In May 2019 we set off to the land of the rising sun to take on the prestigious Tour of Japan!
Not being our first rodeo we knew the high standard of competition we were set to face. We took one of our strongest teams possible selected with the one goal in mind: take home the GC.
With Chris look sharp as ever following his dominating display at nationals and his previous success here. We thought this may just be our year.
We touched down in Osaka and allowed ourselves a few days to acclimatise ourselves to our new surroundings and culture.
Obviously one of the first stops for the boys was the local brew shop. Giving an opportunity to also flex our on trend yellow training jerseys.
🇯🇵 Stage 1 🇯🇵
The boys went deep in the ITT around Sakai. Chris was sat in the hot seat early on until a couple of blistering times, unfortunately, knocked him down to 6th. We were very proud of the lads for leaving it all on the road and it was a great start to the tour!
🇯🇵 Stage 02 🇯🇵
What a day!
A tough 16km circuit around Kyoto with a punchy climb and a technical descent set the stage for today.
We were counting on a reduced bunch finish and our man of the hour Ayden Toovey rode smart and took full advantage of it dominating the spring and taking the stage win!
🇯🇵 Stage 03 🇯🇵
Another big day on the bike this time out in Inabe. Birthday boy Lionel took a spill early on and spent the day chasing the peloton in what seemed like a 122km ITT but he held strong and was able to ensure he made time gap!
As for Ayden though he was unable to hold onto the GC he’s still looking pretty good in that white of the young riders jersey.
🇯🇵 Stage 04 🇯🇵
Stage 04 was always set to be a quiet day as we rolled through the picturesque Mino prefecture.
The plan was to keep the boys protected and out of trouble before moving onto the pointy end of the tour
So in all respects plan executed perfectly!
🇯🇵 Stage 05 🇯🇵
Contrasting to the stage previous, today was incredibly gruelling the Minami circuit was no joke. The 10 lap circuit made everyone very familiar with the 561m, 10% climb.
The lads held the race together and help controlled the breaks. It all came down to a bunch kick.
The lead-out train was full gas and positioned Nick right up there. Unfortunately, he couldn't find the right wheel but powered his way into third.
🇯🇵 Stage 06 🇯🇵
THE KING OF MOUNT FUJI!
What a ride! Dylan towed Chris perfectly until 6km to go and then sent him flying up the iconic mountain.
There were a few attempts to catch but none strong enough. Chris stomped his way to the top and planted his flag on the queen stage that has alluded him in recent years.
🇯🇵 Stage 07 🇯🇵
A very tough day on the bike.
The boys defended the green with all they had and it has stayed on Chris’s back due to the huge team effort!
We head into the final stage in Tokyo with a 40” lead on the GC!
🇯🇵 Stage 08 🇯🇵
Result! Chris takes home the GC and young riders jersey!
The team worked incredibly hard controlling the final stage and ensuring the honours. We’re absolutely stoked for Chris and the boys!
This was the first major win for the team and we can't wait to build upon their success as we continue to develop the next stars out of Oceania.
We're incredibly proud of the whole team and the character they showed through out the tour. We can't thank them, the backroom staff and the sponsors enough for their hard work and support!