Events

Kemps takes Sun Tour stage as Wilson looks to D-Day on Thursday

Wednesday in Beechworth, Astana's Aaron Kemps timed an uphill dash for cash to perfection, overcoming a technical, bumpy ride to the finish and taking advantage of a late recapture to assert his authority as the in-form sprinter of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. For those vying for overall honors four days from now, the 139.5-kilometer third stage ended without incident, as race leader Matthew Wilson of Unibet.com maintained his 17-second advantage over teammate Baden Cooke, with SouthAustralia.com-AIS young gun Simon Clarke a further five seconds back. Whether Wilson, diagnosed with

By Anthony Tan, VeloNews.com

Astana's Aaron Kemps just edges out Stuart Shaw (Drapac Porsche) and Felix Odebrecht (Wiesenhof) to claim the  ...

Astana’s Aaron Kemps just edges out Stuart Shaw (Drapac Porsche) and Felix Odebrecht (Wiesenhof) to claim the …

Photo: Anthony Tan

Wednesday in Beechworth, Astana’s Aaron Kemps timed an uphill dash for cash to perfection, overcoming a technical, bumpy ride to the finish and taking advantage of a late recapture to assert his authority as the in-form sprinter of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

For those vying for overall honors four days from now, the 139.5-kilometer third stage ended without incident, as race leader Matthew Wilson of Unibet.com maintained his 17-second advantage over teammate Baden Cooke, with SouthAustralia.com-AIS young gun Simon Clarke a further five seconds back.

Whether Wilson, diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma seven years ago, can overcome Thursday’s queen stage to Falls Creek, of which one-third is uphill, is now the tour’s big question. For his part, Wilson thinks he can handle the challenge, having already surprised himself with his strong performance thus far.

“The legs were really good today, so I’m confident,” he said. “I knew I was in good form, but before the start of the tour, if someone said I’d be in this position, I wouldn’t have thought so, so I’m very happy.”

The current race leader has named his three biggest threats: Steve Morabito of Astana, Jayco’s Trent Lowe and Canadian Dominique Perras of Bicycle Superstore. However, no mention was made of Clarke, the only Under-23 rider to have made the crucial opening-day break and a handy climber in his own right. There’s also 2002 Sun Tour champion Cooke, who, despite being Wilson’s teammate and buddy, could quite easily find himself atop the leader board if the yellow jersey cracks on the 30km ascent to Falls Creek.

“We wait and see, wait and see what happens – try and limit my losses to everyone else and don’t let anyone dangerous go up the road. Same as every day, really – but [Thursday will be] a lot harder” Wilson said, albeit a little nervously.

Kemp to the fore
In the latter half of the season, Kemps, whose team has been beset by one controversy after another, has missed out on more than 30 days of racing due to circumstances beyond his control. To see this 24-year-old do so well here in Victoria can hardly be called a blessing in disguise, but what it does show is that this rider is a sprinter for the future.

“I’ve always struggled on the uphill sprints in Europe – I got beaten in a stage of the Volta Catalunya in an uphill gallop like this,” said Kemps. “But as I grow older, I’m getting stronger and starting to like them a bit more. Since I was [racing] under-19s, I’ve lost five kilos; now I climb pretty good, so I think in the future, these sorts of sprints will be my forte.”

Raising the white flag
It was a cool 62°F at the start in Mansfield mid-morning Wednesday, and in a town with little more than 2000 inhabitants, one could say the mood was rather subdued. Though it wasn’t just that: that past two days had been raced with the ferocity of a ProTour event, so it wasn’t surprising to see a truce of sorts as the peloton headed out and up the 19.1km Category 2 climb of Mount Tolmie.

Mountains leader Bernard Sulzberger (DFL-Cyclingnews) took the day’s only mountain prime ahead of his English teammate Daniel Lloyd, strengthening his lead over his brother Wesley in the race for the spotted tunic. With the wind behind their backs for much of the day, natural forces negated all breakaway attempts and ensured a high average speed, as the peloton continued en masse through the sleepy country towns of Whitfield, King Valley, Moyhu and Oxley.

Fifty clicks from home, the bunch remained as one. However, the always-attacking mentality of Koji Fukushima didn’t leave it that way for long, the gregarious Japanese from Nippo-Meitan La Trobe City setting off solo and making a beeline for Beechworth.

Koji Fukushima (Nippo-Meitan La Trobe City) goes for glory en route to Beechworth.

Koji Fukushima (Nippo-Meitan La Trobe City) goes for glory en route to Beechworth.

Photo: Anthony Tan

Fukushima was giving his all, torso rocking in time with his muscled set of pistons, but in the township of Milawa, 30km from home, he was joined by a threatening group of nine – Stuart O’Grady, (Jayco), Will Dickeson (Savings & Loans), Zachary Bell (Bicycle Superstore), Koen de Kort (Astana), Mark O’Brien (Drapac Porsche), Peter Herzig (FRF Couriers NSWIS), Jimmy Casper (Unibet.com), Steffen Radochla (Wiesenhof-Felt) and Camiel Denis (Dutch National) – with Scott Zwizanski (Bissell-SRAM) and Johnnie Walker (SouthAustralia.com-AIS) tacking on a little later to make it an even dozen.

