The party was ever louder when it was time for the men who started after the women's race. The crowd got bigger, beverages of choice were consumed, and the party continued.

Toyota-United came to the front in the final lap and pulled out a one-two punch with Hilton Clarke and Ivan Stevic taking the first two spots outsprinting Rory Sutherland (Heath Net-Maxxis).



"We definitely had a plan last night that we were going to hit the front with five laps to go, but after seeing the course, we said we better hit out with about one and half to go and control the hill. We've got a couple of big strong guys on the team and they just controlled the big downhill perfectly and then we ran short a little bit at the end but then a Successful Living rider jumped us which actually worked a little bit in our advantage, Stevic followed him and passed him at the finish and I just come pass Stevic at the finish." said Clarke about the final lap.



The pace was high from the beginning of the 90 minute criterium, if we can call that, as the 1.3 mile course with nearly 135 feet of climbing every lap resembled more a circuit race.

The Bissell team were right at the front, protecting GC leader Ben Jacques-Maynes and covered every attack until the final laps when Toyota-United came to the front to set up their leadout train.


Bissell's Jeremy Vennell covering a move

"We made a pretty good plan before the race if it comes to the sprint to do it for Hilton, and I cover his wheel and see what comes up but at the end we were short with the leadout and I had to move in front and do a leadout for him which was perfect, that was the plan to make him win today, everything went perfect." said Stevic.

"He was behind our train, he was there right at the spot, with a finish like this it's easy to get a wheel behind the train because it's hard to be there, so only the good guys can take the wheel and Rory was in a perfect spot. He raced aggressive today so he lost a lot of energy and paid for it at the end. But still a good ride for him." said Stevic about Sutherland position in the final turn.

After picking up the 10 second time bonus on the line, Clarke is the new GC leader with Stevic slotting into second position at a one second gap. Jacques-Maynes lost out on the time bonuses, and moved down to third in GC, and Sutherland moved up to fourth, with a five seconds deficit.

But, the GC is expected to change in the next stage, the Cooper Spur Circuit Race as the roads start going up and the climbers come out.

"I'm going to plan to win the overall," laughed Clarke. "Just kidding. We're just going to keep racing day by day and see what happens.We'll just keep everyone guessing all week."