Cyclists surge into Strathgordon

Lapthorne crossing the line

STRATHGORDON surged into life this afternoon when the 2012 Tour of Tasmania arrived in town. The winner of last Sunday’s snow-shortened Launceston to New Norfolk Classic, Darren Lapthorne, claimed victory in today’s arduous leg of the tour. The race started in New Norfolk this morning and finished a gruelling 123.5km later at Lake Pedder.

Like he did in Sunday’s classic, the 2007 national road champion crossed the line solo in the picturesque village on the shore of Lake Pedder. The finish line was a welcome sight for riders, who endured an undulating course. “It was a really hard day,” said Lapthorne, who described it as “one of the best road stages we’ve done in an Australian tour.”

It was the first running of the New Norfolk to Strathgordon leg and the difficulty of the stage was highlighted by the first and last riders being separated by almost 50 minutes. Today’s sprint jersey went to Neil Van Der Ploeg, while the Norske Skog King of the Mountains leader is John West Cycling’s Matthew Clark. Many of the competitors are overnighting in New Norfolk ahead of tomorrow’s Westbury criterium which starts at noon.

Daily video highlights from the Tour of Tasmania can be seen at the Subaru NRS website. To see the action, visit http://nationalroadseries.subaru.com.au/

Photos by Mark Gunter

Darren Lapthorne, Mark O’Brien and Lachlan Norris leading by the lake

The lead group approaching the finish line at Strathgordon

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