It was a show of strength and tactics by the UK outfit that saw them claim 2 stage wins, the Jayco Herald Sun yellow jersey, the Crema Construction Polka Dot KOM Jersey, the Summer of Cycling Victoria young rider category and the overall Visit Victoria Teams classification.
Ayden TOOVEY (Bridgelane) took the Gatorade Sprint Green jersey, as the only outlier in a Sky dominated final stage.
A small breakaway of six riders, that soon became eight, held sway for much of the 22 laps of the Botanic Gardens, before the big teams started firing. The WorldTour line-ups closed it down in the final few kilometres and the race became a bunch sprint to the line.
Norwegian sprinter Kristoffer HALVERSON (Team Sky) prevailed over Dion SMITH (Mitchelton-SCOTT) with national criterium champion Brenton JONES (KordaMentha Australian Team) rounding out the podium
But the yellow remained with Dylan VAN BAARLE who sailed across the line in the peloton, claiming the 2019 title and the third Dutchman to win the famous race.
“The boys did an amazing job today actually all week they rode really well I am happy that I could finish it off. It was pretty hard still and also the guys said they suffered a bit, but we wanted to win the stage as well and Kristoffer delivered as well.”
The winner has recovered from an horrific accident that saw him sidelined for months last year. “We worked pretty hard back home to recover from the crash (Broken pelvis at La Vuelta, Spain) and it was a tough month, but I am happy that I come back stronger than in the Vuelta maybe.”
“We don’t change anything we keep on the same rules as we did last year and the year before and we tried to do an even better season this year than last year.”
And his thoughts on taking this form into the European season “It’s still far away of course but this has given me a confidence boost and also for the team I think we work really well. The guys are already in a good shape, we are on a good level, let’s think the Classics will be nice to race.”
Gumbuya World Stage 5 winner Kristoffer Halvorsen:
“The team was working really good all day and I think, it was three laps to go and I had 40 seconds or something, so I was thinking we will have to go fast the two next laps but the team was doing a really good job and in the end we had pretty good control because the last 2Ks we saw them just ten seconds in front of us and the climb was just going full guts from the bottom, and for me it was just to stay on the wheel of Owain and he will do the … take me in a good position and he did a really good job in the end when it was 150m to go it was… just tried to be the first man over the line and I’m really happy that I could do that.”
“Last year when I started the year it was really bad… was crashing in the first … the tour Down Under. Completely different start this year. Really good to get through these two races also with a win is really nice for our confidence.”
And his goals for the year: “To be up there in the sprints, in the World Tour, sure it’s like one or two steps up, but to start the year with a win it’s given me good confidence and hopefully I will also take some wins in Europe that’s the goal.”
Jayco Herald Sun Tour Race Director Scott McGRORY “The final stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour is over, what a cracker it was. Team Sky they came here and they completely dominated the tour for all the stages that we’ve had which have just been fantastic. We’re very proud of the courses that we built that created the racing that we saw throughout this week, so very happy to see the way the racing played out and very happy to see Team Sky, the big one from the World Tour come away with so many of the jerseys. The one jersey they didn’t win was the Gatorade sprint jersey, that went to Ayden Toovey, a local boy, they took everything else. Dylan van Baarle takes the overall tour this year, another international name to watch as he climbs the ladder once he goes back over to Europe.”
“And The Lexus of Blackburn Women’s Tour let’s go back to that, that was the first two days. Chloe Hosking the Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist won the first day and then a new name on the world scene, she’s been there for a couple of years, but she certainly is on her way up, Lucy Kennedy won the hardest stage, took out the overall tour in front of her teammate Amanda Spratt. So Spratty we know, she’s been on great form, but Lucy Kennedy, that’s the new name from Mitchelton Scott that’s on her way up. It’s been a fantastic week of racing and congratulations to Dylan Van baarle and to Lucy Kennedy for their overall victories.”