Ben Dyball (mobius Future Racing) secured the iconic Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania in wet Devonport conditions on Sunday, finishing safely in the bunch as State of Matter/MAAP’s Jesse Kerrison took the Cradle Coast Sports and Events Stage 4...
Dyball and his team-mates nullified several attacks during the 54-kilometre criterium to ensure there would be no changes to the general classification standings, while Kerrison outsprinted Anthony Giacoppo (Avanti IsoWhey Sport) and Olympic silver medallist Sam Welsford (JML Racing) to top the podium.
“It is great to finally win this tour,” exclaimed 2011 U23 Australian road champion Dyball. “I came close in 2014, and have been coming to this event for six or seven years now. It has always been the one race I wanted to win!”
After finishing second two years ago, Dyball has now added his name to a star-studded list of past winners. Australian cycling legend Sir Hubert ‘Oppy’ Opperman, Tour de France winner Cadel Evans and dual Paris-Nice winner Richie Porte have all previously won the gruelling Tasmanian stage race.
“The Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania is a very prestigious race with many incredible past winners,” said Dyball. “It is an honour to have my name besides theirs.”
For stage winner Kerrison, claiming line honours was a nice conclusion to a tough week of climbing. The former BMC Development Team rider enjoyed a superb lead-out from team-mate Daniel Fitter, before kicking away from Giacoppo and Welsford on the final straight.
“Winning the sprint is a great way to finish the tour,” says Kerrison. “Most of the stages did not really suit me, so to help the boys all through the week and then have them deliver me to the line today is awesome.”
Giacoppo’s second placing was enough to secure him the Europcar sprint jersey, while Matthew Clark (Satalyst Verve Racing) was crowned Bicycle Beer Mountain Classification winner following his climbing heroics during the week. State of Matter/MAAP’s Dylan Sunderland claimed the Chilli FM Young Rider Classification and Tasmanian local Bernard Sulzberger earnt the Cradle Coast Sports & Events Most Aggressive Rider jersey in his final ever stage race. Avanti IsoWhey Sport won the team classification.
Speaking following Dyball’s overall victory, mobius Future Racing’s sports director Tom Petty was ecstatic about his team earning their first-ever Subaru National Road Series tour victory.
“It is incredible,” explained Petty. “We have worked so hard all year to better ourselves and gradually keep improving. We started to put a few riders in the top 10s, and then we came close at the National Capital Tour with Rob Stannard coming second overall.
“Winning the Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania is particularly special,” he continued. “It was at the 2014 edition of the tour that we actually decided we were going to launch mobius Future Racing. Fast forward through two years of hard work and we have won it!”
Sunday’s criterium concludes the 2016 Spirit of Tasmania Tour of Tasmania. The Subaru National Road Series wraps up next weekend with the iconic Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic, the second oldest one-day cycling race in the world.