Angus Lyons has reaffirmed his talent as one of the best climbers on the domestic racing circuit: Claiming his third King of the Mountains classification for season 2019 and finishing in 10th place overall at the final round of the National Road Series: The Spirit of Tasmania Cycling Tour.
A short lung-busting uphill prologue time trial would signal the start of the 5 day tour. A 600 meter ascent held just outside of Launceston saw pre-race favourite and former Oliver’s Racing rider Cameron Ivory complete an historic threepeat victory of the stage.
The opening road stage from George Town to Grindelwald would be would longest of the tour. A rolling 114km course that would be punctuated by a steep uphill finish before a brief run of flat road would take riders across the finish line. Angus Lyons managed to be present in the breakaway of the day. Lyons contested the multiple King of the Mountain hill sprints on offer: claiming enough to secure a lead in the classification. Hard riding from the 4 breakaway riders coupled with timing miscalculations from the peloton saw the quartet contest the stage win. A searing attack from Lyons saw him swiftly distance the rest of the field up the climb to Grindelwald: however a mechanical issue quickly reversed his gap and left Lyons with company where he sprinted to 2nd place.
Stage 2 would prove to be the main stage for deciding the overall classification. The peloton would tackle a 72km stage: With the famous 18 kilometre ascent of Poatina. Unfortunately for Lyons, who started the stage 2nd Overall: the previous days efforts proved taxing and he slid down to outside the top 10 overall. A stage win from Chris Harper was not enough however to overtake Lyons in the King of the Mountain classification, and he retained the jersey for another day.
For many years the steep slopes of stage 3: culminating with the Gunns Plains climb have shaken up the classification standings: and 2019 proved no different to previous years. Lyons was again able to force the breakaway of the day and secure further KOM points to solidify his lead in the classification and move back up into the top 10 overall. A select front group was all that made it over the climbs and the downhill run-in to the finish. In the main field Sebastian Presley was able to make the grade over the climb and contest the finish. The 21 year old was the highest placed Oliver’s rider home in 7th place.
A final hour long effort would draw the curtain on the Spirit of Tasmania Cycling Tour with a wind exposed criterium around Devonport. A breakaway of five riders would draw a clear lead early on in the race. 20 year old Campbell Jones contributed to the pace making of the breakaway for the Green Team, guaranteeing its success in staying away. After rolling the dice and attacking in an effort to arrive at the finish solo, Jones was countered by Raphael Freienstein who would go on to take stage honours.
At the end of five days of hard racing: Angus Lyons was able to secure a second place in Stage 1, the King of the Mountains jersey for the week, and finish with a Top 10 on the general classification.
Angus Lyons: “I was really hunting for that stage win and yellow leaders jersey on stage 1. In hindsight probably went a bit too deep and paid for it the next day. But it was good to roll the dice again and get into the break and secure the King of the Mountains on stage 3. It’s a good way to round out a year that’s been very successful for the team.”
Sam Layzell – Team Manager: “Circumstances meant we brought a very young squad to Tasmania with the view to long term, and that it will set us up well for season 2020. It was still very good to have Angus in great form and to take home a leaders jersey is a nice result. From my perspective however some of the performances by the young guys over the course of the week were very promising. Our team’s primary focus is in the end rider development and as mentioned: signs are very good for season 2020.”