Power makes it two from two in Italy

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11 Aug 2014 Cycling Australia

39^ GP POGGIANA - 4^ GP Pasta Zara (ITA) UCI 1.2 U23

(178km, 177 starters)

Australian u23 National Team

Harry Carpenter

Alex Clements

Campbell Flakemore

Jack Haig

Robert Power

Sam Spokes

Report by Cycling Australia Under 23 Coach, James Victor

Italian cycling website "Tutto bici web" has headlined another win for Robert Power as "The Australian Power annihilates everyone" ... And that's exactly what he did, a top-of-the-class victory! ! !

After Rob's season first win last Thursday, today provided a real chance for all of the guys to shine in one of the biggest under 23 international races of the season.

Held in the Treviso region of northeast Italy, this time of the year the weather can be a little unpredictable with the afternoon summer storms.

The temperature didn't quite reach the height of previous years, but the humidity certainly made the day one to be careful when managing the hot intensity.

This race and the nature of the course is one of the toughest for our guys.

Starting with four flat circuits (48km) around the start/finish village of Poggiana, the race heads to the hills and valleys surrounding Asolo. Riders tackle the famous climb of Mostacin before the course moves onto a really tough, narrow circuit which climbs around the short tough climbs of Montfumo.

After four circuits of 14.5km with no relief, riders then climb back over the Mostacin and through Asolo, before 30km of flat road leads the peloton back to Poggiana for one last circuit into the finish.

Small groups tried to escape early but Harry Carpenter's role was to keep our guys protected and use his time-trialling ability to minimise any significant gaps going into the climbs.

Harry along with Campbell brought a two minute gap to a lead group of six riders back to under 40 seconds by the 55km mark, leaving the rest of the guys in really good position approaching the climbs and hilly circuit.

The first ascent over the Mostacin saw the race break up quickly, with Jack getting into a small front group onto the circuit.

Rob followed three Zalf riders across to the lead group and a few more were scrambled onto the back as a lead group of 19 settled into the first circuit.

By the second lap, a group of four broke clear (still over 80km to go) which included Rob and one rider each from the Kazakhstan national team, Zalf Euromobil (ITA) and Gourmetfein Simplon (AUT).

From the third chase group, Alex Clements had worked his way across to Jack's group so the guys were well represented in the second group on the road while Rob was on a mission out front on a really tough course that he was relishing.

Trying to keep Rob under control on such a tough circuit is like trying to tame the bulls in Pamplona from running after red flags!

The plan to have Rob and Jack in late moves on the climbs soon changed to "save some energy for the final two climbs off the circuit."

This would prove crucial in the final attacks to get time on chasers heading to the finish.

Rob controlled himself well and on exiting the circuit to re-climb the Mostacin from the opposite direction, his lead group of four had a one minute and 24 second gap to one lone chaser and Jack and Alex's group a further 1min.55secs behind.

This is when Rob kicked into overdrive.

Waiting for the Zalf rider to take a strong turn from the bottom of the climb, Rob attacked from behind with two kilometres to go to the top, and went out of sight very quickly to gain a one minute lead at the GPM.

The Kazach rider was alone in second place, with the two others a further 200 metres behind.

One more climb to go through Asolo and Rob needed to gain more time if he was going to hold off the three chasers as well as a charging group from behind.

At the bottom of the descent and onto the flat run to the finish, Rob had put more time into the chasers (now out to two minutes and 15 seconds) with Jack sitting comfortably in the bunch, two minutes and 25 seconds behind.

Soon after the first chase group of three were caught by Jack’s group making 15 riders and resulting in Zalf working hard on the front to reel in Rob.

Incredibly, approaching the final circuit with 20km to go, Rob was still holding a two minute advantage!

Cramping in the hips for the last 15km, out-of-the-seat stretching through the corners and driving as hard as he could to hold off the chase, Rob wasn't going to let this victory drift away.

This is without doubt the most impressive win of the season for Rob and the support from his Aussie teammates!

Rob sat-up at 300 metres to go saluting to the large crowd and was able to finish one minute and 25 seconds in front of the bunch sprint behind.

Jack finished well for seventh place, with Alex in the next group behind for 25th.

So another great win for the team with Rob certainly showing his full potential in super form. Not surprisingly, Rob also received the "Most Aggressive" rider award.

Result

1. Robert POWER (AUS) Australia National team

(178km in 4 hrs 18.08 mins. @  41.472 km/hr.)

2. Andrea Toniatti  (ITA) Zalf Eurormobil Desiree Fior  @ 1m.25s.

3. Luca Chirico (ITA) MG KVIS Trevigiani

7. Jack Haig (AUS)

25. Alex Clements (AUS) @ 3m.35s.

 

 

Next Saturday is another of the Italian summer classics with GP Capodarco on the southeast coast.

200 starters = 40 teams of 5 riders, UCI 1.2 for elite riders, 180km, and the usual hot summers day on the coast. 

And a really tough finish that should again suit Robert and Jack and without any pressure on, Rob will chase the hat trick.

Jack is also climbing very well and will certainly be a contender in this classic.

Then Sunday not too far away from Saturday's race is GP Valdaso for another solid weekend of racing.

News Source : Power makes it two from two in Italy
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