The Footscray Cycling Club’s Winter Road Season continued this week out at the very hilly and difficult SheOaks circuit in the Brisbane Ranges, but in perfect conditions; the sunny skies and mid-twenties temperatures making a few riders regret only taking one bottle for the race.
Geelong CC Club Champion Nick Squillari took out today’s tortuous A-Grade race; the Geelong rider time-trialling to the finish in a race that saw the bunch splinter early, with riders all miles away from each other and suffering in solitude. “A grade wasn’t full gas out to Stieglitz, given it was a roaring northerly. I wasn’t intending to hit it early but gave it a nudge after being first to the bridge in Stieglitz and had a gap by the top. Miles Da Costa was trying to come across, but know he’s a good rider so wasn’t keen to take him with me and backed myself to go the distance. I’m coming off a second win in the Cycling Vic TT series last weekend, so going long range is what I’m best at. (I was) not sure of the gap in the end; the wind made it a hard day out. But an awesome circuit. Last time I raced it with FCC was 2014, similar weather and I got dropped big time. Was nice to turn it around a few years later.” Squillari crossed the finish line 7 minutes up on second placed Miles DaCosta, with third placed Andrew Bonello a further 3 minutes back and fourth placed Adam Trewin 3 minutes behind Bonello.
B-Grade saw Macus Nyeholt accidentally break away from the bunch at the first climb, just rolling off the front without meaning to. “My race was basically, roll through for a turn about halfway to the climb after the bridge; no-one came over the top of me and when I looked back no-one was there. 90 minutes later some guys rode past me, 15 minutes later I rode back past a couple of them; race over. Pretty lonely actually! So I have no idea how it actually panned out behind.” In behind, about a minute back, the bunch were rolling turns until eventual winner, St Kilda rider Cameron Abbott and Josh Zammit rode away from Geoff Robertson and Thomas Rebesco; the pair eventually riding past a tiring Nyeholt and sprinting for the win. The long, uphill grind to the line favoured Abbot, who took the well-deserved win from Zammit, with Nyeholt rolling on soon after for third.
In C-Grade, a good sized bunch started out (Including all of the starters in D-Grade), but broke into 3 separate smaller bunches on the first climb. David Mattner and Hamish Munro sprinted for the win, with Mattner clinching the win from Munro in second; Cameron Atchinson rolling through shortly thereafter for third place.
The riders who started in D-Grade, broke up early, but by the end of the race had come back together on the last lap to contest an entertaining sprint; Robert Ratts taking the win from Steve Biggs in second and the gutsy junior Sarah Dobie hammering out a solid third place.
A: 1st Nick Squillari, 2nd Miles DaCosta, 3rd Andrew Bonello, 4th Adam Trewin.
B: 1st Cameron Abbott (SKCC), 2nd Josh Zammit, 3rd Marcus Nyeholt, 4th Thomas Rebesco, 5th Geoffrey Robertson.
C: 1st David Mattner, 2nd Hamish Munro, 3rd Cameron Atchinson, 4th Daniel Welsh, 5th Andrew Rossiter, 6th Emma Scott.
D: 1st Robert Raats, 2nd Steven Biggs, 3rd Sarah Dobie