As the group’s advantage hovered around the half-minute mark, it was touch and go all the way to the line. Five kilometers out, Fukushima and de Kort were away before the latter dropped his Japanese companion and looked a certain winner, but in the final few hundred meters, the peloton swarmed over the escapees. It was then that Kemps launched his move, timing his kick to perfection to narrowly beat Stuart Shaw (Drapac Porsche) and Felix Odebrecht (Wiesenhof) to the line.

“It was a bit strange,” said Kemps of the finale. “It was very hesitant, but for me, it didn’t worry me if it came together or not because I had my teammate Koen de Kort in the breakaway. I always stayed attentive just in case it did come back, and when it did in the last couple of hundred meters, I did my part and got the victory.

“It was very technical, up and down, and you had to be pretty strong and attentive up the front. I just took my time and didn’t stress too much, and had no problems getting over those little rises coming near the finish. A little gap opened up at the finish line, and I made the most of it,” he said.

The road aheadThe moment of truth, Stage 4 from Beechworth to Falls Creek will be a cracker. Just 116km long, the first 60 will most likely be a fast run to Bright, but after that, it’ll be a full on effort to the line: the entrée is the 13.9km climb of Tawonga Gap, before a 29.1km main course, taking the riders just short of 1500 meters above sea level to the mountain-top finish in Falls Creek.

1. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana, at 3:20:00
2. Stuart Shaw (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 0:00
3. Felix Odebrecht (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 0:00
4. David Pell (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 0:00
5. Joost Van Leijen (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:00
6. Bernard Sulzberger (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 0:00
7. Baden Cooke (Aus), Unibet, at 0:00
8. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:00
9. Simon Clarke (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 0:00
10. Malaya Van Ruitenbeek (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:00
Overall
1. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Unibet, at 10:25:19
2. Baden Cooke (Aus), Unibet, at 0:17
3. Simon Clarke (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 0:22
4. Joost Van Leijen (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:26
5. Dominique Perras (Can), Bicycle Superstore -Canada, at 0:34
6. David Pell (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 0:38
7. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 0:45
8. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:51
9. Trent Lowe (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 0:52
10. Julien Mazet (F), Astana, at 0:54

Photo Gallery

Results

1. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana, at 3:20:00

2. Stuart Shaw (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 0:00

3. Felix Odebrecht (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 0:00

4. David Pell (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 0:00

5. Joost Van Leijen (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:00

6. Bernard Sulzberger (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 0:00

7. Baden Cooke (Aus), Unibet, at 0:00

8. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:00

9. Simon Clarke (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 0:00

10. Malaya Van Ruitenbeek (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:00

11. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 0:00

12. Trent Lowe (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 0:00

13. Gene Bates (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 0:00

14. Richard England (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:00

15. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Unibet, at 0:04

16. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 0:04

17. Koen De Kort (Nl), Astana, at 0:04

18. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 0:04

19. Julien Mazet (F), Astana, at 0:04

20. Jörg Ludewig (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 0:04

21. Timothy Gudsell (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 0:07

22. Logan Hutchings (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 0:07

23. Chris Jory (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 0:07

24. Dominique Rollin (Can), Bicycle Superstore, at 0:07

25. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Bicycle Superstore, at 0:07

