Haig finishes third in Jayco Herald Sun Tour

BENDIGO'S Jack Haig has finished  third in the Jayco Herald-Sun Tour classic after Sunday's final stage at Arthurs Seat was abandoned.

Victoria Police ruled conditions were too dangerous for the finale, which included three climbs at Arthurs Seat, to be run.

The extreme weather conditions and bushfire risk were ruled to be too great for racing.

"Police have discussed this decision with the organisers and while it is an unfortunate decision, the focus of Victoria Police is community safety, taking into consideration the extreme weather conditions and fire risk," a Victoria Police spokesman said.

Haig was 11 seconds behind Orica-GreenEDGE star Simon Clarke following Saturday's stage-three finish at Nagambie.

Cycling fans were eagerly awaiting what may have been a dramatic finish to the tour as Clarke led Tasmania's Cameron Wurf by eight seconds going into what was to have been duel over 124km.

The tour's top three made what would be the most decisive move of the contest when they broke away on Friday's climb across Mount Alexander.

Clarke went on to win the Ballarat-Bendigo stage ahead of Wurf and Haig.

For the second tour running, Haig earned the Best Young Rider award.

The young gun from North Bendigo seized the State Government of Victoria white jersey for best under-23 rider on Friday and finished 77 seconds clear of Alex Clements in the title race.

Haig and his Avanti team-mates finished just six behinds behind Orica-GreenEDGE in the race for the teams award.

Eaglehawk's Glenn O'Shea capped a superb tour by finishing in eighth place, a minute and 23 seconds behind Clarke.

O'Shea warmed up for the tour by winning gold in the teams pursuit and points score at the national track titles in Adelaide.

He raced for the Korda Mentha Real Estate Team Australia in the tour.

Drapac team-mates Lachlan Norris and Darren Lapthorne achieved top 20 placings.

Both were poised for the climb at Arthurs Seat.

Norris from Barkers Creek finished the tour in 14th place overall and at 1.28 behind Clarke.

Bendigo-based Lapthorne was 17th overall at -1.31.

Horsham's Mark O'Brien played a key role for Avanti and finished 28th in the standings at -1.48.

Another of Horsham's cycling stars, Sam Witmitz completed the tour.

Drapac's John Anderson was the tour's sprint king.

Thomas Hamilton raced for the Jayco-Australian under-23 team and was King of the Mountain.

The race for the teams title was won by Orica-GreenEDGE from Avanti, Cannondale at -12, Drapac -1.20, Jayco-Australian under-23 team -1.23, and Korda Mentha Real Estate Team Australia at -1.26.

Many of the Tour's stars, which included Haig, will now prepare for the Oceania road titles to be raced from February 21 to 23 in Toowoomba.

The tour's top 15:

Simon Clarke 10 hours 59.17 minutes, Cameron Wurf -8 seconds; Jack Haig -11; Nathan Haas -1.09; Neil Van der Ploeg, Jonathan Cantwell -1.21; Simon Gerrans -1.22; Glenn O'Shea, Cameron Meyer, William Clarke -1.23; Mitch Docker -1.24; Alex Clements, Harry Carpenter, Lachlan Norris -1.28;  Guillaume Boivin -1.29.    

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop