WITH GEELONG AND SURF COAST CYCLING CLUB
MORE than 20 riders entered Sunday’s race run over a new course in very challenging conditions, from the north westerly wind, two times up a 16 per cent gradient and 2.3kms of gravel.
The race started at the usual start line and went out along Hendy Main to Forest before a left turn into Gundrys, left into Eagle point, right into Portreath, left into Vickerys and left onto Hendy Main to the start line and repeat, finishing in Larcombes A.
Ian Sumner started off the race giving up 35 minutes to scratch who had lost a rider before the race had started.
The triple whammy of strong wind, soft gravel and the steep gradient of Eagle point and rolling rises in Portreath and Vickerys were always going to challenge the out markers.
It was no surprise that new rider Trent Clifford (who is the club’s first 30+ rider) and Geoff Robertson off second scratch, greeted the line in first and second, respectively.
It was on the second lap where the front groups came unstuck as scratch joined up with second scratch at the start of the second lap. This group of five with the aid of a strong tail wind had the race nearly under control as it turned into Gundrys Road.
As the five riders hit the gravel, Trent, Geoff and Rick were able to leave Daryl and Robbie behind and pick up the last remaining hopefuls out front. As Trent, Geoff and Rick turned into Eaglepoint, Rick dropped his chain and immediately lost contact with Trent and Geoff.
By the time he had sorted his issues out, Robbie and Daryl had already climbed Eaglepoint.
Trent and Geoff powered on in search of the lead and had the race in their control when they finally caught Nigel Pearson turning into Vickerys. Rick had been able to rejoin Daryl and Robbie who in turn then gapped Daryl on the last climb on Portreath.
Nigel was able to stay with Trent and Geoff to the finish line to hold on for third, two minutes ahead of Rick and Robbie who crossed 4th and 5th. Well done to all 14 riders who conquered this very difficult and challenging course.