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Schultz, van Baarle steal cycling Tour

Australian Nick Schultz has had his first professional win and Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle has snatched the lead at the Herald Sun Tour.

Schultz, van Baarle steal cycling Tour

Australian Nick Schultz has had his first professional win and Dutch rider Dylan van Baarle has snatched the lead at the Herald Sun Tour.

Dutchman Dylan van Baarle will win the Herald Sun Tour and Australian Nick Schultz is celebrating his first professional win after an Arthurs Seat boilover.

The expected stage-four fireworks between previous race leader Michael Woods and Australian cycling star Richie Porte never happened, as van Baarle and Schultz turned the Tour on its head in a major upset.


Schultz won the stage just ahead of van Baarle, who collapsed at the finish line.

Porte later said he did not have the legs as he recovered from a cold and also remained unimpressed at Woods for what happened at the end of stage two.

It meant Porte's Trek-Segafredo team did not help Woods' EF Education First team chase down van Baarle and Schultz near the end of Saturday's 112.9km stage from Cape Schanck to Arthurs Seat, south of Melbourne.

Team Sky exploited the situation perfectly to give van Baarle a decisive 24-second lead over Schultz (Mitchelton-Scott) before the last stage.

Sunday's circuit race at the Melbourne botanical gardens is unlikely to affect the top of the general classification.

Two days ago, Porte said Woods sat on his wheel for the last kilometre, before sprinting clear for the stage win and the race lead.

"I didn't have the legs. My team rode really well, but it's not up to us to win the race for Woods," Porte said after Saturday's stage.

"Obviously, he didn't have the team there for him and also he sat on me the other day for the last kilometre, which is not nice."

Van Baarle and Schultz were the last survivors of an eight-rider break which dominated the stage.

It will be a milestone Tour title for van Baarle, who suffered a fractured pelvis when he crashed out of last September's Vuelta a Espana and returned to racing this month at the Tour Down Under.

Likewise, Schultz is in his first season with the Australian Mitchelton-Scott team.

The expectation was that none of the breakaway riders would survive on the four laps of the Arthurs Seat finishing circuit and its steep climb at the end.

Sky might fold later this year, but they remain cycling's most powerful team.

Saturday's triumph followed their one-two result on stage three, when Owain Doull won ahead of Luke Rowe.

"You never know what's going to happen and, if you don't try, even if Michael and Richie are the best climbers in the world, you still have to try," van Baarle said.

Woods finished sixth on Saturday and dropped to third overall, while Porte was eighth and he dropped from second to fourth on GC.

AAP


AAP




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