Marconi Cycling Club host fantastic race day for charity
Georgia Whitehouse (Sydney Uni Velo Club, Sydney Uni-Staminade) and Chris Powell (St George Cycling Club, Nero KOM Financial Advice Racing Team) took the honours at the 2018 Remembrance Cup, an event raising money for NSW Police Legacy.
Whitehouse leads Sydney Uni one-two
On the mostly flat circuit at Eastern Creek Dragway, Whitehouse and her Sydney Uni-Staminade teammate Emily Watts dominated the Division 1 Women’s race. The pair broke away early on and were never seen again, finishing over a minute ahead of the bunch, which was led home by Lucy Cliff (Illawarra CC). Whitehouse kicked ahead of Watts in the final sprint, making the most of the uphill drag to cap off a flawless team performance. ‘We always planned to have Emily in a break,’ said Whitehouse. ‘I didn’t really feel like I had the legs for it today, but we had the opportunity, and it worked out well.’
Powell SPRINTS TO VICTORY from LATE BREAKAWAY
In contrast to the women, the Division 1 Men’s race was much tighter affair, with nobody able to create a substantial gap early on despite numerous attacks. Among the early aggressors were Adam Lloyd (Parramatta CC), Toby Orchard (Australian Cycling Academy), Joel Walsh (Illawarra CC, GPM-Stulz) and several riders from the Mainpac Cycling Team (MTOSS), whose efforts strung out the field single-file along the finishing straight.
However, it wasn’t until the final three laps that a decisive break went away. The selection was made by a dangerous group comprising Powell, fellow St George clubmates Cameron Scott (Australian Cycling Academy) and Luke Cridland, Walsh, Craig Sinteur (North Western Sydney CC) and the venerable Peter Milostic (Penrith CC).
As the bell tolled to signal the final lap, this group of six held an advantage equal to the length of the finishing straight, with Stephen Cuff (Penrith CC, MTOSS) chasing alone ahead of a frantic peloton. As the riders disappeared onto the back section of the circuit, the crowd held their breath, anticipating an exciting finish. By the time the race came back into view with one kilometre to go, the peloton had extinguished Cuff’s solo move and narrowed the break’s advantage to a slender fifty metres; it was virtually touching distance.
As it turned out, that advantage was just enough. The front group launched its final sprint just as the chasers latched on to their rear wheels. In the end, Powell outsprinted Scott with a powerful finish, continuing his run of impressive sprint performances this year including first overall at Randwick-Botany CC’s May Super Crits, a win at the Tolland Handicap, and second at the Orica Kermesse. Powell and Scott had been the pre-race favourites, and the pair lived up to their billing. They led home a St George trifecta, with Luke Cridland taking the final step on the podium.
Powell had originally missed that decisive selection, but dug deep to cross the gap to the leading group. ‘I think it was a bit of luck that I had some good legs after opening them up yesterday at Heffron [at Stage 1 of Battle of the Bridge], and today I felt a bit better,’ he said. It was his first head-to-head sprint victory against Scott, and that brought a cheeky smile to his face. ‘I’ve always wanted to have one over him. I don’t think I’ve actually ever beaten him before, so it’s pretty sweet to get over him.’
Marconi CC PULLS OFF A FANTASTIC EVENT FOR CHARITY
The Division 1 races capped off a day-long gala of bike racing, all in the name of raising money for NSW Police Legacy.
The 2018 Remembrance Cup was the second edition of the race, and the first time it’s been held at State Open level, bringing more prize money and attracting a larger field. Nearly 230 competitors contested six men’s divisions, two women’s divisions and the Under-15 and Under-17 junior races. With a police helicopter overhead and Highway Patrol car on course, the men and women in blue showed their support for the event.
The Remembrance Cup is the brainchild of Doni Lia, a commissaire from Marconi Cycling Club. ‘Three years ago I got involved with a remembrance ride from Sydney to Canberra with a bunch of mates who were also police officers,’ explained Lia. ‘I thought it would be great to run a charity race. Last year we ran it as a club event and got about 170 riders. This year we got sanctioned as an Open event, meaning more prize money – we wanted to get more riders.’
‘The highlight has been the groundswell of support for not only this particular race and what it means, but just seeing the police presence here, them embracing what we’re doing for them, helping to raise money for NSW Police Legacy… just the groundswell of support for something I hope is going to be come bigger every year.’
View full race results courtesy of Cycling NSW.
To make a donation, visit NSW Police Legacy.