Venue: Singleton, NSW
Katie Banerjee (Harlequin) added the WMAS4 time trial to her Elite hill climb title earlier this year, but it was Dhuez Racing teammate Simone Grounds (Dubbo CC) who would post the fastest time of all women. Grounds came in at an impressive 25:36.51, becoming the only woman under 26 minutes and over 40km/h on the day.
“I was struggling to keep the power consistent, and was struggling towards the back end, but I’m pretty happy because I haven’t been doing any specific time trial training,” Grounds said.
“On the way back, it was awesome. There was a really good tailwind, so it was pretty fun with the high speed.”
The fastest time of the day was posted by Mick Curran (Central Coast CC) in MMAS2. He crossed the line in a sizzling 22:48.13, equating to an average speed of 45.78km/h, which saw him take top honours ahead of Charl Van Wyk (Sydney Uni Velo Club) and Greg Burgett (Lidcombe Auburn CC).
Curran said he planned his strategy around the tough headwind start.
“I went out really, really hard; harder than anyone would probably advise. Once I felt I was up midway through, I just jumped on top of the gear and tried to bring it home,” Curran said. “It was an absolute block headwind, getting blown around — the wind brought a huge element to the race, and I enjoyed it.”
“My family and I; we picked three races out this year. Bathurst was one; ticked that off, and then State Champs now, and then Nationals,” Curran said. “I won’t lie, I picked it out; I really enjoy the training process. I love it.”
ROAD RACE CHAMPIONSHIPS
With 39 starters contesting 120 kilometres (four laps), the combined MMAS1–2 had the largest field and the longest race. The action was on from the very beginning, with Chris Ball (Manly Warringah CC, Onyva Racing) attacking from the initial roll-out. The counter-attacks flew until a breakaway duo of Nathan Maybury (North Western Sydney CC) and Dwain Hesp (Randwick Botany CC) established a lead of two minutes on the third lap.
However, by the time the riders got the bell, the race had reshuffled and recompressed, and it was gruppo compacto again. With under half a lap left, Mathieu Bremaud (Randwick Botany CC) and Chris Miller (Sydney Uni Velo, Nero Continental) — both MMAS2 riders — dragged themselves away from the peloton. They held an advantage of 30 seconds all the way to the finish, where Miller surged away from Bremaud to take the win.
Behind, Mick Curran (Central Coast CC, Dhuez Racing) won the bunch sprint for third. Geoff Rickards was fourth in the sprint, which was good enough for the MMAS1 gold medal.
WMAS1–4 (30min + 3 laps) (22 riders)
Off the back of an intense start, Nadia Younan (SUVelo) broke clear after 15 minutes. Not comfortable with the stop-start rhythm through the corners, Younan preferred to tackle the course at her own time-trial tempo.
With her Sydney Uni Velo clubmates happy to see her go, Younan opened up a gap of 25 seconds. Despite efforts from Simone Grounds (Dubbo CC), Renee Heinrich (Dulwich Hill BC) and Bree Playel (Manly Warringah CC) to bring her back, Younan held steady to take a memorable solo win.
In the sprint behind, Nicole Wilson (SUVelo) crossed the line ahead of Grounds, Heinrich and Dayna Davidson (Southern Cross CC). India McLean (Manly Warringah CC), who had been distanced earlier, finished ahead of Jennifer Short to win the WMAS2 category.
MMAS1–2 (40min + 3 laps) (23 riders)
After waiting all day for their turn, the race of the youngest men was characterised by constant attacks. Geoff Rickards, Mick Curran, Chris Ball, Daniel Sullivan, Kevin Berkeley and Charl Van Wyk were among the major protagonists to test the waters.
All their probing moves were reeled in until the race split neatly into two distinct groups: the Masters 2s at the front, with the Masters 1s marking each other about half a lap behind.
Both categories finished in bunch sprints. In the Masters 2s, Kevin Berkeley (Parramatta CC) had good position into the final corner, but appeared to get caught in too big a gear as he started his sprint. In contrast, Mick Curran (Central Coast CC) nailed the finish, using the very edge of the tarmac and finishing quickly to beat Berkeley by half a wheel.
In the Masters 1s, big sprinter Geoff Rickards was taken out of contention with a puncture in the final corner. Daniel Cranfield (Central Coast CC) beat Daniel Schwartz (Camden CC) in the sprint, making it a perfect race for the Dhuez Racing teammates from the Central Coast.
Words by Ryan Miu (@cyclingnsw)
2020 NSW Masters State Titles – RESULTS
INDIVIDUAL TIME TRIAL
Masters 2 Men – Michael Curran – 1st – (FASTEST MALE)
Masters 3 Women – Simone Grounds – 1st – (FASTEST FEMALE)
Masters 4 Women – Katie Banerjee – 1st
Masters 2 Men – Michael Curran – 3rd
Masters 1 Women – Pip Ash – 3rd
Masters 4 Women – Katie Banerjee – 3rd
Masters 1 Men – Daniel Cranfield – 1st
Masters 2 Men – Michael Curran – 1st
Masters 3 Women – Simone Grounds – 2nd
Masters 4 Women – Katie Banerjee – 2nd
Masters 1 Women – Pip Ash – 3rd
Masters 2 Men – Michael Curran
Masters 3 Women – Simone Grounds