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by Shane Stokes
October 16, 2017
Theuns wins final stage of Tour of Turkey, Ulissi takes overall; Van der Poel, Kaptheijns take Super Prestige victory in sand dunes of Zonhoven; Wurf smashes Ironman bike course record in Kona, finishes 17th; Elliott becomes first rider to win consecutive Warrnambool Classics; Howes extends with Slipstream Sports for two years; Leipheimer announces fundraising initiative to help those affected by California fires; Video: MAMIL (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) trailer.
Nathan Elliott’s year started off with a major setback when he suffered a concussion and suffered a fractured arm after being hit by a car in the Santos Tour Down Under. Months later, he made history on Saturday when he became the first rider to ever win back to back Anchor Point Melbourne to Warrnambool cycling classic titles.
The IsoWhey Sports-SwissWellness rider reached the finish two seconds clear of Sam Welsford (Northern Districts WA CC), Tommy Nankervis (Stitch and Dart) and the rest of a large front group. “I really went for it at the 2km [point], dug deep, and gee, it was hard those last 300m up the hill and into a head wind,” he said. “But I wanted it so bad. I knew nobody had gone back-to-back in this great race and when I had it in my grasp I certainly wasn’t going to die wondering – I just gave it everything I had.”
Elliott went clear early on in a six man move which, given the 277 kilometre length of the race, was bound to cost him if they were hauled back. The sextet did open a lead of over five minutes, but they were caught inside the final two hours of racing. However he had enough left to be part of each subsequent move, then finally broke the elastic with six kilometres to go.
NSW Institute of Sport’s Tom Robinson tried to haul him back, but Elliott had enough left to hang on. Welsford took second, and the world team pursuit champion said that the result showed his worth on the road.
“It was a great experience and good to show that track riders can be competitive in these really tough road races,” he stated. “The two mountain climbs were really tough for big guys like me but when I re-joined the peleton and it became obvious it would be a sprint home I was rapt.”
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