Wiggins mixes it with world’s best
Albany cyclist Craig Wiggins has completed his toughest-ever event, after racing the five-stage 2019 Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Victoria with some of the world’s best riders from January 30 to February 3.
The gruelling tour was the first UCI sanctioned race that Wiggins has been a part of, joining the St George Continental team where they came up against world tour teams including Tour de France winners Team Sky.
Wiggins, who is contracted with the St George Continental team for one year, said finishing stages inside the time cuts was very challenging but he was pleased to complete all five stages and record two top 20 finishes.
“It was definitely the hardest block of racing I’ve ever done,” the 19-year-old said.
“Stage 4 was like 2000m of climbing up Arthurs Seat four times in 41C heat.
“I wasn’t really aiming for the (general classification), more after stage results as sprinting is my thing.
“A lot of people don’t make the time cuts so I was stoked to just finish.
“Stages 1 and 3, I had pretty decent results, it’s just another level that racing and a lot different to what I’m used to.”
Wiggins had terrific stage results on stages 1 and 3, finishing inside the top 20, and he was credited with 59th overall in the general classification.
On stage 1 Wiggins was credited with 18th place after being among a big group of riders that were officially four seconds behind the winner.
He also picked up a 15th placing on stage 3, again finishing with a big pack of riders who crossed the line 1min.19secs after the stage winner.
After stage 3, Wiggins had climbed to 48th in the GC standings and was eighth in the younger rider classification.
A total of 89 riders began the annual tour, which is Australia’s oldest professional stage race and Wiggins finished 37min.18sec. behind overall winner Dylan van Baarle from Team Sky in the GC standings.
Wiggins said rubbing shoulders with the likes of Richie Porte was an amazing experience and he would continue with the smaller-scale St George Continental team as they race the UCI circuit through Asia this year.
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