Thomas Bolton claimed a commanding sprint victory in atrocious racing conditions at the Orica Kermesse in Newcastle on Saturday. The 21 year old was set up perfectly by teammate and defending champion William Hodges, and local Oliver’s boys Aiden Sinclair & Kai Chapman to take the teams third straight win at the event. For Bolton it was also his 4th victory in a week: Claiming the Under 23 NSW Criterium Championship one week earlier in Sydney, and winning two club races thereafter on Sunday and Tuesday.
With Bolton & Hodges as the race favorites, it was left to Sinclair and Chapman to represent the GREEN TEAM in any early breakaways as the rain tumbled down throughout the 96km, 8 lap event held at the Hunter Economic Zone. Sinclair was present in the first serious move of the day, but it was reeled in at the 15km point. Chapman then went on the attack, moving away from the peloton with Riley Field (Team Bridgelane) and Canberran Dylan Hopkins (Ljubljana Gusto Santic). The trio gained a maximum advantage of 1min 10sec in a breakaway that would only be caught on the final lap.
With Chapman represented in the breakaway, his remaining teammates were able to have an easy ride in the peloton for the majority of the race. Though a number of late crashes made even staying upright a challenge.
In the final kilometres Bolton was moved to the front by his teammates and lead out to the line, launching a powerful sprint from the front in a tough uphill finish to take victory over Daniel Gandy (St George Continental) & Jarrod Williams (Avantias Racing).
Bolton is hoping to carry his good form into this weekends NSW Road Championships, and event he finished second in last season whilst riding for Drapac Pro Cycling, to now teammate Hodges.
Thomas Bolton: “It was pretty special to have the previous two winners of the Orica Kermesse ride for me on Saturday. I am super happy to take the win at what is basically the Oliver’s team’s home race. Thanks to the lads for backing me.”