BALLARAT cyclist Pat Shaw has made a successful return from injury and illness in one of his favourite events, the Tour of Toowoomba.
Shaw finished the general classification standings of the five-stage race in ninth position.
He crossed the finish line of the final stage of the criterium with the peloton on Sunday, leaving him 3.32 minutes behind overall winner Jack Haig.
Haig asserted his dominance in middle stages of the tour, taking a 1.59m advantage over Shaw in leg two and a further 1.45m in stage three.
Shaw was pleased with his overall performance, despite suffering a head cold through various stages of the race.
“I’m really happy and really surprised as well,” he said.
“All things considered, I’m extremely happy with ninth on GC, but also 12th in the mountain stage (stage two) and also with my team.”
Shaw won the first two editions of the event in 2010 and 2011.
He is the leader of Satalyst Giant Racing, which finished fourth in the teams classification, more than 10 minutes behind Haig’s Avanti Racing Team outfit.
Shaw’s 2013 season started with promise but has since been held back by falls.
He took a tumble in the Herald Sun Tour and again in the Tour de Perth and was subdued with a reaction to medication soon after Le Tour de Filipinas in April.
The 28-year-old subsequently struggled from a lack of race fitness in the Battle on the Border earlier this month.
Shaw flew back home to Ballarat late on Sunday night to plan for next Saturday’s Fred Icke Handicap in Creswick.
He will have plenty of time to get miles into his legs and prepare for the remainder of the National Road Series, which starts with the Tour of the Murray River on July 30 to August 3.