PED­ALS TO THE ME­TAL

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - LIAM BUT­TER­WORTH

HUN­DREDS donned the ly­cra for yesterday’s an­nual Paluma Push. The sold- out event fea­tured 669 riders across three cour­ses, while $ 10,000 was raised d for theth he Ru­ral Fire Brigade. RobertRo Rober rt Saun­derss ( main main) in) and KarenK Crid­landd ( be­low be­low) took part in the fun.

TOWNSVILLE broth­ers Jeff and Dan Rubach are start­ing to make a habit of fin­ish­ing one- two in North Queens­land moun­tain bike races.

Jeff claimed back- to- back ti­tles ahead of Dan in the Paluma Push yesterday in a re­peat of 2014, mo­ti­vated by the friendly ri­valry which saw Dan pip him at the Ru­ral, Rain­for­est & Reef ( RRR) cross coun­try race in Cairns in early June. Jeff edged twin Dan out by three sec­onds in the 70km course of the Townsville Rock­wheel­ers event be­tween Paluma and Hid­den Val­ley yesterday, cross­ing the line in 2hrs 49mins 37secs and 2: 49.40 re­spec­tively.

The broth­ers’ tac­tics went to plan as they man­aged to form a break­away up the large as­cent and fin­ish ahead of Cairns’ Lin­coln Carolan.

“The plan was to get a com­fort­able start and warm up on the fire roads and we just bided our time for the hill, which is a big climb to the dam,” Jeff said.

“We worked in tan­dem to keep the pres­sure on and man­aged to sneak away into a break­away at the top of the dam and we just worked re­ally hard to con­sol­i­date that into the sin­gle track.”

“We’ve been up prac­tis­ing that up there for the last few weeks and I man­aged to come in for the win in the end there.”

Jeff said he had been put- ting in the hours pre­par­ing for his home race

“For me, the Paluma Push is like my grand fi­nal,” he said.

“It’s our home race and it’s the big­gest race of the year and it’s al­ways some­thing I tar­get and ap­proach it that way.”

Moun­tain Bike Aus­tralia ju­nior de­vel­op­ment coach Jodie Wil­lett edged for­mer road rac­ing team­mate Ruth Corset to be the first woman across the line.

Wil­lett won

the

event

in 2012 and fin­ished in a time of 3: 05.59, more than four min­utes ahead of de­fend­ing Na­tional Road Se­ries cham­pion Corset, while Sarah White was the third woman home.

The race this year fea­tured 669 riders across three cour­ses while $ 10,000 was raised for the Ru­ral Fire Brigade.

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