Cooper (Avanti) brought that time down again, crossing the line in 2:38.64. Soon after, another Kiwi in ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Sam Bewley monstered the course to move into the hot seat with his time of 2:37.19. Seventh at the halfway mark, Brenton Jones (Drapac) came into his element on the straight back end of the course, powering to the finish, hitting a top speed of 66km/h and setting the new best time of 2:36.85.

Caleb Ewan, fifth best at the halfway mark time check, the ORICA-GreenEDGE sprinter became the third man from his team to occupy the hot seat, relishing the finishing straight to edge Jones’ time with a 2:36.42. Third in the 2014 prologue by just two seconds, Will Clarke (Drapac) took charge of his machine to speed through the circuit averaging 48.8km/h and with only four riders to follow, wasn’t challenged, stepping straight from the hot seat to the top of the podium. Clarke heads to stage one as both leader of the race and also the Chain Reaction Cycles Sprinters classification.

The race will see the riders covering 536.1km during the five stages.

Stages to come

Race Route

Thursday 5 February – Stage 1 – Mount Macedon – Bendigo – 146.2km
The climb up Mt. Alexander proved decisive in the overall victory of Simon Clarke (ORICA-GreenEDGE) last year but with a slightly longer run into the finish in Bendigo, more of the peloton will be hoping to make an impact on the race on stage 1.

It’s a tough start to the day with a climb up Mt Macedon just 10km into the 146.2km stage. The largely downhill run through Kyneton, Malmsbury and Taradale should see any splits within the peloton neutralised before the five kilometre-long Mt Alexander climb.

Along with the rough surface of the climb, with sections which top a gradient of 10%, the pressure can be applied by the race favourites before arriving in Bendigo from the north. The proud cycling community of Bendigo get a great opportunity to see the peloton with a six kilometre loop around the city set to determine a new race leader.

Friday 6 February – Stage 2 – Bendigo – Nagambie – 117.9km
Stage 2 begins with a lap around Bendigo’s iconic Tom Flood velodrome before the Sun Tour’s sprint contenders get their chance to shine. A few bergs punctuate the easterly run into Nagambie via Strathfieldsaye past Lake Eppalock, the little village of Redesdale and Heathcote.

Fittingly, the 117.9km stage will reach a conclusion alongside the statue of champion sprinter, Black Caviar, the most famous sporting export of Nagambie.

Saturday 7 February – Stage 3 – Mitchelton Winery – Nagambie – 146.7km
The longest stage of the 2015 Jayco Herald Sun Tour at 146.7km gets underway from the beautiful Mitchelton Winery on the banks of the Goulburn River. The peloton will head south alongside the waterway before the fast run into Yea.

Looping north, the Ghin Ghin Road climb will test riders over seven kilometres, twisting and undulating. A short respite follows downhill before a second climb on Highland Road. Overall, it’s a nasty segment, with an average gradient of 6%, the climb will top out at 15% before the peloton heads back towards Seymour. If the sprinters have recovered, they will battle for stage honours again in Nagambie.

Sunday 8 February – Stage 4 – Arthurs Seat – 122km
The 62nd Sun Tour will reach a thrilling conclusion with stage 4, with Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula once again taking centre stage. A neutral descent off the peak will take the peloton to a circuit south through Boneo, cutting through the National Park before the first of three ascents of Arthurs Seat. At just three kilometres in length, the climb is not a long one but it is punishing.

Crowds can get up close to the unfolding drama as the peloton winds its way up Arthurs Seat with its hairpin turns that can result in gradients of up to 18%. A battle of attrition will result in only a select few fighting for victory and cementing their name in the history books as overall winner.


