AFTER 700 kilometres of cycling the final result came down to five seconds.
Following a thrilling road race in Camperdown yesterday, West Australian cyclist Anthony Giacoppo was crowned the winner of the inaugural Tour of the Great South Coast — five seconds ahead of Darren Lapthorne in second.
Giacoppo said it was his biggest win.
“I’ve had a few good one-day results but I’ve never been able to have a consistently good week,” Giacoppo said.
“I actually had no idea I had won until someone came up to me and said congratulations — I thought Darren (Lapthorne) had it for sure.”
The Genesys Wealth Advisers’ cyclist went into yesterday’s leg wearing the yellow jersey, and an 11-second buffer, after stealing it from Lapthorne after Saturday’s Koroit criterium.
Giacoppo said he was nervous heading into the final stage which included an arduous climb between lakes Gnotuk and Bullen Merri.
“We always knew that Darren and the Drapac boys would give it a red hot go on the hills so we needed to get out there and take as many time bonus points as we could to make sure I held onto the lead,” he said.
“We sent a small group out the front early, which meant Drapac had to use their riders early on and then we could just come over the top of them at the finish.
“The boys have done a lot for me this week, so it was nice to be able to come through with a win as a reward for their efforts.”
By the second lap of the 15km circuit, a breakaway comprising RBS Morgan’s Cameron Peterson and Pure Black Racing duo Roman Van Uden and Joseph Cooper gained a 55-second gap on the main bunch.
By lap four, the peloton reformed, trailing by one minute and three seconds when they crossed the line.
Riders braved torrential rain on the climb on the fifth lap, where the gap was reduced to 16 seconds before Peterson tried to go solo but was eventually caught by a group.
When the bell rang on the final lap, it was Lapthorne and Genesys’ Campbell Flakemore and Jai Crawford at the front of the lead pack. After picking up time bonuses, Lapthorne hit the front in the general classification, which he tried to consolidate with a second placing on the last climb, which was taken out by Crawford.
But Lapthorne’s general classification lead was short-lived when Giacoppo made ground and contested a bunch finish, putting him in third behind Flakemore and Ben Hill.
Giacoppo said he would love to follow in the footsteps of Genesys teammates Steele Von Hoff and Nathan Haas who have progressed to international teams.
“I’d love to be able to find myself on one of the world tour teams, that’s the ultimate goal.”