Cyclists sprint to Easter break

Cyclists sprint to Easter break

The Mount Gambier Cycling Club held race eight of its Brew Summer Series on the weekend, with a 30km course from Mount Sinai to Donovans.

The handicap event was originally meant to be a 22km race along the Overland Track with a finish up Range Hill at Glencoe, however some roadworks in the area forced a change in route back to Caves Road for the riders.

The new course started at the corner of Mount Sinai Road and Caroline Road and headed into Donovans.

This divided the race into three distinct areas, with the first 9km relatively flat, followed by some lumpy sections through Dry Creek and into Donovans before the turnaround and repeating the dose.

Thirteen riders initially signalled their intention to race, but a couple of late scratchings meant that 11 riders greeted the commissaire for the sign on.

The first riders away were Jen Buckland and Troy Mustey, followed six minutes later by Sandra Parsons, Chris Neave and Ethan McKenny.

A further six minutes elapsed before Craig Andrae and Patrick Langsmith were allowed to begin their chase, and another four minutes until Scott Waters and Tim Koopman started their race.

Just a couple of minutes later Nick Kidman, Jami Buckley and Niel van Niekerk were given their orders to begin the chase of the rest of the field ahead of them.

The groups stayed relatively together for the first part of the race and as the riders passed the turnoff to the Princess Margaret Rose Caves, Jen and Troy were quickly being reeled in by Chris, Sandra and Ethan who were only just over two minutes behind them.

Craig and Patrick were working well together, bringing the gap down to three minutes to the trio. Tim found the pace of his erstwhile companion Scott a little too fast, and was trailing at the turnoff, about to be caught by the chasing riders.

The “lumpy bits” around Dry Creek and into Donovans sorted out a few of the riders, and as they came back to the Princess Margaret Rose Caves turnoff for the second time, the makeup of the groups had changed.

Ethan and Chris were now out in front, with Sandra just 19 seconds back and trying to catch back on.

Patrick was next, just two minutes from the leaders, with Craig a further 15 seconds back, having just overtaken Jen and Troy who were 25 seconds further in arrears.

The gap to Niel, Jami, Scott and Nick was now only 55 seconds, giving the chasing group extra motivation they were still in the race.

At the back, Tim was continuing to ride strongly, two minutes behind this group, but already caught up 11 minutes on Jen and Troy.

A long 2.5km straight, flat road to the finish line provided plenty of motivation to the riders as they tried to not be caught by the chasers, while still trying to make the catch themselves.

The spectators at the finish line were in for a treat as they could see the groups slowly coming together.

Ethan was the first to strike out for the finish line, and was still in front with 200m to go, only to be caught by the faster riders at the last moment.

Jami Buckley sprinted to the line ahead of Scott Waters, Niel van Niekerk, Nick Kidman and the plucky Ethan McKenny, with Chris Neave 16 seconds behind and Sandra Parsons only six seconds further back.

Patrick Langsmith was next, just over 90 seconds further back, followed by Craig Andrae.

Troy Mustey, Tim Koopman and Jen Buckland rounded out the finishers.

There will be a break in racing over the Easter weekend before the riders will tackle the flat roads around Kalangadoo for a 30km handicap on April 7.

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