Herald Sun Tour runner up Jai Hindley (WA) continued the early season success for the Australian Under 23 National Team as he sprinted to second from a four rider group at Trofeo Citta di San Vendemiano on Sunday April 23rd.
The West Australian’s second place finish was the fifth podium in the row for the team following four podiums by Lucas Hamilton (VIC).
Hindley became the fifth Australian in 10 years to stand on the podium at Trofeo Citta di San Vendemiano. Joining 2008 winner Simon Clarke, Patrick Lane (third 2011), Caleb Ewan (second 2014) and Robert Power (third 2015).
“It feels awesome to finally get a podium, obviously I’m disappointed not to get the win, but I couldn’t have given it anything more,” Hindley said of his first podium in Europe for 2017 after finishing 10th at G.P. Palio del Recioto last week.
The team started the 171.8 kilometre race with five riders instead of the planned six with Hamilton, who was hit by a car on Friday recovering at the team base at the AIS European Training Centre.
A furious pace prevented a beak from forming on the opening six laps of a flat circuit. As the race hit the four laps of a taxing 29 kilometre circuit including the tricky Ca ‘del Poggio climb the team focused on positioning and ensuring they were well placed for any moves.
“The whole team rode perfectly all day with good communication out on the road. Then the guys set me up with perfect lead out leading into the descent before the second last climb,” Hindley explained.
“Then on the last climb a group of four went over the top and stayed away until the finish. I sprinted for second with Michael Storer not far behind as well.”
Nicola Conci (Zalf Euromobil Fior) managed to edge Hindley in the sprint with Under 23 Tour of Flanders winner Edward Dunbar (Axeon Hagens Berman) completing the podium.
The podium finish continues a strong season for Hindley who in addition to second at the Herald Sun Tour finished top 25 in the opening two World Tour races of the season; Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. Before climbing on to the podium at the Oceania Championships.
“I was really grateful to get the start in Cadel’s and Down Under and I think I really benefited from racing at that level.”
With six races in the legs in Europe for 2017 the team continues to go from strength to strength with Hindley, now in his second year on the team excited by their performances and teamwork.
“I think the new team has gelled really well which shows in the results. It’s a great bunch of guys who are all strong riders in their own right. I’m super happy to be apart of it.”
Australia’s world champion men’s track endurance team arrived in Italy last week and will start their three month racing block with Gran Premio della Liberazione, April 25.