CCCC returned to the open roads around Modella for the first time this season, with riders enjoying fantastic winter weather, in stark contrast to the dismal forecast projected during the week.
A strong breeze kept riders honest right round the course, and few riders who lost contact on the climbs were able to ride themselves back into contention.
An evenly matched A Grade bunch stayed together for the first pass over the Ripplenbrook and Heath Hill climbs, but on the second lap, the final ascent of Heath Hill saw three of the youngest riders in the bunch; Brent Nelson (Croydon Cycleworks), Callan Douglas (Mainline Cycles) and Cameron Parlevliet (Bikes de Ver) open a slender advantage, to lead by 20 seconds at the Costers Road turn.
The rest of the bunch kept the pressure on, and were within striking distance at the final turn, but the leading trio kept working solidly and did just enough to hold on, with Douglas taking his first A Grade win with a good sprint over Nelson and Parlevliet. Rick Sanders (Jayco VIS) lead the bunch home hot on their heels, with Nick Youngs (Ex Machina), James Cummings (Kelly Cycle Coaching) and Ben White (The King’s Men) not far behind.
Kevin Murphy (6am-ers) ripped away from the B Grade bunch on the first climb, and desperate attempts to join him saw the biggest bunch of the day split into three distinct groups. 15 riders eventually made the front group, and with the rest out of contention were able to tackle the second set of climbs a little more conservatively.
Braeden King (Peninsula Star) jumped away from the lead group on the steep final climb after a long solo effort by Tom Quirk (O’Mara Cycles) was neutralised, and kept his narrow lead down the descent to the final corner. Much like the A Grade race, his lead with just two kilometres to go didn’t look to be big enough, but his massive final effort saw him hold on for a great win, just ahead of Mitchell Barry (Quick Cycle), Matt Ross (CCCC Elite) and team mate Liam Hill.
C Grade proved to be a race of attrition, with every climb seeing another couple of riders slip off the back. In the end, just three remained to battle for the win, with Nick Kennedy taking the win ahead of Warren Howe (O’Mara) and David Tennant (6am-ers). All three earned a start in B Grade after their impressive efforts. Lynton Williams, Andrew Hull and Brenton Jukes lead the chasers home a little over four minutes later.
In D Grade, youngsters Julian Lam and Kallum Parlevliet flew up the Ripplebrook climb, but found the going tougher on their restricted gears on the rolling section to the base of Heath Hill, and were unable to hold their advantage once the descent proper kicked in.
Despite the obvious disadvantage of his 6.5 meter roll out, Lam uncorked a sizzling sprint to take the win, ahead of Steve Towers (Kaos Custom Bikes), Johnny Guerrieri (6am-ers) and Bob Bright. In the women’s division Grace Fryer and Nina Greig-Towers (CCCC Elite) and Chloe Baggs (Quick Cycle) opened an early lead on Amber Saunders on the opening climb, but Saunders’ superior endurance saw her overhaul the three youngsters on the run home to take the win.
Thanks as always to the volunteers who made today’s race possible, including Matt Wright, Frank Cipriano, Gary Imberger, Steve Hickey, Adam Mulford, Mick Hollingworth, Julie Hunt, Ross Thompson, Graham Fryer, Russell Nelson, Mick Thomas, Phil Randall, Jo Freeman, Ann Johnstone, Monika Imberger and Doug Moody.
|Modella Hilly Course|
|Saturday, June 4|
|A Grade||78km||12 starters|
|B Grade||78km||33 starters|
|C Grade||78km||22 starters|
|D Grade||39km||24 starters|
|Racing Clinic||27km||5 starters|