‘Heartbreak hill’ shatters elite
THE legend of Old Coach Road lived up to its brutal reputation at the fourth and final round of the Queensland Road Teams Series held at the weekend.
The round included three stages – a hill climb time trial from Palmwoods to Montville, a Cotton Tree criterium and the North Arm road race.
The Sunday road race saw the return of Old Coach Road. It was the first time the road at North Arm had been used in a competitive event since the Sunshine Coast hosted the 2006 National Junior and Teams Road Cycling Championships and the Women’s National Grand Prix Series.
The 200m climb, reaching a gradient of 23 per cent at its steepest point, proved to be a race breaker for the elite men, elite women and master’s men.
In the elite men’s 120km race a breakaway group of seven riders, including local cyclist Dylan Newberry, quickly extended their lead to more than three minutes.
With two laps remaining of the race, Dylan (Campos Cycling Team) and Aaron Watts (Mainline Allencon Procella Cycling) had dropped their breakaway companions and held a two minute lead over the chasing bunch.
Aaron went on to claim victory with Dylan crossing the line 16 seconds behind. Ryan Cavanagh was the next best placed Coast rider in sixth position.
Competing in her first event since the Junior World Track Cycling Championships in August, Alexandra Martin-Wallace had a solid weekend winning the women’s criterium on Saturday afternoon and placing third in the 90km road race.
The Mainline Allencon Procella Cycling rider stayed with the lead group over Old Coach Road that included race winner Holly Ranson (Fitzroy Island Racing) and overall series winner Nicky Rolls (Galibier Partners).
Alex used her sprint talents on both days to ensure a double visit to the podium.
Proving he is forever young, local rider and sprinter Ben Price produced one of the stand-out rides of the weekend to place sixth in the master’s men road race.
Not renowned as a climber, Ben locked onto the back of group of six riders and ground his way up Old Coach Road six times to finish 16 seconds behind the race winner.
Ben was more at home in the Saturday criterium launching his trademark sprint to claim third in the master’s race. The master’s crtierium podium was a Sunshine Coast trifecta with Aaron Stewart, who rides from local outfit Team Farrago, taking the win closely followed by locals Kent Carpenter (Team Farrago) and Ben.
Sunshine Coast Cycling Club president Robert Thompson said it was a proud weekend for the club with over 30 local riders competing.
“Entering two club teams in the master’s category was a great opportunity for our club to show its colours against some of the best riders in the state,” he said.
“Our little club and all the local riders again proved we can punch above our weight on the big stage.”
The QRTS round was held in conjunction with Sunshine Coast CycleFest. Now in its third year, CycleFest included a mountain challenge to Montville on Saturday and a Gran and Piccolo Fondo on Sunday for cyclists of all ages and abilities.
Ben Price hanging on to the lead group.
Alex Martin-Wallace sticks with the lead group up Old Coach Road.
The Sunshine Coast Cycling Club masters team.
Jeff Liddell and Ben Brodrick fight for position in the criterium.