Britain’s Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) placed fourth in the opening road stage of the 2009 Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia on Monday.
Wiggins lead in the bunch four seconds behind stage winner Jaan Kirsipuu (LeTua) after 149km of racing around Ballarat, Victoria.
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“Finished fourth today. More beer and less bike riding seems to be the new recipe for success!” Wiggins wrote on his Twitter feed after the stage, referring to the ‘relaxing’ time he’s had since placing fourth in the Tour de France in July.
Forty-year-old Estonian Tour de France stage winner Kirsipuu edged ahead of Wiggins’ Garmin-Slipstream team-mate Chris Sutton and Sunday’s Preface criterium winner Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) to take the victory.
There is a strong British contingent taking part in the six-stage race. As well as Wiggins, the British Pro Continental team Rapha-Condor have a squad at the event which includes Dean Downing – a creditable sixth in the first stage – and British national champion Kristian House.
The UCI 2.1-ranked Jayco Herald Sun Tour runs from October 11-17 and includes four road stages, one individual time trial and a finishing criterium in Melbourne on Saturday, October 17.
Jayco Herald Sun Tour 2009: Ballarat, 149km
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) LeTua in 3-41-54
2. Chris Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream
3. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Fly V Australia
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Garmin-Slipstream at 4secs
5. David Pell (Aus) Savings & Loans
6. Dean Downing (GB) Rapha Condor
7. Matthew Wilson (Aus) Jayco Australia
8. David Tanner (Aus) Rock Racing
9. Richard Lang (Aus) Budget Forklifts
10. Mitchell Pearson (Aus) Prime Estate
18. Simon Richardson (GB) Rapha-Condor
30. Tom Southam (GB) Rapha-Condor at same time
73. Matt Cronshaw (GB) Rapha-Condor at 38secs
74. Ben Greenwood (GB) Rapha-Condor
78. Kristian House (GB) Rapha-Condor at same time