Maeve, Jarrad, set pace on South West tour

14 May 2018

maeve plouffe

Above: (L-R) Olivia Wheeler, Sophie Edwards, Maeve Plouffe and Bree Hargrave at the recent Cycling Tour of South West

SASI'S strong cycling depth again was shown at the popular Cycling Tour of South West in Warrnambool, Victoria, with victories in the Elite Men's A, B and Women's A competitions on May 5 and 6.

Maeve Plouffe led the charge in the Women's A overall events to win the classification from Breanna Hargrave with fellow SASI athlete Sophie Edwards in fourth place.

Consistency played a big part in Drizners' success in the Elite Men A with third placings in the stage one 85km Road Race, a third in the second stage Individual Time Trial (12.5km) and third in the citerium. Bonus points pushed Drizners into the number one position at the end of the overall competition.

SASI also fielded athletes in the Elite Men B competition with Cooper Tye winning from Luke Wight and Lewis Walker a strong fourth. In the teams' category SASI won the Women's A event and finished fourth in the Elite Men's A.

Drizners was thrilled with his success and that of his teammates.

''This was my first time on the Tour,'' Drizners said.

''The program was changed a bit with the road race first and I was surprised to finish third. I wasn't sure how my form would be going into the last day but it held up and I guess my consistency over the stages really helped. The whole team did really well which was great being a part of.''

SASI Head Coach Cycling Brett Aitken said the team again excelled.

''We had plenty of top results which was very pleasing,'' Aitken said. ''Jarrad achieved some great results and he just got better and better. That was a major milestone for him. And Maeve's result and Breanna and Sophie also were really good and our under-19s which we had in the B tour were all great.

''It's a really good tour, a short tour but one we look forward to every year.

Meanwhile, Drizners and Braden O'Shea are off to Belgium on May 26 for some ''work experience'' to learn more about competition, training and racing on the other side of the world.

The duo will be mentored by professional coach John Wiggins who has a strong association with Aitken when he rode in Europe.

Drizners will stay with Wiggins for 10 weeks, while O'Shea will be on board for about six weeks. Both will ride in teams.

Drizners, who will turn 19 soon after arriving in Belgium, said he was excited about the prospect of learning a new riding culture.

''I was really keen to head overseas and to experience racing in Belgium,'' Drizners said.

''I'm just looking forward to racing and taking the next step in my development and to keep moving forward. Brett has been very helpful in helping set this up.''

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