Trio shine on national stage
THREE Sunshine Coast riders excelled at the Cycling Australia Masters Road National Championships staged on the Gold Coast last month.
Buderim’s Mick Patton was in the Masters 9 (aged 70-75) champion of champions jersey, after victory in both the road race and criterium.
Jason Ford (aged 50-54) also claimed the champions jersey for his age division with strong performances across the weekend, which included victory in the Masters 5 road race.
Jeff Liddell was in outstanding form, finishing second in the Masters 8 (aged 65-69) time trial, criterium and road race. Unluckily for Jeff he was competing in the same category as former five-time world champion Danny Clark, who proved too strong in the criterium and the road race.
Jeff was named champion of champions post event, following a review by Cycling Australia after confusion surrounding whether riders had to compete in all three events to qualify for the honour.
For Mick, the result was a return to form after struggling in his defence of the gran fondo world championship at Albi, France, during August this year.
He contracted a chest infection just before jetting off, and only returned to near full strength about one month ago.
“It was good to have a hit out and fire up again,” Mick said.
“I was off the pace for a while up the hills. I couldn’t get any air in. Luckily (at the Gold Coast) there were no really big climbs.”
Racing alongside some of the younger competitors, Mick spent a lot of his time on the wheel of Sunny Coast compatriot Jeff in both events.
There was some tight racing in the criterium on the Saturday which included 30 minutes plus three laps.
“We had some good riders in the bunch. Keith Oliver is an ex-world champion and he was there right to the finish and he’s nearly 80,” Mick said.
“The pace was steady, nothing ballistic. Danny Clark had one go, and Jeff jumped across to him. I was watching them and they slowed and we all came back together.”
In the closing stages Danny proved too strong, with Jeff finishing second and Mick third.
The following day’s 56km road race saw some tense moments even before the race with Jeff having difficulties with a SRAM eTap electronic shifter. Unable to move from the big chain ring, he was forced to use the big cog for the entire race despite some 11th hour efforts to have it fixed.
“A guy from Sydney had a go early and he couldn’t get away. But Danny Clark went on the first lap,” Mick said.
“It was on the second hill, then there was a bit of a false flat, Danny went like he had a rocket up his arse. It was just amazing.
“He knew the course and we never saw him again.
“The bunch got whittled down on the last lap. Coming into the finish I was thinking I should have sent Jeff to Spec Savers. He took off into the head wind and I poked my head up and we had miles to go.
“He was on full gas. Anyone else would have folded. He kept going. I started to come around him, he kicked again...he’s got this afterburner and I didn’t get around him.”
Jeff stopped the clock at 1hr 38min 53 sec, just over four minutes behind Danny.
Presented by Cycling Queensland on behalf of Cycling Australia, the championships were a key operational trial for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games road race. The 18.7km closed-road circuit features a variety of testing terrain while showcasing the picturesque, iconic Currumbin Beach.
Here's the Sunny Coast results.
Time trial 20km:
Masters 4 - 10th Sue Dingas 31:06.9.
Masters 8 - 2nd Jeffrey Liddell 26:48.0.
Masters 7 - 8th Gary Buckley 28:43.2.
Masters 6 - 16th Robert Thompson 29:47.3.
Masters 5 - 9th Jason Ford 25:18.9. 24th Simnon Ellis 28:52.2.
Masters 4 - 20th Matthew Clark 27:20.8.
Masters 2 - 11th Shaun Phillipson 25:38.3.
Masters 1 - 11th Luke van Maanenberg 26:34.6.
Men Masters 1 - 3rd Ben Price.
Master 4 - 23rd Kent Carpenter. 24th William Craddock.
Masters 5 - 1st Jason Ford. 37th Richard O'Connell.
Masters 8 - 2nd Jeffrey Liddell.
Masters 9 - 1st Mick Patton
Women Masters 4 - 960 Marion Kahler.
Men Masters 4 75km - 9th Kent Carpenter, 31st Matthew Clark, 37th William Craddock.
Masters 6 56km - 30th Aaron Nolan. Masters 7 - 13th Gary Buckley.
Masters 8 - 2nd Jeffrey Liddell. 16th Robert Dawson.
Masters 9 - 1st Mick Patton 1h38:53. Women
Masters 6 - 6th Cathy Scott.
Masters 4 - 8th Mandy Newman.
Jeff Liddell, Rob Dawson and Mick Patton.
Simon Ellis focused on getting to the top in the road race.
Mandy Newman on the steepest section of the road race.
Jeff Liddell (far left) claims his third silver medal, with Danny Clark (centre) and Peter Jansen.
Luke van Maanenberg.