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Tour Of The Tropics | Tour Review

Updated: Aug 8, 2019


Following our stage wins at the recent Tour Of The Philippines (UCI 2.2), Team Nero Bianchi started the National Road Series Tour Calendar with a quiet confidence. 

Still, we were under no illusion that the quality of the domestic opposition was world class in every respect and thus, we would have our work cut out to secure any success. 

Our Tour of the Tropics squad included Sam Hill, Jesse Coyle, Leigh Phillips, Jordan Louis, Chris Miller and Jay Vine, with Luke Manion and Jarrod Williams running the show behind the scenes. 

While weather conditions were unquestionably challenging and frustrating (especially for Jarrod who was on bike cleaning duty), the race itself featured some incredibly tough and aggressive racing; a testament to both the tour organisers for selecting the course, and the NRS and continental teams who travelled such a long distance to compete. 

Overall the racing was just as tough as we had expected and hoped for (the details of which we will leave to an upcoming YouTube video or two!), however with our success on both stage one and stage four, the team was in the new position of defending a GC lead for the entirety of the tour. 

Jesse Coyle lead the troops through his actions and even the odd positive word (not just a grumpy face!), with Chris Miller, Leigh Phillips and Jordan Louis backing up our leaders Jay Vine and Sam Hill. 

You could pinpoint the moment the race was won to the first stage, when Jay Vine, who had forced a selection of three riders including team mate Sam Hill and In Form Rider Jarrad Drizners, dropped Sam’s wheel to force Jarrad to close the gap. 

This action allowed Sam to ride away solo for the stage win and gave him almost a minute lead on GC. This small action, given the strength of Jay throughout the tour, would have been tough knowing the stage win could have been his on that day. 

Sam Hill held the leaders jersey for much of the tour

As the tour progressed and we defended Sam’s general classification lead, we made plenty of mistakes, but we made up for them quickly and effectively. Leigh Phillips’ biggest mistake, (his decision to eat the last remaining vegan burger) is one that will linger with him for some time. 

The final stage saw Sam Hill lose his GC position after a brutal criterium which saw the entire field pulled except for four riders. The image ofSam (still in the jersey he wanted so badly) cheering on his mate Jay Vine in the closing laps is one that will live with us for a long time. 

Jay went on to claim third in the crit and take the tour win. The team also claimed its maiden Teams Classification (TC) win at an NRS tour. The particulars of TC win calculation methods would be a topic of heated discussion over a beer or two later that evening (we just hope Duckworth Lewis was involved).

From here, it is on to the Tour Of Tweed. We as a team will enjoy this moment for now; anyone who follows us or any NRS team knows well the work that goes in to competing in a race like this, both on and off the bike. 

The winners Bianchi XR4 bike

The support of our financial and equipment partners make all this possible, the endless patience of our families and friends is forever appreciated, and so is the motivation of both this community here on Facebook and that on YouTube. It all inspires us to perform better, work harder and where possible, focus on those wins – those of us on the bike are just a small part of a much larger support team.

Finally to anyone who tells you it doesn’t rain much in Queensland, please contact us directly with their postal address and we will express post them a set of brown (previously white) Shimano socks.

View the Tour Vlog above or click here -

Follow the team on Instagram. Lots of great story content during all the racing.


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