‘Heart­break hill’ shat­ters elite

Multisport Mecca - - Sunshine Coast Cycle Fest - Mal Kee­ble

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.

PHO­TOS: MAL AND MATT KEE­BLE, 4564 IM­AGES

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.

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