Venue: Kooragang, Newcastle Cycle Club
RACE REPORT – by David Donnelly
Round 1 of the Cervelo Masters at Kooragang was an eventful day for Dhuez Racing with 8 riders engaged across the top 3 divisions. Several sponsors and supporters were in attendance but unfortunately the weather was decidedly grim which made conditions for spectating and racing less than ideal.
Amber WALSH lined up in Division 3 and aimed to transfer her track skills onto the road in the heaviest period of rain for the morning. She held onto the main bunch throughout the 42km race and contested the final sprint, finishing a creditable 15th and also the highest placed female in all divisions.
In Division 2, Dhuez Racing’s sole entrant was “the glueman” – Jamie McHUGH. The event was over 56km and as soon as the flag dropped the race was on. By the end of the 1st lap, a 4-man break including McHUGH had established and they held a 10-15 second lead over the peloton. The break co-operated well and maintained this small advantage for the rest of the race. In the final sprint to the line, McHUGH was unable to hold the wheel of the a fast-finishing Aaron PAUL and Ben EXLEY but still secured a podium position in 3rd.
With 6 riders in Division 1, Dhuez Racing certainly had a numbers advantage and hoped to use this in the slippery road conditions. It seemed that early breakaways were the theme of the day and once again, a small break established in the first few kilometres of the 70km race. By the end of the 1st lap, Ben NEPPL, Mick CURRAN, Brett COCKS, Luke CRIDLAND and Chris MILLER had opened a 15 second advantage and this increased to as much as 1min 30sec at the mid-point of the race. COCKS was unable to maintain the pace but the remaining 4 riders continued to the finish where a tactical battle ensued that saw Mick CURRAN lead out Ben NEPPL for the win and also hold off Luke CRIDLAND in the run to the line.
CERVELO MASTERS – ROUND 1 – RESULTS
3rd – Jamie McHugh
15th – Amber Walsh