Stage 8: Devonport 54km
Jack Haig (Huon-Genesys) has won the Caterpillar Tour of Tasmania on Sunday in Devonport after a hard-hitting eight day battle. Ben Grenda (Polygon) won the final stage criterium in Devonport ahead of Alex Edmondson (Euride) and Pat Shaw (Huon-Genesys) whilst Haig managed to stay out of trouble in the peloton and seal his overall win. Haig now etches his name alongside Cadel Evans, Richie Porte, Cameron Meyer and Nathan Haas as winners of the Tour of Tasmania.
[pull_quote_center]”It’s great to be able to finish the tour with the yellow jersey and be on that long list of people that have won this race, I’m very honoured,” Haig said.[/pull_quote_center]
“It’s great having Nathan [Earle] on the team and to have him present me with the NRS leader’s jersey,” Haig said. “He’s a good friend, someone who’s going to be riding with Team Sky next year, and I definitely look up to him.”
Haig’s teammate Jai Crawford took the original yellow jersey on the back of a dominating Huon-Genesys team display on the opening hill climb team time trial up Mt Wellington and the team has never looked back. The jersey swapped from the shoulders of Crawford to Earle and eventually to Haig as the team sought desperately to cover the constant attacks from nearest rival, Drapac Cycling.
Huon-Genesys walk away from their home tour with the overall classification win, the young rider classification and two stage wins.
Drapac came away without the overall win but remained defiant with 2nd and 4th on GC with Robbie Hucker and Darren Lapthorne respectively, as well as two stage wins and a comfortably victory in the team classification.
Brodie Talbot rounded out the general classification podium in third with a fine display of aggressive riding for his composite Caterpillar team that also saw him seal the king of the mountains classification in what was a successful week for the New South Wales rider.
Grenda sealed the sprint classification with his final stage victory ahead of Will Walker (Drapac) and Alexander Ray (Target Trek).
“I couldn’t have asked for a better race,” Grenda exclaimed. “I really wanted to win a stage during this tour, so I’m pretty happy. All my family have come to watch, so it’s nice to race in front of them and win a stage in my home state.”
“We got the first sprint and then the boys just rode the front and kept the tempo high. They really gave me a perfect lead out with 150 metres to go, I was set,” Grenda concluded.
With Haig taking aim at the cross country mountain bike events at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year, it’s hard not to draw parallels with Cadel Evans, but for the time being, there are still three rounds of the Subaru National Road Series to be raced before riders switch their focus to the 2014 season. Haig now takes a slim two-point lead over Earle in the individual aggregate with their Huon-Genesys team sitting pretty a strong 69 points in front of Budget Forklifts on the team aggregate.