Heading into Saturday’s Grafton to Iverell there was just one point separating Avanti Racing and CharterMason-Giant with the final race of the 2015 National Road Series (NRS) set to decide the overall team standings. Neither team was able to take the win at the 228km one-day race as Sean Lake became the first rider to win back-to-back events and end African Wildlife Safari’s stint in NRS but it was Avanti taking out the overall team prize.
With CharterMason-Giant having zero riders finishing the race and Avanti placing two riders in the top ten, including Tom Davison in third place, it was the New Zealand registered Continental Avanti team celebrating overall honours for the fifth consecutive year six points ahead of CharterMason-Giant. Avanti also sealed the team and individual awards with Patrick Bevin confirmed as the 2015 overall champion.
“I love this race, and especially with my team-mates finishing second and fourth to get our best-ever team result – I am just stoked,” said Lake, who joins Avanti in 2016.
Despite missing the three final races on the calendar, Bevin had done enough in the early season to ensure an insurmountable lead in the individual standings to become the sixth rider on Andrew Christie-Johnston and Steve Price’s team to claim the individual overall honours. Bevin also becomes the second New Zealander to claim the award after teammate Joe Cooper who finished this season ranked third overall.
“To take the title is very satisfying personally and it really underlines a great overall season,” said Bevin, who is currently in the United States on a training camp with Cannondale-Garmin who he joins next season. “Being the sixth Avanti Racing rider to win the Subaru National Road Series shows the amount of preparation and work that the team does to have top riders every year and manage them through a long season.”
With Germany’s Michael Schweizer (African Wildlife Safaris) second overall, the final rankings were dominated by foreign riders with Ben Hill (CharterMason Giant) the best placed Australian overall in sixth place with five out of the top ten domestic riders.
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