Events

Wilson wraps up Sun Tour title as Kemps takes finale

Matthew Wilson was at a loss for words when, after seven of the most challenging days in his sporting life, it was finally announced he was the winner of the 2007 Jayco Herald Sun Tour. "I don't know what to say... It's the best feeling... I've only had a few victories in my career, and they're all special for different reasons, but this one goes down as probably the best," said the Unibet pro, overjoyed with his victory but also relieved a turbulent week was finally over. From the first stage to the last, won by Astana's Aaron Kemps from a three-man breakaway that

By Anthony Tan, VeloNews.com

Wilson wins the overall

Wilson wins the overall

Photo: Anthony Tan

Matthew Wilson was at a loss for words when, after seven of the most challenging days in his sporting life, it was finally announced he was the winner of the 2007 Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

“I don’t know what to say… It’s the best feeling… I’ve only had a few victories in my career, and they’re all special for different reasons, but this one goes down as probably the best,” said the Unibet pro, overjoyed with his victory but also relieved a turbulent week was finally over.

From the first stage to the last, won by Astana’s Aaron Kemps from a three-man breakaway that characterized much of Sunday’s seventh stage, the 30-year-old Wilson has not made a mistake. Not one.

Assuming the race lead after a crucial break on the opening stage, Wilson and his depleted five-man Unibet team were under immediately under pressue. Knowing what lay ahead, most notably the climb to Falls Creek last Thursday, he attempted to gain further time on his key rivals where and whenever possible. To begin with, Jayco’s Trent Lowe was his biggest threat; that then switched to Dutchman Joost Van Leijen, who took the race lead after Falls. And on the penultimate stage, a tough, technical 8.6 kilometer time trial, Astana’s Steve Morabito almost stole the show, the double-stage winner coming within three seconds of Wilson with one stage remaining.
Full Results

Before the last stage began midday Sunday in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Morabito, the archetypal Swiss gentleman, told Wilson he “wouldn’t try anything funny” to claw back those seconds, even though he was well within striking distance. After all, Unibet boasted three of the world’s best sprinters, and if it came down to a sprint finish to decide the tour, Morabito was likely to lose.

Kemps collects the final stage

Kemps collects the final stage

Photo: Anthony Tan

When a 25-man break went halfway into the race, this scenario appeared even less probable. Indeed, three men fought out the finish and although Morabito had a half-hearted dig on the final lap, he kept to his word as he, Wilson and Lowe – the top three riders in this year’s race – finished together, 1:33 after Kemps crossed the line.

“This one is unbelievable; one-day races you can do, but to win the classement in something like this… I’ve shocked myself,” said Wilson, repeating his words from the day before.

“I mean, we started the tour with five riders and thought we had a bit of a disadvantage there – but it turned out each one of the riders was worth about three normal riders, so we actually had more than anyone else,” he laughed. “I can’t say enough about their work. Even Baden [Cooke]; he had amazing form here as well but he had so much faith in me and just laid it on the line [for me] to win.”

For Kemps, whose season has been dogged by bad luck after his Astana team plunged into controversy with double blood-doping positives at the Tour de France, three wins in eight days ain’t bad. The 24-year-old Queenslander, who hails from the same town as brothers Allan and Scott Davis, still has another year left on his contract, but hopefully a change of management with former Discovery DS Johan Bruyneel taking charge will end the team’s spate of bad luck.

“[As a team], we’ve won five stages including the [Herald Sun Tour] Classic, and for me to get my win today in front of my girlfriend and family was really great,” said Kemps, who easily beat Bissell-SRAM’s Scott Zwizanski and Dutch national team member Camiel Denis in the sprint to the line.

“I sort of saved my legs a little bit yesterday, and to get in a break of three riders, obviously I was in a really good position to win having a good sprint on me. Both of them had a dig to try and attack me with a couple of laps to go. I knew with my sprint ability there was no need for me to attack, just follow the moves, and that’s all I did. Not the easiest way to win, but definitely a good win.”

Kemps may have been the best sprinter by far, but it was Dominique Rollin (Bicycle Superstore) who donned the final Ferrari-red jersey as leader of the sprints classification. Equal on points with Wilson at the start of the day, the Canadian managed to place himself in the early break and took second in the opening sprint prime to become the virtual leader, which was the way things stayed.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay with the three guys that got away; I suffered from the heat we had today. After I got the points in the first sprint, I was just holding on and making sure I kept the jersey,” said Rollin, who’ll find himself in far less steamy conditions when he returns home to Montreal. “Winter’s coming pretty soon… it might snow in a couple of weeks,” he mused.

Mountains classification winner Bernard Sulzberger (DFL-Cyclingnews) had nothing to worry about apart from finishing, his classification wrapped up the day before when he out-sprinted Morabito on the final categorized climb. Also the team’s best-placed rider overall, ending the tour in 14th place, the young Tasmanian has a bright future ahead of him.

