Tour of Bright be­gins

No su­per­storm in sight this year as clear skies pave way for an­nual three­day cycling event

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - BY JUSTIN JEN­VEY jjen­[email protected]­me­

AF­TER last year’s Tour of Bright was can­celled due to a pre­dicted su­per­storm that never even­tu­ated, the weather for the 2019 edi­tion of the race could hardly have been bet­ter.

Clear and sunny skies were present for the three-day event which con­sisted of a time trial around Roberts Creek on Fri­day and then stage rides on Satur­day and Sun­day.

The first took rid­ers through the Kiewa Val­ley and up Ta­wonga Gap while the sec­ond was a moun­tain fin­ish at Mt Hotham.

“A lot of work goes into it so it was a shame last year for it to not go ahead,” race di­rec­tor Aaron Smith said.

“Ev­ery­thing went well, the weather was good this year which was nice, we had a bit of a scare Sun­day morn­ing with some thun­der and light­ning but all worked out well and good in the end.”

Al­bury cy­clists Jesse Featonby claimed over­all honours in this year’s Tour fin­ish­ing 28 sec­onds ahead of Bendigo rider Alexan­der Evans with Michael Pot­ter of North Syd­ney 44 sec­onds back in third.

The A grade women was won by Gold Coast’s Emily Roper with a one minute and 21 sec­ond gap to Jus­tine Bar­row who was 10 sec­onds in front of fel­low Mel­bour­nian Michaela Par­sons.

Just over 400 rid­ers lined up in this year’s Tour of Bright, a fig­ure down on re­cent years.

How­ever, Smith said there was still plenty of top class rid­ers across the three women’s and seven men’s grades.

“There are so many race op­tions at this time of year but we’re still happy with the num­bers and the fact that we’re still one of the largest races on the cal­en­dar,” he said.

“We got our usual bunch if top-level rid­ers and then rid­ers in all grades from all across the coun­try.

“There was plenty of good hard racing es­pe­cially on the last two days where the moun­tains sort them out.”

There were also some good re­sults for locals cy­clists with former pro­fes­sional Wayne Hil­dred fin­ish­ing sec­ond in the masters 6+ while Alpine Chil­dren’s Ser­vices gen­eral man­ager Jenny Grif­fiths was sec­ond in the C grade women and Peter Var­ley the sprint win­ner in B grade masters.

STILL GOT IT: Wayne Hil­dred was fifth in Fri­day’s time trial be­fore end­ing the 2018 Tour of Bright on the podium while fel­low Bright rider Peter Var­ley showed strong sprint­ing form across the three days. PHO­TOS: Jean-Pierre Ronco

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