HORSHAM cyclist Mark O’Brien continued his blistering start to the Subaru National Road Series yesterday, winning the North Western Tour in New South Wales.

O’Brien has won the opening three tour events of the national series, having collected winners guernseys at the Tour of Mersey Valley and Tour of Toowoomba.

The Budget Forklifts competitor won stage three of the North Western tour a 126-kilometre hill climb on Friday.

While he was proud of his win, O’Brien said he would love to win a rare sprint stage.

“When I win a sprint, that will be something to talk about,” he said.

The final stage of the North Western tour was called off yesterday.

“The race was called off because we kept going over double lines and there was only one laneway,” O’Brien said.

“After 30 kilometres they called it off. It gave me another win without any stress.”

O’Brien said he was thrilled with his form to start the 12-tour series.

“It’s been a lot better than I could have anticipated at the start of the year,” he said.

Fellow Horsham cyclist Sam Witmitz was placed second in stage one a 3.6-kilometre prologue on Thursday.

Witmitz also rides for Budget Forklifts.

“He missed out by .3 of a second on his first National Road Series win,” O’Brien said. “I’m sure he’ll get a win in Gippsland. He has done a lot of work for me so I will repay the favour.”

O’Brien said personal wins would be harder to come by in the next few tours, starting with the Tour of Gippsland on August 1.

“The next tour doesn’t suit me. They have made it flat,” he said.

O’Brien said Budget Forklifts had assembled a strong team which was performing well.

“The main thing is we are having a great time,” he said. “Everyone is happy to help each other out and we are winning races because of that.”

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