King Kane Delivers Maiden NRS Win At Mitchelton Tour Of Gippsland

  • By: AusCycling
  • Feb 17, 2022
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ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast’s Kane Richards’ pedigree continues to rise in Australia, with the Gold Coast powerhouse claiming his maiden AusCycling National Road Series (NRS) general classification win at the 2022 Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland.

The win is another stepping stone in the progression of results for Richards after a prominent fourth-place showing at the 2022 Federation University Road National Championships, which was followed by finishing 12th at the Santos Festival of Cycling (SFoC).

Richards’ success in the Bass Coast region all came from a breakthrough stage-winning performance on the first day of the tour in Woolamai, which saw the 25-year-old comfortably sprint to the line ahead of InForm TMX Make youngster Liam Johnston.

For the remaining two stages Richards and his ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast teammates looked firmly in control of the general classification situation and the Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland at large, delivering star sprinter Cameron Scott to the Stage 2 and 3 wins.

Tour of Gippsland GC podium

“The team rode super well, I had some good form coming off TDU (Festival of Cycling) and Road Nats, so it was good to put that to use,” Richards said.

“It’s (Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland) been heaps of fun; it’s been good to have a few hard climbs.

“We’re heading from here to the Melbourne to Warrnambool now, it will be a different style of race, a bit longer.

“I think there’s going to be a big game of scissors-paper-rock to see whose leader, I think it will be whoever is (feeling) good on the day.”

After stamping their authority on the SFoC, Team BridgeLane experienced a subdued Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland, with NRS overall leader Jimmy Whelan finishing a quiet fourth overall following an unfortunate chain drop in the closing moments of Stage 1.

“We rode really well in the first few laps, we were in every move. Unfortunately, in that final lap, I dropped my chain and it was stuck in the bottom bracket,” Whelan said after Stage 1.

“I lost a bit of time … I think about 10 seconds (25 seconds with time bonuses), not a complete disaster but frustrating not to be able to pull it off after all the work the team put it, but I’m still in there for GC.”

Whelan retains the NRS leader’s jersey ahead of the Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic this Saturday.

Team BridgeLane

BridgeLane teammate Nick White enjoyed an exploration into the climbing ranks of the NRS, winning the Findex Polka Dot Jersey for the Hill Climb Classification.

The Simon Anderson Consultants Green Jersey for the Sprint Points Classification went the way of dual-stage winner Scott, while the Warragul Crownlea White Jersey for the Young Rider Classification was taken out by the impressive Johnston, who is the new NRS Young Rider (under-21) leader.

Team BridgeLane were the victors of the Best Team Classification.

Stage 1: Richards Powers Home To First NRS Stage Win


The Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland got underway with a tough, attritional men’s race in hot conditions that produced a superb winner as Kane Richards of ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast emerged the victor, outmuscling a group of three in the final dash to the line at Woolamai Racecourse.

It was a strong sprint after such a hard day’s racing, with Richards ecstatic with the result.

“Heaps of fun and a lot of tactics came into play because it was 3 v 2 and then 3 v 1 with Bridgelane so really had to play the game a bit – and even risk losing it to be there at the end but it was all good,” Richards said.

Earlier in the day, the group survived a nasty crash, a group of five broke away on the first lap to form a lead of three minutes through the first lap.

Stage 1 Gippsland

A strong chase from the main bunch quickly diminished the lead of the front five, rapidly hauling in the escapees on the second of four hilly circuits of the 27-kilometre course around Woolamai.

What would turn out to be the winning move surged midway through the race, with Angus Lyons (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast), Richards, Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental), Liam Johnston (Inform TMX Make), Alastair Christie-Johnston, JP Van der Merwe (both Team Bridgelane), were joined by a bridging pair of Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) and NRS leader James Whelan (Team Bridgelane) to form an impressive front group.

Richards, Monk and Johnston made the most of the situation to jump away on the final loop of climbs, with Whelan chasing behind. The trio came into the finish, with Monk dropping off just at the end as Richards launched a long sprint, overpowering Johnston to the line for the first NRS victory of his career.

