The 2018 Orica Kermesse was held at the Hunter Economic Zone on 17th March amid extreme heat (with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees).
Dhuez Racing had 10 riders entered across the day and were represented in the top 3 divisions as well as the Junior Men 17s event.
It was a terrific debut for the team who were very active and prominent in each race.
In Division 2, Matt Lee and Guy Brown worked solidly all day and were able to position Guy favourably for a sprint finish. With 50m to go, Guy surged to the lead but a late-finishing Jonathon Cridland (St George CC) arrived in the shadow of the post and took the win by half-a-wheel.
The main race was equally as impressive for DRT with all 8 riders performing well as a team. From the outset, Dhuez Racing were the protagonists sending Christian Godyn and Grant Harmer into breaks whenever possible. The continued attacks made for a fast pace and ensured the race was a true endurance test in the heat. As the afternoon wore on, the attrition began and even Johnathon Millington was required to sacrifice himself to ensure our principal riders didn’t miss a crucial split in the bunch.
With 12km remaining, the team seemed to have engineered an ideal situation after positioning Ben Neppl in an 8-man breakaway with a 1min 45sec lead over the peloton. It appeared that the race would come down to a sprint between the break-away riders but a concerted drive from the peloton on the final lap of HEZ caused the gap to shrink rapidly and the race came back together with only 500m left.
That left a bunch sprint to decide the title and DRT was well represented by Chris Aitken who had been protected by the team for this situation. Chris repaid their faith with a solid drive into 4th position on a finish profile that did not suit his strengths.
Overall, it was a very successful afternoon for Dhuez Racing which made its debut and established itself as a committed team that will be capable of many wins this season. #StrongerThanOne
- Chris Aitken – 4th in Division 1
- Guy Brown – 2nd in Division 2