Stage five: NRS Tour of Toowoomba
Nathan Earle takes out the Tour of Toowoomba, giving Huon Genesys a perfect three out of three in this year’s National Road Series.
Neil Van Der Ploeg of Search2Retain won the final stage, a 51km criterium around Queens Park, ahead of Ben Grenda (Polygon) and Josh Taylor (GPM).
Going into the race, riders were hoping the expected crosswinds would split the field and open the race up.
As expected for a criterium, the racing was fast and furious.
Harry Carpenter (Euride) and Adam Semple (SGR) managed a small lead before Malcolm Rudolph attempted a solo breakaway.
At the halfway mark a group of four managed a breakaway.
Steven Waite (AWS), Craig Evers (RKG), Caleb Jones (PAR) and Matthew Nicholson (PGN) got out to an initial lead of four seconds. This was extended to nine seconds as Bernard Sulzberger, Nathan Elliott, Adam Semple and Josh Cooper joined them, with five laps to go.
A frantic final lap saw Drapac’s Will Walker go off the front in a desperate attempt to reach the line first.
The Victorian had a fantastic race, cleaning up every classification he was eligible for on the first day.
He was promptly chased down as Van Der Ploeg, who has been so close on so many occasions this year, took out his first victory of the season. He also took out the sprint classification.
The dominance of Huon Genesys was once again clear, with Earle also winning the King of the Mountains jersey, and the top four positions all going to HGP riders.
Drapac had a good showing with four riders in the top ten, with Will Walker the best placed at sixth.
Stage five results
Neil Van Der Ploeg (STR) 1hr08:58
Ben Grenda (PGN) +0
Josh Taylor (GPM) +0
Theo Yates (SGR) +0
Robbie Hucker (DPC) +0
Russell Gill (ERD) +0
James Rendell (ERD) +0
Malcolm Rudolph (DPC) +0
Nathan Earle (HGP) +0
Jack Anderson (BFL) +0
Nathan Earle (HGP) 10h23:41
Jack Haig (HGP) +8
Ben Dyball (HGP) +16
Jai Crawford (HGP) +1:36
Matthew Clark (CHM) +2:05
Will Walker (DPC) +2:37
Jack Anderson (BLF) +2:59
Darren Lapthorne (DPC) +3:08
Bernard Sulzberger (DPC) +3:11
Robbie Hucker (DPC) +3:15
Neil Van Der Ploeg (STR) 15
Craig Evers (RKG) 14
Jack Anderson (BFL) 13
Nathan Earle (HGP) 13
Jack Haig (HGP) 9
Dylan Newbery (DEM) 8