- Chris Miller
- Danny Roberts-Clarke
- DS: Daniel Van Der Laan
Stage 1 (116km Road Race)
A tough 120km stage on some of northern Tasmania’s toughest roads. For a change for an NRS race we got to see some sun today, although the wind was well and truly roaring. The race was undulating the whole way with 2 categorised climbs, and finishing just past a 4km climb at 8%.
Tactics were simple today – watch for a move early, if that doesn’t go look to set Christopher Miller up in a good position up the final climb. Danny Roberts-Clarke was on bottle duty all day and looking after Chris in the bunch making sure he stayed in a decent position.
The day started with 2 uncategorised climbs out of the gates. Chris tried his hand at getting in the break but nothing got any serious time on the peloton up the climbs. Just after the climb, 2 riders got away (Rylee Field – GPM and Olivers Real Food’s UK import). The peloton took the chance to have a nature break (which the riders much enjoyed), and then went about riding tempo keeping the break at arms length.
On the first KOM the peloton put a bit of a squeeze in which hurt a lot of riders, but most the field remained intact. After descending off the KOM it opened up and the cross winds started. At this point Avanti turned it on and the peloton formed 4-5 echelons. A group of about 15 got clear and caught the breakaway of the day. Chris fought hard to get into the 2nd group, and Danny in the 3rd.
The field took a left turn into the tailwind and the fast run into the final climb started. Danny decided he would save his energy from here and just rode in easy. Meanwhile up front Chris’ group caught the front group and we had a group of about 50-60 at the front. It continued this way at a high tempo until a right hand turn into the cross headwind final climb.
Coming into the final climb Chris was a bit out of position in the second half of the pack but made his way through the group on the early slopes. As the climb continued the group got smaller and smaller till there was only just over 20 riders remaining. Over the top was a fast 4km run into a slightly downhill sprint. Christopher Miller rolled over the line in 13th place moving him up to 24th on GC. This was an amazing result considering the quality of riders in the field.
Anthony Giacoppo took the win for the second time in two days with an impressive sprint, with Daniel Fitter second and Bernard Sulzberger third.
Stage 2 (91km Road Race)
Today was the transition stage of the tour of tassie. Or atleast it seemed that way on paper. With 1 climb coming out of town a kom at the 20km mark another few climbs then the second (and last) kom at around the 55km maybe before a fast 30km downhill run to the finish. It seemed a day where a breakaway might get away or a group of 40-50 riders would come over the finish together. Boy were we wrong though. The wind wasup and the pace was even higher.
A small break went early of 4 riders the peleton then decided to meander along the river for 10km letting the break get out to 4min in the process. Then it was up a casual 1.4km climb at 12% and the peleton hit it with a bang. A number of riders were tailed off the back of this climb including the gallant Danny Roberts-Clarke. Cresting the climb the peleton kept a strong tempo pace into a howling headwind. One of the 2 groups off the back managed to rejoin however Danny’s group of 6 riders didn’t.
Some questionable maneuvers managed to drop Danny’s group down to just 2 riders with 1 rider getting in the sag and 3 magically getting back to the peleton. Danny pushed on for about 20km but with the amount of wind and his magically disappearing group it wasn’t worth trying to make the cut and he got in the sad (sag) wagon.
Back up in the main field the peleton continued to ride a tempo holding the break at 3min to the base of the climb, which was an imposing 3.8km at 9%. Here the race instantly imploded with riders blowing everywhere. Christopher Miller was in the second group up the first pinch which closed to the Avanti driven first group on the second pinch of the climb. Up the last little bit a few guys sprinted for kom points and Christopher Miller decided to not go with it and rolled over with 10 guys behind another group with about 15 off the front of that. We expected this to all come together however Avanti had different ideas with 6 riders in that first group of 15 and roaring crosswinds they lit it up.
Chris’ group closed down the second group and they all got within touching distance till chris’ group went pop and avanti drove their group away dropping a few more guys in the process. The race stayed this way till the finish. Chris finished safely in the second bunch after what was by his report his toughest day on a bicycle. Danny rolled over in the sad wagon adequately sad.
Unfortunately this leaves Chris on his own tomorrow with what looks to have the potential for big crosswinds destroying the field before a final climb of 12km at steep %. We will keep you updated on the progress of our now lone man.
Stage 3 (104km Road Race)
Today the riders faced 80km of flat road with no shelter from the wind then a 16km climb at 6% with the last 10km at 8%.
The plan was simply to hide and save energy at the start and try and go with the big guys for the last 16km. The first half went well with Christopher Miller surviving the hectic first 50km till the break went. He then had a nature break, picked up a water bottle and went back to hiding.
Up the climb the fatigue of our first real stage race started to show and at the base when Ben Dyball attacked Chris let a big group go deciding to ride his own tempo up the climb. As the climb went on Chris climbed himself past plenty of riders and in the end finished in 28th position moving up one place on GC to 21st just 2sec off 20th. Given the field this is amazing result with practically everyone in front of him having a lot of experience and racing internationally regularly.
Ahead of us tomorrow we have a hard fast crit in what is shaping up to be typhoon conditions. This is not really Chris’ forte but he has told us to prepare for some action.
Stage 4 (54km Criterium)
Chris managed to get himself in the day’s main break of 7, but it was shut down by the combined might of Mobius and Avanti, ending in a bunch sprint. Chris’s efforts were enough to move him up to 20th overall on GC, a pretty impressive result!