SouthAustralia.com’s Simon Clarke was hoping for a better GC position than the seventh place he ended up with, but nonetheless came home with the white jersey of best young rider. “This is my third year trying to get it, so third time lucky,” said the 21-year-old, adding that he’s hoping to secure a pro contract no later than next year, as well as come back to win the race overall. “It’s been such a struggle this just year with the sponsorship [situation] in all the Pro[Tour] teams, but we just have to keep fighting and at the end of the day, it’s out of our control – we can only try and get the results.”

Getting in early
No more than a quarter-hour into the 80-minute plus 3-lap race, a group of three went away: Japanese national champion Yukiya Arashiro (Nippo-Meitan), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell-SRAM) and Aaron Tuckerman (Michelton Wines). Five minutes later, Stuart Shaw (Drapac-Porsche) bridged across, but not long after, Tuckerman was dropped, leaving three off the front.

At the half-hour mark, Arashiro chose to go solo from a long way out, but was caught by a large chase group comprising approximately 25 riders. As their lead increased, it became the perfect scenario for Wilson’s Unibet team, which realistically had to mark only four riders, Morabito, Lowe, Van Leijen and Astana’s Julien Mazet, none of whom were in the break.

10 minutes later and with 12 laps completed, Kemps, Zwizanski and Denis left their breakaway companions to better their chances of victory, with the peloton more than a minute in arrears. Unfortunately for Jayco’s Stuart O’Grady, a broken chain saw him take an early exit, though he didn’t look too worried; for him, his relatively inauspicious comeback this week has been nothing short of a success.

For the remainder of the race, the leading trio never looked like being caught, although more than a few tried. At three laps to go, the cat-and-mouse began, Zwizanski and Denis well aware of Kemps’ sprinting prowess. But in the end, neither were able to shake each other off, with the inevitable conclusion being victory number three for Kemps, who won by a country mile.

“I think everyone was just sort of stuffed, so if someone jumped, we all jumped together, no-one was really strong enough to ride away,” said Kemps. “I think they tried to force me to chase, but I was in a better way having two stage wins already, so I said [to them]: ‘If you really want to win, you’ll have to chase the break down.’ Obviously, they wanted to win as well so they kept on chasing; I think I played it really smart, and it shows coming away with the win.”RESULTS
1. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana 1:31:17
2. Scott Zwizanski (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, same time
3. Camiel Denis (Nl), Dutch National, s.t.
4. Gene Bates (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 0:14
5. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 0:14
6. Shaun Higgerson (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 0:24
7. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:32
8. Koen De Kort (Nl), Astana, at 0:32
9. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at 0:33
10. Stuart Shaw (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 0:58
Full ResultsFinal overall standings
1. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Unibet 17:52:47
2. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 0:03
3. Trent Lowe (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 0:14
4. Joost Van Leijen (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:25
5. Julien Mazet (F), Astana, at 0:41
6. Baden Cooke (Aus), Unibet, at 1:53
7. Simon Clarke (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 2:11
8. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at4:04
9. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 4:20
10. Dominique Perras (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at4:32

