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Mountains to the Beach - SR

Australia, March 2-6, 2009

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Race 3 - March 4: Day 3, 67km

Pre-Dawn launch gets racers up for day three

Day three provided a chance for riders to show their night riding skills.  The Ay Up Dawn Raid saw competitors starting at 5:15 am for a 26km race stage around the rough shores of Lake Eucumbene at Buckenderra Resort.

"I normally try to avoid night riding, but the Ay Up lights were fantastic," said master women's leader Gaye Camm. "They made it so much easier to ride what was an absolutely awesome track." Other riders expressed similar sentiments.

In the early morning stage, Jason English finished the men's race with a time of 0:58:27 and managed to create a gap of over a minute on fellow contenders Dennis Van Mill and Andrew Blair. Although English's win was sizeable for the stage, it did not alter the overall classification standings. After three days with four raced stages, Blair retains his lead of just five seconds over Van Mill and English, who is 1:43 back.

In contrast, today's events left the women's race wide open after the withdrawal part way through this morning's race stage of current second place holder Rosemary Barnes, who aggravated a pre-existing injury.

As a results, Heather Evans slipped into second, 25 minutes behind leader Naomi Hansen, with Belinda Porter moving into third place 1:03:24 behind Hansen.

The riders say goodbye to the Snowy Mountains with a free afternoon in Cooma, a chance to work on both bike and body before the Verofit Big Day Out tomorrow.

The 82km day will take racers from a start at Cooma Racecourse involving a couple of laps of the track before they travel over Numeralla Mountain. From there it's through a pine plantation and into the Wadbilliga National Park where the big descent from Conway Gap awaits them. Once at the bottom they cross Wadbilliga River and then head up again for the final climb of the stage, before the last descent to the Yowrie River.

That will be the final race stage before Friday's "short" 45km trek from Bermagui to Narooma following the coast as close as possible.


Solo men 18-39

1 Jason English         58.27
2 Dennis Van Mill        1.19
3 Andrew Blair           1.20

Solo women 18-39

1 Naomi Hansen        1.14.12
2 Heather Evans          5.03
3 Belinda Porter        11.13

Solo master men 40-49

1 Rodney Hart         1.07.47
2 Tim Jamieson           0.01
3 Paul Ricketts          3.05

Solo master women 40-49

1 Gaye Camm           1.34.49
2 Jenny Caldwell        10.30
3 Heidi Healy           14.32

Solo supermaster men 50+

1 Roger Cull          1.10.25
2 William Dove           3.26
3 DJ Brooks              8.18

General classification after day 3

Solo men 18-39

1 Andrew Blair                  4.33.43
2 Dennis Van Mill                  0.05
3 Jason English                    1.43

Solo women 18-39

1 Naomi Hansen                  5.41.27
2 Heather Evans                   25.00
3 Belinda Porter                1.03.24

Solo master men 40-49

1 Tim Jamieson                  5.17.56
2 Rodney Hart                      3.33
3 Eric Dole                       11.21

Solo master women 40-49

1 Gaye Camm                     7.16.07
2 Jenny Caldwell                  53.40
3 Bronwyn Markham               1.18.45

Solo supermaster men 50+

1 Roger Cull                    5.25.15
2 William Dove                    17.22
3 Peter Hansen                    32.18