Irish team EvoPro Racing have moved to the top of the UCI Continental team rankings after Wouter Wippert finished third on today’s opening stage at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. In a photo tight finish, Wippert grabbed third position at the line, with Dan Mclay of EF Education First and Kristoffer Halvorsen of Team Sky taking first and second respectively.
“Today the plan was to out local lad Cyrus in the break and he duly obliged, making the key 17 man move. EF and Trek had to pull hard to eventually take it back. Then our main plan unfolded, to set Wouter up for the sprint. We may have gone a bit early as Wouter ended up alone in the last K but there are key moments where decisions have to be made on the road and the guys chose the moment. I believe the only bad decision is no decision. Third in our first ever proper leadout, in this field is not bad. So we move on and up, and look forward to tomorrow’s stage with some testing climbs,” said Morgan Fox, Head Sports Director of EvoPro Cycling.
Cyrus Monk was strong in the early break and then formed a team unit to control the peloton within the last 20km. Monk continues to be instrumental in his ability to aggressively maintain long efforts controlling the front of the races.
Wippert was satisfied with the result but even more pleased with the teamwork and communication during the stage.
“Great work by the team to take the initiative! We tried hard to win the first stage today and got close. We will look to adjust a few things for the sprint stages later this week. As riders, we have good communication and respect for each other on this team. We work well together and you can see this day by day. I am excited for the rest of this week with the boys. We have some good form going so we will try to play all our cards,” said Wippert.
Road captain Aaron Gate (NZ) shared Wippert’s sentiments as to the cohesive teamwork.
“Boys all worked really well together today. We took control of the race with 2.5 of the 22 laps remaining with Cyrus, Luke and Harry chopping off on the front to keep us in good position and I worked to set the sprint up for Wouter. There was a bit of chaos in the corners and crosswinds in the final km, but Wouter still managed to get up for a solid 3rd place in the sprint finish to kick the tour off for us,” said Gate.
The team will look its young riders Harry Sweeney and Daniel Whitehouse as the race heads into the hills tomorrow.
The Irish Professional Cycling team continues the momentum of the GC win by Gate last week at New Zealand Cycling Classic and the team currently now sits atop the UCI Continental points list.
EvoPro Racing opens the 2019 season with a split squad, one roster at Jayco Herald Sun Tour and the other, in Mallorca Challenge which starts Thursday, lead by the team’s Irish and Italian riders.