Inverell's Ryan Thomas wins Best Young Rider in five-stage Malaysian cycling tour

Inverell's Ryan Thomas has finished the gruelling five stage Malaysian cycling tour as Best Young Rider. He was competing for Oliver's Real Food Cycling Team at the UCI Jelajah Cycling Tour last week. This follows success at the recent Tour of the South Coast and the National University Games. 

Thomas finished the 5 stage tour with the Best Young Rider jersey. After early success in stage 1 with a photo finish 3rd place, Thomas took the lead in the Young Rider Classification. He went on to retain this lead for the remainder of the gruelling 675km tour. In stage 2, Thomas also took the General Classification(GC) tour lead after an 8th place sprint finish. In extremely hot and humid conditions, Stage 3 saw Thomas' South African team mate move in to the GC yellow jersey with a solo win after an early break away was formed. This added extra pressure to the team to hold two leaders jerseys for the remaining stages. They managed to successfully defend both, giving the Olivers Real Food Racing team its first UCI tour win.

Thomas has had an excellent lead up to the Malaysian tour with some great results over the past few months. He recently represented the University of Queensland competing in three events at the Australian University Games. He finished with gold medals in the Criterium and Team Time Trial and a silver medal in the Road Race at the Gold Coast event.

In the National Road Series (NRS), Thomas had success at the Tour of the Great South Coast finishing the six stage tour in 2nd place on the General Classification. After 5 years of competing in the NRS, with a few stage podiums, this was his first NRS GC podium and the first for his Olivers Real Food Racing Team.

Thomas, currently based in Brisbane, also lead the GC and Young Rider classification for the first three rounds of the Qld Road Team Series (QRTS). He rode for the Brisbane based team "The Pedaler", competing at Moreton Bay, Gympie and Warwick. Unfortunately he was unable to defend his jersey's for the final round due to a clash of dates with the Malaysian tour.

After a busy few months, Thomas will be having a short break before completing his commitments with the Olivers' team in the NRS and with the Queensland Academy of Sport track squad.

Ryan Thomas, during an interview in 2016: