Shannon Johnson won the Echuca stage of the Tour of the Murray River on Friday. The cyclists competed a 95.52km circuit of the region.By Geordie Cowan
The Echuca stage winner of the men’s cycling Tour of the Murray River left no one in doubt as to his determination to be first across the line on Friday.
South Morang’s Shannon Johnson won a bunch sprint down the final 500m at the entrance of Echuca racecourse to claim his second stage win in the National Road Series event.
‘‘I came off the last turn not in a really good position, but you know what, I didn’t come here to finish second,’’ Johnson said.
‘‘I’d rather have a go, throw up and finish nowhere than just sit there and finish fifth.
‘‘So I rolled the dice and I couldn’t be happier.’’
The win was extra special for Johnson, who wore pink socks to celebrate his daughter’s birthday.
‘‘It was my little girl, Emily’s, fifth birthday today and I can’t be there so I’m really upset and disappointed for that because my family means the world to me,’’ he said.
‘‘But I guess to win, I’ve got a bouquet of flowers for her so hopefully that’ll keep her happy.’’
Johnson said one of the tougher parts of the tour was spending a week away from his wife and children in Melbourne.
‘‘But when we get results like that and the team really is my second family — all those guys are like little brothers to me because I am the old man of the team — but they put their heart and soul into today because they knew it was a really important day for me personally, so I couldn’t be happier,’’ he said.
The quick nature of the stage — which saw the time stopped at 2:00:10 for the 92km course — worked in well for the CharterMason-Drapac team member.
‘‘Because the speed was constantly so high, it was difficult for anyone to get away and the people that did get away didn’t last very long,’’ Johnson said.
‘‘The last 10km was hectic. We were sitting on 60km/h down the freeway and man it was incredible.
‘‘The speed was phenomenal and the last kilometre was 10 to 20 guys wide across a road that could really only fit six.’’
Johnson, who broke his collar bone in the tour last year, thanked his team as well as event organisers.
‘‘It’s been a really well-run event,’’ he said.
‘‘All the volunteers have done a really good job and the motorscouts.’’
Johnson won the stage from Scott Law and Ryan MacAnally.
McKay was part of a 10-strong breakaway which held on until the finish, allowing the team’s guest rider to clinch a sprint finish ahead of Crystal Wemyss and Chloe McIntosh.
The break formed 35km into the 92km journey and gained a maximum advantage of more than two minutes.
Echuca rider Minda Murray finished 17th for the stage, crossing the line in the peloton.
A male allegedly armed with a hunting knifed stole cash from a Euroa McDonald's last night.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Drivers crossing the Echuca-Moama bridge faced delays this morning at 11.30am when a tractor lost its wheel.
Rochester’s old Courthouse is undergoing a facelift thanks to a restoration grant.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Australian sporting legends are at Heathcote Golf Club this morning for the MS Ashes Trek golf day to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis.
Cobram Barooga Apex Club have raised more than $3600 for Irvin House at Cobram District Health.
Deniliquin RSL Club's A grade bowling championships came to a head on Sunday, with preliminary matches in B and C grade also taking place.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes has thrown his support behind the government’s proposed new domestic animal ownership laws.
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