Cameron Scott has taken the biggest road win of his young career winning stage 5
of the notoriously difficult UCI Tour of Qinghai Lake last night.
The 20-year old rider was impressive all day, taking the sprint finish at the end of an epic 235km stage at an altitude of over 3000m.
“At about 10km to go the bunch split,” Scott explained.
“I made the front and had a couple of teammates up there. It was pretty messy in the final, but we stayed out of trouble.”
While the finish was challenging, the 20-year-old Olympic hopeful admitted the entire race was formidable with a hors catégorie climb straight out
of the launch in Longyangxia.
“The start was pretty tough as well. I managed to not waste too much energy and get up in the front bunch, but the length definitely plays in different
parts of the race,” said Scott.
“Very happy,” he added. “It’s my first big tour stage win, so can’t ask for much more than that.”
Australian Cycling Academy’s sports director Stu Shaw claimed Scott was biding his time over the race’s initial mountain stages for the appropriate
time to strike.
“We’re really excited. We know Cam Scott is a huge talent, and we really believed in him and backed him today. He took it easy the last two days in
the hills, and we know he’s a serious talent and has really flown under the radar,” Shaw said.
“For such a young rider this goes a long way. A huge win.”
According to Shaw, the role of fellow Australian track star and former WorldTour rider Leigh Howard is invaluable in Scott’s development.
“Having Leigh Howard there, who is like a brother to Cam, you haven’t got anyone better to guide him through,” explained Shaw.
“Cam’s on the track program, but we know he can seriously climb, he can do it all. He can climb, he can time trial, he’s one of the best pursuiters
in the world as well.”
The Tour of Qinghai Lake is a 13 stage 2.HC UCI tour around the Qinghai region of China, on the Chinese Tibetan Plateau. It comprises 1841km of racing
at an average altitude of 3000m, peaking at 4120m.
It’s the biggest test so far for the young ACA development team, with the UCI race renowned as one of the toughest in the world.
Twenty two Pro Continental and Continental teams, including outfits from Europe and Asia, are competing in the tour.
The ACA have taken a 7-man team to the race, with Scott and Howard being joined by Freddy Ovett, Michael Potter, Toby Orchard, Ashley Mackay and Jono
The race continues with a final mountain stage today, before the 13thand final stage in Lanzhou on Saturday 4 August 2018.
The Australian Cycling Academy is a UCI registered under-23 cycling development team based at the University of the Sunshine Coast and supported by
principle partner the Sunshine Coast Council.