Sebastian Berwick dug deep on the final stage of the Tour Down Under to finish in the main General Classification group which saw the young Australian move up to 13th overall.
Over three thousand meters of elevation were on the cards today with five ascents of Mount Lofty on the cards and from the beginning, the peloton set a blistering pace up the climb.
Although a breakaway eventually went clear, the peloton kept the gap to under one minute and everything came back together on the final lap. Berwick had the support of his teammates to position him for the finale and finished in 16th place, six seconds behind winner Simon Yates. The 23-year-old, in his third year with IPT, was happy with his performance after assuming the leadership role halfway through the race when Corbin Strong crashed out of the GC contention.
“I’m pretty happy. I am happy that I was in the position to be able to savor something for the team after the hard work they had been doing all week for everyone. I’m happy with 13th but we definitely could have gotten a better result if Corbin was still in the game and didn’t have that crash. But, all in all, it was a great week for us,” said Berwick.
Berwick’s performance this week is a good sign for the season ahead.
“I think I had a really good off season and I’m ready to have a great season with the team. I’m super excited for the year ahead. I’m focused on the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race so I’ll look to have a good week of recovery and training before that. It’s a great course for us and we have a super team to smash it.”
For first time Sports Director Sam Bewley, the team should be proud of the way they raced in Australia.
“I think the week was a success for us. First and foremost, we really showed that we are a team that deserves to be at the top level. We raced with intent, the guys committed to the plan every day, and we chased bonus seconds which Corbin got. We put Corbin in a really good position for the GC but cycling is cycling and that crash took him out of the GC. But then Seb really stepped up for us. You can see he worked hard in the pre season and took this opportunity. He was only a few seconds off the top-ten but I think he should be really proud to finish where he did on GC and the guys should be really proud of what they did this week, together,” explains Bewley.