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Victorian 100 Kilometre Championships

Port Fairy, Sunday July 11, 2004

Goold goes two better

By David Tozer

The strain on the riders' faces shows
Photo ©: David Tozer
Click for larger image

The Port Fairy Cycling Club, in conjunction with Cycle Sport Victoria, hosted the 2004 Victorian 100 kilometre Championships around the streets of Port Fairy on Sunday. A large crowd of spectators braved the wintery weather conditions in order to watch the strong field of elite men battle it out around Southcombe Park and beside the Southern Ocean, if the cyclists had time to take in the view they would no doubt be impressed.

However the positioning of the course also ensured that the strong Northerly breeze would play havoc with the riders as they rode each of the 40 laps, particularly as the riders sped from Ocean Drive and into Gipps Street.

In the past this race has followed a familiar pattern. A small group of riders managed to sneak away from the main pack, usually just around half way through the 100 kilometres, and from this point it is a battle for the main pack to chase the break-away group down. Some years the break is successful and in other years the pack has rejoined and the race is decided in a mass sprint. This year’s event played out in exactly the same fashion.

After approximately 40 kilometres, a group containing one of the pre-race favourites William Walker (CBD Cycles) managed to jump away from the peloton. Others to feature in the escape were; local cycling star Andy Graham (Uno Clothing), Trent Stevenson (Shepparton), Daniel Nelms (Italo Australian) and Dylan Newell (Brunswick).

A fidgety peloton
Photo ©: David Tozer
Click for larger image

The leaders managed to maintain a break that hovered around 30 seconds but did get out to as far as 50 seconds. Attempts to rein in the break were hampered by the strong riding of teammates of those in the break. However with around 25 kilometres (10 laps) to go, it appeared as though the break would be captured.

At about this time a number of attempts were made by individual riders to bridge across to the leaders. David McKenzie (Italo Australian) was the most active of the riders trying to join the front group. The fact that McKenzie was another of the pre-race favourites meant that the rest of the field reacted strongly whenever he put in a surge.

The task of bridging was proved to be possible by David Lunn (Colac) and Christopher Bradford (CBD Cycles). The two riders worked together to succeed in riding across to the leaders after toiling in between the two groups for around three laps. David Pell (Uno Clothing) and Matthew Goold (M.G.Z.T.) also managed to power across, late in the race.

Back in the peloton, the success of Goold, Lunn and co. spurred other to make final efforts to bring the race back together, time checks given by spectators had the gap shrinking to as little as 15 seconds, fortunately for the hardworking front runners, this would be as close as the peloton got. It seemed that every time the pack drew close to the leaders, they were able to dig deep and pull away again.

With three laps to go, there was an inevitable awareness within the pack that the race was going to be decided by the riders in the lead group.

There would no doubt have been a flurry of attacks within the leading group as the last lap bell rang. It was Matthew Goold who was able to take the left turn into Campbell Street, for the final time, and then sprint for the line. Goold was too strong for the fast finishing Daniel Nelms, with Chris Bradford holding on for 3rd place. Goold was over the moon with the result after having been close last year when he managed 3rd place.

In local club racing on Saturday, John Blair continued his good form by taking a win from scratch, in the regular 31-kilometre handicap race. This event will return again this coming Saturday, entries can be made from 1.45pm at the Port Fairy Showgrounds.

Photography

Images by David Tozer

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