James Whelan goes solo to win stage 1 of men’s race at Santos Festival of Cycling

James Whelan goes solo to win stage 1 of men’s race at Santos Festival of Cycling



James Whelan (Team BridgeLane) won stage 1 of the men’s racing in the Santos Festival of Cycling, this time pulling off the solo victory that he had been chasing at the Australian Road National Championships earlier this month. 

This time the rider, who has reluctantly stepped out of the WorldTour this season, easily held off the fierce chase by a group of 15 that included newly crowned Australian Champion Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia), Chris Harper (Villawood) and defending champion Luke Durbridge (BikeExchange-Jayco), who took the tour last year after carving out more than two minutes with a long-range solo effort on stage 1. The gap Whelan pulled out wasn’t quite as large, but at 1 minute and 23 seconds still provides a large buffer on the overall.



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