Date: 4th November 2018
Weather: dry, sunny, low 20s, perfect for racing
Location: Heffron Park
The race that stops a nation proved to be a hit once again.
With no previous winners lining up on the line there were going to be new names going on the trophies this year.
Racing started with the women and mens C in a mixed bunch start but with distinct races. The women field was wide open and anyone could have taken out the win. As it was, it was a late entrant Fiona Yard who proved strongest of the bunch, after main rival Edel O’Hagan got a badly timed puncture and the wheel change from neutral support was reminiscent of Richie Porte trying to help his mate Simon Clarke at the tour.
Rounding out the podium was Virginia Woods in her annual crit, along with Rose Vassel.
Over in the mens C race chief commissaire and club president Andrew Duggan made C grade a lively bunch before getting the hook with two laps to go. This left the field to fight for the win and a well deserved win for Ian Schmidt after working hard in recent months, along with putting a heap of work into the club, was able to find the right time to launch his effort and smile to the camera at the finish.
Ian Schmidt McLachlan
8:30 rolled around and the mens B and mens club championship title were on the line.
In mens B SUVelo showed they are very deep with every man and his dog pinning a number on, with some returning faces and those who have been secret training showing themselves.
There were some lively early attacks from the likes of Nelson Aston and Kris Sostaric but ultimately they were in vain as B came back together as it so often does. With 2 laps to go Chris Killmore looked like he might have a decisive gap only be be reeled in after the bell which set things up nicely for the sprinters to do their thing.
The smart money was on Andy Matthews and he delivered, holding off a rampaging Nic Martin and Lachlan Burrows into third.
In the main event for men the field showed the pathway to the NRS with Australia’s previous L’etape winners both lining up in Chris Miller and Jesse Coyle and it was this combo many were looking out for. Brendan Hancox stepped up into A grade after some very strong form of late and more than held his own, making the split early on and showing his potential at this level.
A Nero KOM race team formed at the front and with Angus Wilson, Robbie Matthews, Chris Miller and James Nicol all making Jesse Coyle do more than his fair share, with Brendan making up the rest of the front split.
In the end it was the powerful and well timed effort that gave James Nicol the line honours, making him follow in the footsteps of some SUVelo greats and get his name on the trophy and the honour of calling himself club champion for the next year.
Well done to James and Fiona – your club champions for 2018.
A special call out and thanks first to the many people who helped today but especially Paraic Hogan, Lisa Antill, David Jordan, Nicholas Martin and Andrew Duggan, without who the race couldn’t happen. Secondly a thanks to all the sponsors for their ongoing help and making SUVelo a great club to be involved with.
Normal racing schedules return next month, 2nd December, with our womens come and try day the week prior on the 25th November.