GERMANY’S SCHWEIZER ON TOP IN TOOWOOMBA; QUEENSLAND’S FITTER STEALS STAGE HONOURS

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Germany’s Michael Schweizer (African Wildlife Safaris) has claimed his maiden Subaru National Road Series Tour, winning the FKG Tour of Toowoomba and taking the NRS lead in the process.

Schweizer, 31, clinched the Tour lead after an aggressive road race and fourth place finish on Saturday, before successfully protecting his lead on Sunday to finish 10 seconds ahead of 18-year-old Keagan Girdlestone (CharterMason).

Dual stage winner Brad Evans (Pats Veg) finished third overall.

“It’s really great, I’m really happy to win this Tour,” said Schweizer who also finished second on the final stage criterium. “I’m so thankful to the team for the job they’ve done, it’s a really great feeling.

“I would say this is one of my biggest wins. I really love Australia, it’s good to come over and almost straight away win a race,” said the former Baku Synergy rider.

“This has been a very hard Tour and it makes it even more special to win.”

Schweizer now leads the Subaru National Road Series on a count back, and finds himself on equal points to two-time Toowoomba winner Patrick Shaw (Avanti Racing).

“I think I’m the first European to ever get the NRS lead.

“I’m probably going to lose it next week when Patrick Bevin (Avanti Racing) comes to race at the Battle on the Border, but it will be a great week to race in the jersey.”

In the 50 kilometre final stage criterium, victory went to the Sunshine Coast’s Daniel Fitter (CharterMason). Fitter was part of a late 10 rider breakaway before attacking with one kilometre to go, managing to just hold off the charging peloton.

Second place went to Schweizer with Shaw third across the line.

“I’m over the moon, it’s the best way to end a tough Tour,” said Fitter, a junior track world champion and senior track world cup gold medallist.

“I’m so happy to win in my home state, especially with my parents and family and friends here, it’s so good for them to see how I’m going, I’m over the moon with that performance.”

The stage victory tops off a strong performance by CharterMason who, as well as second overall with Girdlestone, secured the sprint, hill climb and young rider classification.

The next event on the Subaru NRS calendar is the Battle on the Border on the Tweed Coast starting May 28.

Highlights from the FKG Tour of Toowoomba will be broadcast on the Nine Network’s GEM channel on Sunday, May 31 at 12noon AEST and 11.00am AWST and on Fox Sports 3 on Tuesday June 2 at 6:00pm AEST (check local guides).