Provisional Prologue Result
1 William CLARKE (DPC) 02:35.5
2 Caleb EWAN (OGE) @ 1 sec
3 Brenton JONES (DPC) @ 1
4 Sam BEWLEY (OGE) @ 2
5 Neil VAN DER PLOEG (ART) @ 2
6 Michael HEPBURN (OGE) @ 2
7 Simon CLARKE (OGE) @ 2
8 Patrick BEVIN (ART) @ 2
9 Paul VAN DER PLOEG (CMR) @ 2
10 Joseph COOPER (ART) @ 3
11 Steele VON HOFF (AUS) @ 3
12 Cameron MEYER (OGE) @ 3
13 Samuel WITMITZ (BFL) @ 4
14 Felix ENGLISH (JLT) @ 5
15 Tyler FARRAR (MTN) @ 5
16 Adam PHELAN (DPC) @ 5
17 Kristian HOUSE (JLT) @ 6
18 Jack BECKINSALE (JUA) @ 6
19 Lachlan NORRIS (DPC) @ 6
20 Damien HOWSON (OGE) @ 6
21 Tyler SPURRELL (DSR) @ 7
22 Tommy NANKERVIS (BFL) @ 7
23 Christopher LAWLESS (GBR) @ 7
24 John MURPHY (UHC) @ 7
25 David EDWARDS (CMR) @ 7
26 Graham BRIGGS (JLT) @ 7
27 Daniel SUMMERHILL (UHC) @ 7
28 James MOWATT (DSR) @ 7
29 Harry CARPENTER (JUA) @ 8
30 Matthew Harley GOSS (MTN) @ 8
31 Ryan THOMAS (DSR) @ 8
32 Cameron BAYLY (STR) @ 8
33 Angus LYONS (JUA) @ 8
34 Nick DOUGALL (MTN) @ 8
35 Mitchell LOVELOCK-FAY (ART) @ 9
36 Alistair DONOHOE (STR) @ 9
37 Matt BRAMMEIER (MTN) @ 9
38 Tiziano DALL’ANTONIA (AND) @ 9
39 Jackson MAWBY (NSR) @ 9
40 Michael CUMING (JLT) @ 9
41 Ryan CAVANAGH (JUA) @ 10
42 Jayden COPP (CMR) @ 10
43 Tanner PUTT (UHC) @ 10
44 Samuel SPOKES (DPC) @ 10
45 Cameron WURF (AUS) @ 10
46 Scott THOMAS (DSR) @ 10
47 Richard HANDLEY (JLT) @ 10
48 Gabreil CULLAIGH (GBR) @ 10
49 Craig EVERS (DSR) @ 10
50 Benjamin HILL (CMR) @ 10
51 Lachlan MORTON (AUS) @ 10
52 Thomas MOSES (JLT) @ 10
53 Kane WALKER (NSR) @ 10
54 Scott DAVIES (GBR) @ 11
55 Alexander SMYTH (AWS) @ 11
56 Mitchell COOPER (NSR) @ 11
57 Adrian HEGYVARY (UHC) @ 11
58 Alder MARTZ (STR) @ 11
59 Jake KELLY (GBR) @ 11
60 Jacob KAUFFMANN (BFL) @ 11
61 Massimo GRAZIATO (AWS) @ 11
62 Michael RICE (STR) @ 11
63 Joel STRACHAN (NSR) @ 11
64 Robbie HUCKER (DPC) @ 12
65 Sean LAKE (AWS) @ 12
66 Serge PAUWELS (MTN) @ 12
67 Robert POWER (JUA) @ 12
68 Chris HAMILTON (AUS) @ 12
69 Patrick LANE (AWS) @ 12
70 Grayson NAPIER (NSR) @ 13
71 Michael TORCKLER (BFL) @ 13
72 Grant FERGUSON (GBR) @ 13
73 Franco PELLIZOTTI (AND) @ 13
74 Stuart SHAW (STR) @ 13
75 Patrick SHAW (ART) @ 13
76 Angus MORTON (AUS) @ 13
77 Brodie TALBOT (BFL) @ 14
78 Oliver KENT-SPARK (STR) @ 14
79 Brendan CANTY (BFL) @ 14
80 Jeremy CAMERON (AWS) @ 14
81 Christopher JONES (UHC) @ 15
82 Nicholas SCHULTZ (AUS) @ 15
83 Lucas EUSER (UHC) @ 15
84 Rico Dene Thomas ROGERS (AWS) @ 16
85 Tom ROBINSON (CMR) @ 16
86 Songezo JIM (MTN) @ 17
87 Mark O’BRIEN (ART) @ 17
88 David MELVILLE (DSR) @ 17
89 Joshua EDMONDSON (GBR) @ 18
90 Nicholas KATSONIS (CMR) @ 18
91 Alberto NARDIN (AND) @ 18
92 Alexander CLEMENTS (JUA) @ 19
93 Marco FRAPPORTI (AND) @ 21

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