Jay McCarthy has taken out the win on the sixth stage of the Tour de Bretagne, finishing ahead of South African Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg in an uphill sprint on a tough 3.5 kilometre circuit around Lannion, France.
Safe to say I'm rating uphill finishes. (Happy) to come away with the win today. It's great consolation for the very bad weather we are experiencing here.
McCarthy benefited from a degree of indecision from the decisive break of the day that led into the final few laps.
Despite a strong composition in the escape, the presence of Oliver Legac, a former junior world champion, strangled the impetus of the break in the closing circuits.
Two riders, Ronan Racault (Auber 93) and Dennis van Niekerk (MTN-Qhubeka) made a last ditch attempt to stay away, but it was too little, too late for the oncoming peloton who engulfed the break and the lead duo in the same lap to set up a bunch finish.
There it was McCarthy who timed his sprint best, waiting just long enough to power away from Jayco Herald Sun Tour stage winner Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg, and take his third victory in as many weeks.
McCarthy won the New Zealand Cycle Classic (Tour of Wellington) in January and recently picked up two stage wins at the under 23 Giro di Toscana.
"Today's uphill stage finish suited Jay's dynamic sprinting ability," said Cycling Australia Under 23 Men's Road Coach, James Victor.
"It was a long wet wait for a well deserved win today with the weather a little kinder, warming up to 11 degrees and a few showers throughout."But we finally had some dry roads when the stage entered the finishing circuit."
"As the race arrived onto the circuit, Jay protected himself well in the bunch and then, after seeing the circuit for the first time, moved himself closer to the front for the final two laps - the finish worked out really well."
Stage 6: 144.9km, Lannion.
1 Jay McCarthy (AUS) Australia 3hr 29min 11sec
2 Reinhardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN-Qhubeka +2
3 Vegard Bugge (NOR) Team Joker Merida +4
4 Anthony Vignes (FRA) Team BIC +4
5 Nicky van der Lijke (NED) Rabobank Continental +4
1 Eric Berthou (FRA) Bretagne-Schuller