Smith second on final stage, as Schultz secures second overall at Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Sun 3 Feb 2019

The final day of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour was one for our new recruits as Kiwi Dion Smith sprinted to second on the stage and yesterday’s stage winner Nick Schultz secured second overall.

The hot final day, a criterium-style stage around the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, was aggressive from the start. Mitchelton-SCOTT were amongst the instigators, with riders present in all the moves throughout the day. 

The final day of action:
The new Melbourne circuit was far from a ceremonious parade, as attacks launched from the flag. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Lucas Hamilton was in the first move of four riders, before Damian Howson found himself in the day’s main breakaway.

The size of the group changed throughout the day as two riders bridged across and others lost contact, but Howson remained in the final survivors with a small advantage on the bell lap.

The race regrouped as Mitchelton-SCOTT positioned themselves to lead out Smith in the final sprint, with Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky) the only rider to better him for the stage victory. 

Schultz second:
One day after taking his first professional victory in impressive style on the mountain top finish of Arthurs Seat, Schultz has secured second place overall at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

The 24-year-old started the day 24seconds behind Van Baarle, too much to claw back on the criterium-style circuit if the race concluded with incident. 

The priority for the day for Mitchelton-SCOTT was to keep Schultz safe, a task they succeed with, the Queenslander celebrating on the podium alongside Van Baarle and Michael Woods (EF Education First) who finished third. 

Closing out the Summer of Cycling:
Today’s final stage wraps up yet another successful Australian Summer of Cycling for the Mitchelton-SCOTT men’s team. 

Australia’s only WorldTour outfit missed out on the road race championship, but recovered to take a surprise time trial championship with Luke Durbridge ahead of world champion Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida).

South African Daryl Impey created history with a stage victory on his way to becoming the first male in history to win back-to-back Tour Down Under titles, before also claiming third place at Cadel Road Race.

Capping off the summer here at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Schultz’s stage win and second overall gives the men’s team a total of four wins and seven podiums in Australia.

Nick Schultz – Second overall:
“This week was a big surprise for me. We came in with a clear goal to help Lucas who had really shown his form in the Tour Down Under and Cadel Road Race. But the motivation to do that job really well kept me in contention after the second stage and with having the numbers, I got the opportunity to take advantage of that and capitalise.

“I certainly wouldn’t have picked it at the start of the week but I’m not going to complain.  It’s been a great last day, a good course around Melbourne here to finish. Thanks to all the boys for keeping me safe and looking after me today, it’s not something I am accustomed to.” 

“We wanted another race today. I think that’s one of my favourite things about this team, everyone wants to race, everyone is always raring to go on the start line.

“We had the idea to keep Dion or Rob (Stannard) protected for the finish if it came back but Damo was up there again and took it to the race. The team looked after Dion perfectly in the finale to get him up there for second and he did a brilliant sprint.”

Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 5 Results:
1. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky) 1:55:56
2. Dion Smith(Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Brenton Jones (Australia) ST

Jayco Herald Sun Tour – FINAL General Classification:
1. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) 13:24:38
2. Nick Schultz (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:24
3. Michael Woods (EF Education First) +1:52

Photo courtesy of Con Chronis.