Venue: Calga, Central Coast Cycle Club
RACE REPORT (Div 1) – by Ben Neppl
A cold 4°C was on the menu for Round 2 of the Cervelo Masters Road Series at Calga. Despite the chilly start, Christian Godyn went from the gun and quickly established a solo break – his main motivation, the prime at Blood Hill. He successfully managed to man-handle the 56t big ring and hold off the bunch for 8km meaning that DRT had a winning start and took away the prime prize.
The bunch soon caught the escapee and prepared for the 12.5km drag back out to the turn. At this point (16km into the race) Johnathon Millington chanced his luck and launched solo off the front of the peloton with no chase. After he established a solid 100m lead, Nathan Bonarius also attacked out of the bunch and linked with Johno to form a 2-man break that would work well for close to 25km. With only 15km to go, there was conjecture that the break may actually survive but then the urgency of the bunch led to a spirited chase that saw their advantage eaten away.
Once the group reformed, the Dhuez Racing riders began counter-attacking at every opportunity with Matt-Warner Smith and then Mick Curran attempting to put a gap into the bunch. When they reached the far end of the course for the final time (12.5km to go) Curran held a 100m lead on the bunch but this was quickly eroded as Blood Hill approached as a decisive point in the race for a final attack. As the gradient increased, a sustained effort from Chris Miller strung the bunch out but Ben Neppl held onto his wheel and ensured a bunch sprint would decide the race.
In the final 3km, there were a multitude of attacks that were quickly nullified and jostling began for prime position in the final sprint.
With 1000m left, a rider from Turramurra attacks but Grant Harmer quickly follows the wheel with Johnathon in behind.
600m to go, nerves are high, riders are twitchy and suddenly there is on with a long sprint starting.
500m left and Johnathan kicks with Ben and Mick just behind.
400m and it is chaotic, riders are all trying to follow lead-out wheels and set themselves for the final burst.
300m and Neppl comes around the outside of Johno and heads for home. Mick tries to follow but gets caught up in the melee.
200m to go, Ben still leading.
100m. Jordan Ross draws level with Ben.
50m to go and Nash Kent (Parklife CC) comes flying through with a perfectly timed sprint to win by a bike length. Jordan Ross (UoQ CC) rolls in at second and Ben crosses for third. Mick finally gets out and finishes for 5th.
A great finish to a great race.
Despite not winning the day, Dhuez Racing were successful in defending the yellow jersey and appear well set up for the final round with Ben Neppl leading the GC competition and Mick Curran close behind in second.
#DRT #StrongerAsOne #tricolours
CERVELO MASTERS – ROUND 2 – RESULTS
2nd – Jamie McHugh