Lachlan Norris claimed the stage and race lead at the end of the fourth day of racing in the Caterpillar Underground Mining Tour of Tasmania.
The whole stage was super hard, I was so nervous at the start. All the boys were so good looking after me, I just knew that I had to keep trying and eventually I got that gap and it was a massive time trial effort to the finish.
The Drapac team rider took out the 101km fourth stage in a solo victory ahead of Nathan Earle (Genesys Wealth Advisers), while overnight race leader Mark O'Brien (Budget Forklifts) stayed in touch, finishing third.
Earlier in the day, O'Brien managed to hold four second advantage over Jay McCarthy to retain the leaders jersey after the morning criterium.
Norris finished 45sec ahead of O'Brien in the afternoon road stage and collecting enough bonus seconds on the two final KOM to take the jersey from the former Subaru National Road Series leader.
Norris now leads by nine seconds over O'Brien, with Tasmania's Nathan Earle (Genesys Wealth Advisers) in third, 58sec in arrears.
Extreme windy conditions buffeted the stage, splitting the race apart after just 8km with the front group of 40 riders containing all the general classification threats.
Ben Grenda (Polygon Australia) rode off the front group at the 60km mark to build a lead that reached 50 seconds. The Tasmanian was on his own for 15km before the peloton caught him on the first important climb of the stage.
With the final push of 20km up to Great Lake ahead of them, a select group of five including O'Brien, Norris, Earle, Kristian Juel (Erdinger) and Jay Bourke (Team Down Under) crafted a lead as the road steepened.
Bourke, Juel and Earle were dropped inside the 10km mark as Norris and O'Brien applied the pressure. However a persistent Earle worked his way back to the lead pair, catching them with 7km remaining to the finish line.
With 5km of road left, Norris took his chance on the final climb of the day, leaving O'Brien and Earle to battle it out for the minor placings.
“I am not going to give up and we’ll give it our best,” O’Brien said.
Another split day features on day four with a 36km criterium in Ulverstone coming before a 78km road race to Penguin.
Stage 4: 101.2km, Hagley to Great Lake
1 Lachlan Norris (DPC) 2hr 59min 51sec
2 Nathan Earle (GEN) 0:00:44
3 Mark O'Brien (BFL) 0:00:45
4 Kristian Juel (EAD) 3:04
5 James Earley (FNZ) 00:03:14
6 Calvin Watson (VIS) 00:03:17
7 Tom Kaesler (SAS) 00:03:19
8 Jay Bourke (TDU) 00:03:25
9 Chris Jory (GWR) 00:03:39
10 Bradley Linfield (PLB) 00:03:39
1 Lachlan Norris (DPC) 8hr 03min 20sec
2 Mark O'Brien (BFL) 00:00:09
3 Nathan Earle (GEN) 00:00:58
4 Jay McCarthy (VIS) 00:03:23
5 Darren Lapthorne (DPC) 00:03:52
6 Jai Crawford (GEN) 00:04:07
7 Ben Dyball (GEN) 00:04:08
8 Alex Clements (PGN) 00:04:53
9 Patrick Lane (VIS) 00:05:42
10 Peter Herzig (BFL) 00:05:57