More than 2500 cyclists were in Bathurst over April 21st and 22nd for the annual Bathurst Cycling Classic and the Dhuez Racing Team were a part of all the action.
The cycling festival featured three events across the two days – criterium racing in the Bathurst CBD, the NSW hill climb championships at Mount Panorama and the classic Blayney 2 Bathurst (B2B) race.
Competition started on Saturday morning with the NSW Hill Climb Championships held on Mount Panorama. Our 3 entrants in this event all did well in their respective divisions with the fastest ascent for DRT going to Johnathan Millington who completed the course in 9 minutes and 21 seconds.
Our Hill Climb results were:
- Masters 1 – 2nd – J. Millington (9:21:89)
- Masters 3 – 3rd – B. Neppl (9:35:57)
- U17 Men – A. Sinclair 6th (10:36:95)
Saturday afternoon saw some intense criterium racing around the Bathurst CBD. Jamie McHugh was prominent in the Mens Division 3 race and was unlucky in the final sprint to be nudged off the podium and into 4th place in a blanket photo finish. It was a big effort from “the glueman” who is showing continual improvement and racing well.
Sunday morning brought the main event – The B2B – Blayney 2 Bathurst.
There was plenty of excitement with the entire team engaged for either the 70km or 110km elite event. Bikes were unpacked off trailers, race plans were laid out… and then with less than 30 minutes until start-time, Amber Walsh’s pedal broke off her bike and utter panic ensued. Fortunately there was a replacement pedal readily available. Unfortunately, Guy Brown (bike-technician-in-training) was unsure if it was “righty-tighty lefty-loosey” in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere and possibly only managed to cold-weld the broken pedal stem in place. Not ideal…
Nevertheless, somehow they sorted it out and the story of events on that morning may soon become legendary but you will just have to ask someone who was there exactly what happened and who was the hero of the day.
70km short-course recap:
Guy Brown, Matt Lee, Jamie McHugh, Aiden Sinclair and Amber Walsh all contested the short course event and rode an attacking race. Matt and Guy both attempted breaks off the front of the main group on the main climb and caused the pack to break apart but both were reeled in before the summit. That left the final 30km to decide the race and with all its riders still in the peloton, DRT aimed to take control.
Jamie McHugh put in another stellar performance with repeated attacks on the lead group to tire out the sprinters and drop anyone struggling with the pace. His accelerations forced the pack to chase and each time he was wound back in only to attack again with a punchy sprint off the front. He succeeded in reducing the size of the pack and delivered a small lead group to the base of the final set of short hills with Guy, Matt and Aiden all in good position.
Matt Lee then aimed to tow Aiden up the final hills and from there it was left to the pint-sized rouleur to show off his skills. His stamina and acceleration was put to the test as he sprinted in a group of 10 over the final 5 kms. An unfortunate crash for a fellow rider caused some inconvenience and left Aiden out of position as a sole rider escaped from the bunch leaving the main group to bunch sprint for 2nd place. Aiden Sinclair surprised many with his endurance and certainly acquitted himself well finishing in 6th place overall and delivering a fine result for the team.
In the Women’s short course event, Amber Walsh also delivered a shock result with a 10th place finish showing that her track racing form certainly does carry over well to the endurance requirements for classic road racing events. Another great effort (and perhaps a mountain climber in the making)!
110km long-course – Elite wave recap:
The team arrived in high-spirits and set out with a firm plan to get in any break, lead out hard into the major climb and aim to get our main riders in a prominent position once over the top to contest for the finish. They certainly achieved these goals but unfortunately it is not what the race will be remembered for.
Only 10km after starting, the race wound its way toward the historic village of Barry when some early nerves and the high-pace of an excited peloton caused a crash that left several riders on the ground and four with serious injuries requiring retrieval to hospital. Sadly, DRT’s own workhorse Christian Godyn was amongst the injured and was transported to Orange Base Hospital for treatment. Dhuez Racing is very grateful to the ambulance officers and the treating professionals at OBH for the quality care he received and we can gladly report that he was discharged after 48 hours of observation… he is now on the long road to recovery and we will do everything we can as a team to support him. #StrongerAsOne
Following the crash, the race went on at full speed and it wasn’t until the halfway mark that a breakaway group of 6 was finally able to escape the peloton. As planned, Johnathan Millington was present in the break and they built up a two minute lead over the peloton as they headed for Mount Rockley and the major climb of the day.
Clinton Edwards (from Oliver’s Racing) broke away during the climb to claim the KOM while the remainder of the bunch were snapped up by the peloton on the ascent. Once over the peak, the peloton quickly reeled in Edwards and a select 30 rider group formed at the base of the descent and included DRT’s principal riders for the day.
The short punchy hills on the run into the finish prevented any late breakaway from forming and so the large group all rolled into the Mount Panorama pits complex as one. This set up a bunch sprint finish and Matthew Dinham of Manly Waringah CC emerged as the winner after a sustained effort up the straight. Chris Aitken was the best finisher for Dhuez Racing in a respectable 25th after missing the final acceleration and cruising home at the back of the lead group.
The win wasn’t to be ours today but Dhuez Racing had many a tale to tell and once again showed that it was more than up to the task of matching motors with NRS quality teams and positioning its riders at the pointy end of the race when it mattered. Another great event and another super team effort!
#tricolours #StrongerAsOne #DRT