Inverell's Ryan Thomas was crowned the Best Young Rider in the gruelling five stage Jelajah Cycling Tour that wrapped up in Malaysia on the weekend.
Riding for the Oliver's Real Food Cycling team, Thomas took the lead in the Young Rider Classification on the opening day of the tour after finishing third overall in a photo finish in Stage 1.
He went on to retain the jersey for the remainder of the 675km tour, and after being eighth over the line in a sprint finish in Stage 2 also held the General Classification (GC) tour lead.
In extremely hot and humid conditions, Stage 3 saw Thomas' South African team-mate claim the GC yellow jersey with a solo win after an early breakaway.
This added extra pressure on the team to hold the two leaders jerseys for the remaining stages. They were able to, giving the team their first UCI tour win.
Thomas’ success in the Malaysian tour followed some great results in recent months. Representing the University of Queensland at the Australian University Games, he won gold in the criterium and team time trial and silver in the road race.
In the National Road Series (NRS), Thomas had success at the Tour of the Great South Coast finishing in second place on the General Classification. After five years of competing in the NRS, with a few stage podiums, this was his first GC podium and the first for his Olivers team.
Currently based in Brisbane, he also lead the GC and Young Rider classification for the first three rounds of the Qld Road Team Series, but was unable to ride in the final round due to a clash of dates with the Malaysian tour.