Stage 2: ‘It’s Really Nice To Get Back On Top’: Scott Takes Long-Awaited NRS Win After Injury


It was a triumphant return to the top step of the podium at the national level for Cameron Scott (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast), winning the sprint to the finish of Stage 2 at the Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland.

It was a fast, technical finish to the race, with Scott rounding the final corner on the inside, able to hold off Brenton Jones (Inform TMX Make) and Myles Stewart (Nero Continental) in the dash to the finish as he continued ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast’s winning form at the race.

“As a team, we had a responsibility with the yellow jersey, which meant we had to ride, and we were on the front all day. My teammates did an unreal job keeping the breakaway. It came back and we just got ready for the lead-out. We did everything right and it paid off in the end,” Scott said.

Cameron Scott Stage 2

Scott was one of the worst affected by a crash at the National Tour in the Tweed region towards the end of 2020, with the softly spoken sprinter completing a remarkably quick recovery from a broken pelvis and internal injuries.

“It feels awesome, it’s taken a bit to get in form again. I took it easy from the start and looked to rebuild slowly again. I’ve done a few races over the summer and been close a few times, it’s really nice to get back on top,” Scott said.

Stage 3: Scott Wins Again To Cap Off A Perfect Tour For ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast


The fast-finishing Cameron Scott (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) flashed home to take out Stage 3 of the Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland as Kane Richards secured the overall title with a strong ride on the final day criterium to confirm his overall race victory.

Richards didn’t shirk working for his teammate Scott and was rarely far from the front of the peloton in the battle for position.

Richards crossed the line with the fight for the general classification all sewn up able to celebrate with his squad after three days of hard racing on the Bass Coast.

After 20 minutes of racing, there was an attack of four riders with Aidan Buttigieg (Nero Continental), Will Golding (Onyva), Sam Eddy (Team Bridgelane) and Daniel Luke (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) jumping clear of the peloton.

Cameron Scott Stage 3

The quartet only ever enjoyed a slim advantage, with the inexorable Lyons at the head of the peloton, eventually dragging the escapees back into the fold.

Nero tried to take control of the race from a few laps out, but it was InForm and ARA who resumed their battle from the previous stage to deliver Brenton Jones and Cameron Scott, respectively, to the final sprint in perfect position.

Jones took it out early, leading around the final corner, but it was Scott who had the strength to come round the former National Criterium champion to secure his second stage win in two days, a clean sweep at the Tour of Gippsland for the men’s ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team.

General Classification


1. Kane RICHARDS (ACA) 6h23:24
2. Liam JOHNSTON (ITM) +10
3. Cyrus MONK (CHR) +17
4. James WHELAN (BLN) +39
5. Cooper SAYERS (NER) +1:48
6. Alastair CHRISTIE-JOHNSTON (BLN) +2:10
7. Cameron SCOTT (ACA) +3:10
8. Brenton JONES (ITM) +3:31
9. Nicholas WHITE (BLN) +3:35
10. Liam WHITE (OLI) +3:40


Simon Anderson Consultants Green Jersey



1. Cameron SCOTT (ACA) 10 pt
2. Kane RICHARDS (ACA) 10
3. Myles STEWART (NER) 9


Findex Polka Dot Jersey



1. Nicholas WHITE (BLN) 12 pt
2. Daniel LUKE (OLI) 8
3. Cyrus MONK (CHR) 5

Warragul Crownlea White Jersey


1. Liam JOHNSTON (ITM) 6h23:34
2. James FORBES +3:33
3. Henry DIETZE (GRT) +3:36

Teams Classification



1. Team BridgeLane 19h16:47
2. InForm TMX Make +1:11
3. ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast +1:32
4. Nero Continental +3:34
5. Oliver’s Real Food Racing +11:56
6. Giant Racing Team +11:59
7. Cycle House Racing +14:05


Pictures: Con Chronis

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