26. Dominique Perras (Can), Bicycle Superstore, at 0:07

27. Maint Berkenbosch (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:07

28. Patrick Shaw (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 0:07

29. Brett Tivers (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 0:07

30. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:07

31. Brendan Brooks (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 0:07

32. Rhys Pollock (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 0:11

33. Cameron Jennings (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 0:11

34. Camiel Denis (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:11

35. Daniel Lloyd (GB), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 0:11

36. Christian Leben (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 0:11

37. Benoit Joachim (Lux), Astana, at 0:11

38. Luke Cridland (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 0:11

39. Ryan Anderson (Can), Bicycle Superstore, at 0:11

40. Mark O'Brien (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 0:11

41. Aaron Tuckerman (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 0:11

42. Jason Hegert (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 0:11

43. Tom Zirbel (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:11

44. Zachary Bell (Can), Bicycle Superstore, at 0:11

45. Koji Fukushima (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 0:20

46. Casey Munro (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 0:24

47. Dean Windsor (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 0:24

48. Tom Southam (GB), Drapac Porsche, at 0:24

49. Brett Aitken (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 0:38

50. Nick Gates (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 0:40

51. Darren Lapthorne (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 0:40

52. Steffen Radochla (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 0:46

53. Chris Jongewaard (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 0:56

54. William Ford (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 1:07

55. Yoshiyuki Shimizu (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 1:07

56. Peter Herzig (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 1:07

57. Wim Botman (Nl), Dutch National, at 1:25

58. Stuart O'Grady (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 1:25

59. Shaun Higgerson (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 1:25

60. Scott Zwizanski (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 1:28

61. Jeremy Hunt (GB), Unibet, at 1:28

62. Jimmy Casper (F), Unibet, at 1:28

63. Michal Golas (Pol), Unibet, at 1:28

64. Will Dickeson (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 1:28

65. John Ebeling (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 1:34

66. Kane Oakley (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 1:34

67. Peter Dawson (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 1:44

68. Johnnie Walker (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 1:45

69. Marc Ryan (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 1:45

70. Joel Pearson (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 1:45

71. Omer Kem (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 1:45

72. Peter Mueller (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 1:45

73. Prajak Mahawong (Tha), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 1:52

74. Craig McCartney (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 2:09

75. Adriaan Helmantel (Nl), Dutch National, at 2:16

76. Tom Middleton (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 2:44

77. Trent Wilson (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 3:00

78. Jeremy Vennell (NZ), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 3:00

79. Jason Allen (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 3:00

80. Andrew Randall (Can), Bicycle Superstore, at 31:39

81. Jefferey Sherstobitoff (Can), Bicycle Superstore, at 31:39

82. Robbie Cater (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 31:39

83. Wouter De Groot (Nl), Dutch National, at 31:39

84. Hayden Godfrey (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 31:39

85. Simon Pearson (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 31:39

Overall
1. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Unibet, at 10:25:19

2. Baden Cooke (Aus), Unibet, at 0:17

3. Simon Clarke (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 0:22

4. Joost Van Leijen (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:26

5. Dominique Perras (Can), Bicycle Superstore -Canada, at 0:34

6. David Pell (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 0:38

7. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 0:45

8. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:51

9. Trent Lowe (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 0:52

10. Julien Mazet (F), Astana, at 0:54

11. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Bicycle Superstore -Canada, at 0:59

12. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 9:01

13. Jörg Ludewig (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 9:05

14. Bernard Sulzberger (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 9:06

15. Dominique Rollin (Can), Bicycle Superstore -Canada, at 9:36

16. Maint Berkenbosch (Nl), Dutch National, at 9:42

17. Cameron Jennings (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 9:45

18. Darren Lapthorne (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 10:15

19. Koen De Kort (Nl), Astana, at 11:37

20. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana, at 12:00

21. Stuart Shaw (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 12:32

22. Timothy Gudsell (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 12:47

23. Benoit Joachim (Lux), Astana, at 12:49

24. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 12:58

25. Mark O'Brien (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 13:05

26. Brendan Brooks (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 13:17

27. Jimmy Casper (F), Unibet, at 14:05

28. Michal Golas (Pol), Unibet, at 14:06

29. Daniel Lloyd (GB), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 14:10

30. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 14:22

31. Johnnie Walker (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 14:39

32. Omer Kem (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 16:00

33. Tom Middleton (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 21:42

34. Jeremy Hunt (GB), Unibet, at 21:48

35. Joel Pearson (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 22:40

36. Gene Bates (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 26:40

37. Richard England (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 26:40

38. Rhys Pollock (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 26:49

39. Camiel Denis (Nl), Dutch National, at 26:49

40. Tom Zirbel (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 26:51

41. Dean Windsor (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 27:02

42. Chris Jongewaard (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 27:36

43. John Ebeling (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 28:12

44. Stuart O'Grady (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 28:15

45. Malaya Van Ruitenbeek (Nl), Dutch National, at 28:51

46. Chris Jory (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 29:00

47. Christian Leben (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 29:04

48. Jeremy Vennell (NZ), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 29:40

49. Peter Mueller (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 30:38

50. Adriaan Helmantel (Nl), Dutch National, at 31:09

51. Will Dickeson (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 32:32

52. Patrick Shaw (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 34:38

53. Tom Southam (GB), Drapac Porsche, at 34:56

54. Kane Oakley (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 35:24

55. Scott Zwizanski (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 36:00

56. Aaron Tuckerman (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 36:56

57. Jason Hegert (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 36:56

58. Casey Munro (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 37:09

59. Nick Gates (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 37:25

60. Trent Wilson (Aus), Jayco Australian National Team, at 37:30

61. Jason Allen (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 37:32

62. Marc Ryan (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 38:30

63. Logan Hutchings (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 38:41

64. Zachary Bell (Can), Bicycle Superstore -Canada, at 38:45

65. Peter Herzig (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 39:39

66. William Ford (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 39:41

67. Felix Odebrecht (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 40:28

68. Brett Aitken (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 40:42

69. Craig Mccartney (Aus), Savings&Loans, at 40:43

70. Brett Tivers (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 41:49

71. Luke Cridland (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 41:53

72. Ryan Anderson (Can), Bicycle Superstore -Canada, at 41:53

73. Koji Fukushima (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 42:05

74. Steffen Radochla (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 42:28

75. Yoshiyuki Shimizu (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 42:49

76. Wim Botman (Nl), Dutch National, at 43:07

77. Shaun Higgerson (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 43:07

78. Prajak Mahawong (Tha), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 43:34

79. Peter Dawson (Aus), South Australia.com-AIS, at 49:45