Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) confirmed his first overall victory of the season after safely finishing in the front group on the final stage of the Herald Sun Tour.
The Colombian carried a 45 second advantage over his nearest rival Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) heading into the stage, with Chaves’ teammates Cameron Meyer and Damien Howson sitting between them in second and third respectively.
Mitchelton-Scott worked hard on the difficult circuits of the fourth stage, controlling the initial breakaway of 14 riders to a maximum of 90 seconds advantage.
It was back together for the final lap, with Robert Power setting a gruelling pace on the climb that prevented any attacks that could threaten Chaves’ overall advantage and put a lot of riders in trouble, significantly reducing the front group.
A group of 17 made into the final bend towards the line, with Sam Crome (Bennelong SwissWellness) taking the biggest win of his career as he sprinted ahead of Cameron Meyer.
Chaves rolled in with Howson further down in the group, safely collecting the overall title in the 65th edition of the Australian race.
“It’s a really nice feeling to win here in the home country of the team,” Chaves said on his victory. “We are really happy with the team, we rode really well.
“We raced this year different, every climb was full gas with the breakaway really close. It was intense but the team did very well so thanks very much to all of them. It is unbelievable to have one, two, three overall.
“I think this is only the second general classification I won in my career so it is very beautiful and I am really happy.”
Jayco Herald Sun Tour 2018, stage four: Kinglake – Kinglake (152.1km)
1. Sam Crome (Aus) Bennelong SwissWellness, in 3-37-34
2. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
3. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo
4. Thomas Stuart (GBr) JLT Condor
5. August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
6. Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport
7. Oliver Martin (Aus) Brisbane Continental Cycling Team
8. Freddy Ovett (Aus) ACA – Ride Sunshine Coast
9. Casper Pedersen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport
10. Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy, all same time
Final overall classification
1. Esteban Chaves (Col) Mitchelton-Scott, in 18-34-09
2. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 26s
3. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 39s
4. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo, at 41s
5. Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Bennelong SwissWellness, at 1-03
6. Chris Harper (Aus) Bennelong SwissWellness, at 1-09
7. Sam Crome (Aus) Bennelong SwissWellness, at 1-48
8. Alexander Evans (Aus) Mobius BridgeLane, at 1-54
9. Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy, at 2-02
10. Freddy Ovett (Aus) ACA – Ride Sunshine Coast, at 2-04