A FIST pump, a handshake from his dad, Peter, and an embrace from his mum, Erin, capped off a huge week for New Zealand cyclist Sam Horgan.
With his parents watching on from the sidelines, the 26-year-old Kiwi etched his name on the Tour of The Great Coast honour roll as he held on to the leader’s yellow jersey after yesterday’s final stage in Camperdown.
The Budget Forklifts team member snatched the lead after stage two on Wednesday and, with the help of his teammates, successfully defended the yellow jersey over the ensuing four days.
He won despite being under constant attack.
The last and strongest attack against his lead came yesterday from Drapac Cycling team member and last year’s tour runner-up Darren Lapthorne.
Lapthorne was outstanding on the windswept hilly Camperdown circuit, picking up 17 king of the mountain time bonuses that helped him shave 76 seconds off his general classification standing.
However, it wasn’t enough — Lapthorne finished in third position, 49 seconds behind Horgan.
Alex Edmondson took out stage honours yesterday, with time bonuses pushing him into second place overall and 19 seconds behind Horgan.
When it was confirmed Horgan would keep the yellow jersey, his mother raced down Manifold Street to congratulate her son — tears of joy in her eyes.
“I was so nervous for him all day,” she said.
“I’m so proud of him — he’s done a fantastic job.”
New Zealand based Horgan told The Standard said it was good timing that his parents were in Australia to see him claim “the biggest win of my life”.
“Mum had to come over for work, so I said to her and dad ‘stay for a couple of extra days and come and watch me race’,” an emotional Horgan said yesterday.
“I live in New Zealand and travel over to race the National Road Series races, so they don’t get to see me race that often.
“It was all just good timing.
‘‘I’m just so happy they could be here to see it.”
Horgan said he was “ecstatic” to take out the tour — especially after defending his lead for the majority of the event.
“I’ve never been in a position like that before, so I was really nervous,” he said.
“It’s incredibly hard to defend a lead over such a long time, but we isolated a couple of close competitors over the past couple of days to get me a good lead.
“I can’t thank my teammates enough — this was a great team ride.
‘‘They got me this win.”