A crowd of local people were robbed of a sprint finish when Sky riders Owain Doull and Luke Rowe crossed the finish line of the Herald Sun Tour in Bowen St Warragul on Friday well ahead of the peleton.
A crowd of local people supported by school children were either side of the road to welcome the field which had left in sunny calm conditions in Sale.
But it was not long before a swirling easterly ensured they picked up the pace of the 161.6 kilometre route (the longest of the five day race).
Not far out of Sale heading towards Maffra a crash brought down several riders and resulted in newly crowned Australian Road Race Champion Michael Freiberg being forced out of the race and taken to Latrobe Valley Hospital, Traralgon for stitches to facial wounds and attention to severe grazing and bruising.
Eighteen-year-old Junior Oceania Champion Carter Turnbull was also caught up in the crash and also taken to hospital.