Chris Froome takes overall lead in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour from Sky team-mate Peter Kennaugh on a tough final stage
- Photos by Graham Watson

Chris Froome sealed the overall victory in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Australia on Sunday, after Sky team-mate Peter Kennaugh relinquished the race lead during a hot and fast final day.

Kennaugh led the race going into stage four, which featured three ascents of the decisive Arthurs Seat climb. As the day unfolded, Froome found himself in a position to take the stage win and overall lead as Kennaugh was further behind.

After attacking on the second ascent of Arthurs Seat in an attempt to claim the King of the Mountains points, Froome found himself out front with KOM rival Joe Cooper (Avanti-IsoWhey). The duo continued to ride ahead of the bunch, but by the third and final ascent of Arthurs Seat, Froome had gone solo to take the win as the peloton splintered behind him.

>>> Five talking points from the Herald Sun Tour

It’s the 30-year-old British rider’s first victory of the season, and the first since winning the 2015 Tour de France. It’s also the first time a British rider has won the Herald Sun Tour since Bradley Wiggins’ victory in 2009.

Chris Froome wins stage four of the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Chris Froome wins stage four of the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Manxman Kennaugh came home in seventh place to take second place overall behind Froome, with Damien Howson (Orica-GreenEdge) in third overall. Froome also topped the King of the Mountains classification after his efforts on Arthurs Seat.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better week as a team with Pete [Kennaugh] kicking things off earlier on going into the leader’s jersey, first and second on that stage and then obviously winning today – the final stage up Arthurs Seat,” Froome said after the stage.

Froome also explained Sky’s tactics, which saw him take over the lead from his team-mate on a hectic day: “It’s never easy. Even a day like today it’s never easy to win a bike race, even if you’re against people you don’t really know. You’ve got to turn yourself inside out for the result. As much as an eight-minute climb can hurt, it did.”

Peter Kennaugh on stage four of the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Peter Kennaugh on stage four of the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Kennaugh was evidently disappointed not to have continued his run in the race lead until the race’s conclusion.

“It was really quick,” Kennaugh said of the stage’s pace. “120km of flat-out racing all the way. It was hot. I’m a bit gutted not to win but Froomey won and he was the strongest throughout the race so he deserves the win.

“I’m really happy with my stage win at the start and the way I’ve started the season so, I think happy days for Froomey today and happy days for the team all round.”

Kennaugh was involved in a spat during the stage with Australian Pat Shaw (Avanti IsoWhey), and the two riders exchanged words – something which had apparently started during the recent Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, won by Kennaugh.

“That’s sport I guess. It happens but there’s no need for it in the peloton,” said Kennaugh.

>>> Watch: Peter Kennaugh and Caleb Ewan battle for Herald Sun Tour stage win

Shaw’s sports director, Andrew Christie-Johnson, gave his perspective on the incident, saying: “There’s nothing to it other than it’s a blue that you’d have in a school yard and that’s the way it is.

“There was nothing more than what Kennaugh had said to two or three of our riders over the other days. Froomey acknowledged that they’ve got someone who’s a bit of a hothead and at the same time, so do we.”

Chris Froome after stage four of a the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Chris Froome after stage four of a the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Results

Jayco Herald Sun Tour, stage four: Arthurs Seat to Arthurs Seat, 122km
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky in 2-58-44
2. Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 17 secs
3. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare at 21 secs
4. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) KordaMentha-Australia at 29 secs
5. Robbie Hucker (Aus) Avanti-IsoWhey
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at same time
7. Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky at 32 secs
8. Jack Bobridge (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 36 secs
9. Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Avanti-IsoWhey at 41 secs
10. Dion Smith (NZl) One Pro Cycling at 43 secs

Final general classification
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky in 12-53-00
2. Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky at 29 secs
3. Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-01
4. Jack Bobridge (Aus) Trek-Segafredo at 1-04
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-14
6. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcareat 1-15
7. Robbie Hucker (Aus) Avanti-IsoWhey at 1-20
8. Christopher Hamilton (Aus) KordaMentha-Australia at 1-23
9. Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) Avanti-IsoWhey at 1-32
10. Dion Smith (NZl) One Pro Cycling at 1-32

Damien Howson after stage four of the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Damien Howson after stage four of the 2016 Jayco Herald Sun Tour

  • http://richard-leeming-mchale.net/2015/12/10/richard-leeming-mchale-about/ richard leeming-mchale

    Thanks for explaining, Liz. social media seems abuz with this topic though – maybe Sky could put out an explanation to calm it down a bit. great start to the year for the team though. shame they’re not at Qatar – Cav gets all my cheers there now!

  • Liz Miller

    KOM was important, but when Joseph Cooper (Avanti IsoWhey Sport) then attacked him, had he gone back to help Pete, they might then have lost the 1-2. From what the guys said the gave Froomey the OK to go for it, and there seemed to be no animosity at the finish or on the podium as far as I could see. In my opinion!

  • elan

    Okay winning small races,but its not the Tour or Giro where all the big guns will be.And its not the Classics.If Froome had lost this race there would be questions asked.

  • Gary Jogela

    Well said.it seems these fans preferred it when British riders mostly won nowt.

  • http://richard-leeming-mchale.net/2015/12/10/richard-leeming-mchale-about/ richard leeming-mchale

    we’ll just have to wait for the next book to come out to really find out! Well chuffed with the Poels win though – amazing attack on Rosa and Aru when he’d had enough of their games.

  • Tim packer

    Tbh I think that attack by Chris froome wasn’t really planned but when sky realised he could take over GC after attacking they just said go for it … Perhaps it was the hierarchy of sky saying it looks better with ” the main man ” winning . Who knows!!

  • http://richard-leeming-mchale.net/2015/12/10/richard-leeming-mchale-about/ richard leeming-mchale

    Liz – you’re right – I didn’t watch it – as I said in earlier comment, could CF have helped PK up the hill to help him to GC victory, or was the KOM too important to him? I still love the guy, though, and will be supporting him all season as usual!!

  • http://richard-leeming-mchale.net/2015/12/10/richard-leeming-mchale-about/ richard leeming-mchale

    I gather you’re not a Wiggo fan, then, Tim 😉 I like(d) em both – was just a surprise waking up that result, especially knowing the CF had nothing to prove by winning (GC or KOM), – do you think he could have hauled PK up Arthur’s Seat to help him claim the GC?

  • Liz Miller

    Have you actually seen the race and the finish?

  • Liz Miller

    I have to wonder if you have you actually watched the last stage and what happened over the finish line?

  • Tim packer

    If I remember correctly Wiggins promised to ride in support of Chris froome after his gifted 2012 win .. It’s just a shame this rider never stuck to his word.. As for leading out cavendish in Paris it wasn’t like he was doing the team any favours.. They could of done that without him there or not.. Wiggins is a spoil brat on only “won” the tour because Chris froome was told not to ‘ drop ” him in the mountains.. Team sky arnt exactly missing Wiggins don’t you think!!

  • Yorkshireman

    You must have missed Wiggins leading out Cav up the Champs Elysse at the end of the tour and at least on one other stage from memory.

    Anyway, I don’t recall mentioning Wiggins in my comment but he obviously upsets you; I was just commenting it was sad victories could not be shared around particularly with the support Pete gave Froome in last years tour and to me it leaves a sour taste

  • Vance Harvey

    How sad….what should have been a day celebrating Froome and Sky winning, descends yet again into a Froome/Sky bashing session by the normal posters!
    If you don’t like it then just Get Over it – cos I love to see Froome/Sky winning!

  • Tim packer

    Richard leeming mchale. The only rider who left a sour taste was Bradley Wiggins. Stuck up his own —-

  • Tim packer

    Yorkshireman.. The only rider from team sky who NEVER stuck to his word helping teammates was bradley Wiggins ..

  • http://richard-leeming-mchale.net/2015/12/10/richard-leeming-mchale-about/ richard leeming-mchale

    agree so far with comments. love Frommey, but this result leaves a bit of a sour taste – did Wiggo have a point after all?

  • Liz Miller

    Much as I am sad for Pete, you have to look back to Stage 1, where Froomey let Pete take the win. If he was at all selfish, he’d have taken it then and been in Yellow all race. He was the stronger on the final day and he got the go-ahead from the guys to stay out in front after he secured KOM. Have you actually seen the race and Froomey and PK at the finish?

  • Andrew Bairsto

    So it seems the result was ordered by Sky ,Peter was far the better rider IMO.

  • Yorkshireman

    So Froome holds himself out as the team player but it seems this only applies if the team is there to support him. Great ride by Pete the last few days and with support from Froome it could have still been a Sky 1-2 but a well deserved victory for Pete who is likely to spend the rest of the year supporting Froome. Has Froome ever supported anyone else unless he was ordered to do so?