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Results

RESULTS
1. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana 1:31:17

2. Scott Zwizanski (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, same time

3. Camiel Denis (Nl), Dutch National, s.t.

4. Gene Bates (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 0:14

5. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 0:14

6. Shaun Higgerson (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 0:24

7. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:32

8. Koen De Kort (Nl), Astana, at 0:32

9. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at 0:33

10. Stuart Shaw (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 0:58

11. Brett Aitken (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 0:58

12. Steffen Radochla (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 0:58

13. Malaya Van Ruitenbeek (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:58

14. Michal Golas (Pol), Unibet, at 0:58

15. Peter Herzig (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 0:58

16. Richard England (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 0:58

17. Dominique Rollin (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at 0:58

18. Rhys Pollock (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 1:02

19. Trent Wilson (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 1:03

20. Jimmy Casper (F), Unibet, at 1:33

21. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Unibet, at 1:33

22. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 1:33

23. Simon Clarke (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 1:33

24. Trent Lowe (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 1:33

25. Baden Cooke (Aus), Unibet, at 1:33

26. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 1:35

27. Julien Mazet (F), Astana, at 1:35

28. Dominique Perras (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at 1:35

29. Joost Van Leijen (Nl), Dutch National, at 1:35

30. Bernard Sulzberger (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 1:35

31. Adriaan Helmantel (Nl), Dutch National, at 1:35

32. David Pell (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 1:35

33. Maint Berkenbosch (Nl), Dutch National, at 1:35

34. Daniel Lloyd (GB), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 1:35

35. Johnnie Walker (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 1:39

36. Tom Zirbel (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 1:42

37. Peter Dawson (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 1:42

38. Cameron Jennings (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 1:42

39. Jorg Ludewig (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 1:42

40. Casey Munro (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 1:45

41. John Ebeling (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 1:45

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

43. Brendan Brooks (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 1:45

44. Timothy Gudsell (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 1:45

45. Darren Lapthorne (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 1:45

46. Chris Jongewaard (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 1:45

47. Mark O'Brien (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 1:52

48. Nick Gates (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 1:54

49. Prajak Mahawong (Tha), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 2:05

50. Koji Fukushima (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 2:05

51. Jason Allen (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 2:36

52. Tom Southam (GB), Drapac Porsche, at 2:39

53. Zachary Bell (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at 2:39

54. Logan Hutchings (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 2:39

55. Patrick Shaw (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 2:49

56. Brett Tivers (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 2:52

57. Ryan Anderson (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at 3:02

58. Jeremy Hunt (GB), Unibet, at 3:02

59. Benoit Joachim (Lux), Astana, at 7:02

60. Tom Middleton (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 9:02

61. Felix Odebrecht (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 9:02

62. Jason Hegert (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 11:02

63. Wim Botman (Nl), Dutch National, at 11:02

64. Yoshiyuki Shimizu (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 13:02

65. Jeremy Vennell (NZ), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 13:02

66. Craig Mccartney (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 13:02

67. Christian Leben (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 13:02

68. Chris Jory (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 13:02

69. Luke Cridland (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 17:02

70. Will Dickeson (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 19:02

71. Marc Ryan (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 27:02

72. William Ford (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 41:02

Final overall standings

1. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Unibet 17:52:47

2. Steve Morabito (Swi), Astana, at 0:03

3. Trent Lowe (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 0:14

4. Joost Van Leijen (Nl), Dutch National, at 0:25

5. Julien Mazet (F), Astana, at 0:41

6. Baden Cooke (Aus), Unibet, at 1:53

7. Simon Clarke (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 2:11

8. Eric Wohlberg (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at
4:04

9. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 4:20

10. Dominique Perras (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at
4:32

11. David Pell (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 6:10

12. Darren Lapthorne (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 10:39

13. Aaron Kemps (Aus), Astana, at 11:52

14. Bernard Sulzberger (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 12:28

15. Maint Berkenbosch (Nl), Dutch National, at 12:55

16. Jorg Ludewig (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 12:59

17. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 14:19

18. Koen De Kort (Nl), Astana, at 16:09

19. Daniel Lloyd (GB), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 16:18

20. Michal Golas (Pol), Unibet, at 16:40

21. Dominique Rollin (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at
16:42

22. Cameron Jennings (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 16:59

23. Mark O'Brien (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 17:22

24. Timothy Gudsell (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 18:13

25. Stuart Shaw (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 22:22

26. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at
23:24

27. Brendan Brooks (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 24:08

28. Omer Kem (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 33:54

29. Johnnie Walker (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 35:27

30. Camiel Denis (Nl), Dutch National, at 35:34

31. Gene Bates (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 35:54

32. Tom Zirbel (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at 38:11

33. Malaya Van Ruitenbeek (Nl), Dutch National, at 38:37

34. Benoit Joachim (Lux), Astana, at 38:42

35. Jimmy Casper (F), Unibet, at 39:12

36. Peter Herzig (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 40:48

37. Christian Leben (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 42:16

38. Jeremy Hunt (GB), Unibet, at 44:58

39. Scott Zwizanski (USA), Bissell-Priority Health, at
45:58

40. Patrick Shaw (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 46:52

41. Chris Jongewaard (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 47:42

42. Tom Middleton (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 49:20

43. Nick Gates (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 50:41

44. Richard England (Aus), Bissell-Priority Health, at 51:52

45. Rhys Pollock (Aus), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 51:57

46. Jeremy Vennell (NZ), DFL Cyclingnews-Litespeed, at 53:04

47. Shaun Higgerson (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 53:53

48. John Ebeling (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 54:43

49. Brett Tivers (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 55:05

50. Tom Southam (GB), Drapac Porsche, at 55:49

51. Zachary Bell (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at
56:01

52. Trent Wilson (Aus), Jayco Australian National, at 57:00

53. Adriaan Helmantel (Nl), Dutch National, at 58:50

54. Logan Hutchings (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 1:00:15

55. Brett Aitken (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 1:02:00

56. Koji Fukushima (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 1:03:02

57. Will Dickeson (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 1:03:48

58. Casey Munro (Aus), Drapac Porsche, at 1:03:48

59. Jason Allen (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 1:04:37

60. Chris Jory (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 1:06:39

61. Steffen Radochla (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 1:08:36

62. Ryan Anderson (Can), Bicycle Superstore-Canada, at
1:09:44

63. Peter Dawson (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 1:10:06

64. Prajak Mahawong (Tha), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 1:10:43

65. Jason Hegert (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 1:12:39

66. Wim Botman (Nl), Dutch National, at 1:14:55

67. Felix Odebrecht (G), Wiesenhof-Felt, at 1:15:09

68. Luke Cridland (Aus), FRF Couriers-NSWIS, at 1:18:31

69. Craig Mccartney (Aus), Savings & Loans, at 1:18:38

70. Yoshiyuki Shimizu (Jpn), Nippo-Meitan Latrobe, at 1:20:36

71. Marc Ryan (NZ), Mitchelton Wines-New Zealand, at 1:28:48

72. William Ford (Aus), South Australia-AIS, at 1:46:13