THE toughest race on the Copper City Cycling Club calendar took place departing the War Memorial Rest Stop 50 km west of Mount Isa and ending in the township of Camooweal – covering a total distance of 136 km.
The B grade peloton was well supported with nine riders, bolstered by C Grade rider Alannah Thinee and husband A Grade rider Mark Thinee, just returning to cycle fitness and opting to support wife Alannah and sister-in-law Clare Lehmann.
Matt Norman and son Thomas Norman signed on for A Grade with Thomas racing for the last time before returning to England and this was a decent training ride for the pair without any other competitors.
The weather was beautifully fresh with plenty of cloud cover as B grade commenced the journey 10 minutes in front of the A Grade duo.
Without a C grade field, Alannah rolled through the pack in fine form and called it a day at 50 km, having ridden very well, keeping up with the high pace.
The riders swapped turns, rotating through at higher and higher speeds with a favourable SE wind.
The average was soon sitting at 37 km/hr.
The surges and attacks started around 62 km and first to pop at 80 km was Lyn Roughan, who had the sense to note the lap on the garmin at 2 hrs and 8 minutes.
The remaining seven riders went to the compulsory 5 minute rest stop at 97 km together.
Wiley Andrew Maclean put the pressure on immediately after remounting and sped off down the road, catching the pack unawares.
The surges and attacks started around 62 km and first to pop at 80 km was Lyn Roughan, who had the sense to note the lap on the garmin at 2 hrs and 8 minutes."
Only Jason Ahearn, Linda French and Frank Long were able to bridge the gap.
Mark Thinee, Tony Sweeney and Clare Lehmann formed a groupetto for the remaining 39 km into town.
It was at this stage that Matt Norman arrived at the rest stop, having tempered his pace to assist son Thomas, suffering from lack of training.
It did not take long for Matt to press on alone and pass all other riders before hitting the finish line, having ridden a very conservative 3 hrs 29 mins 14 seconds.
As the front quartet of the B grades rolled into Camooweal, Maclean let loose with about 500 metres to go.
The remaining three, exhausted from the day’s efforts, had nothing to answer the surge and Maclean recorded a ride time of 3 hrs 40 mins 26 secs.
Maclean bested the bunch by 18 seconds as they sat up.
He maintained an average of 37 km/hr.
Racing is on hold while there are several events coming up including the Tennant Creek two day tour, the Outback to Stack Running Festival and in early August, the Border Ride.
There will of course be club and community rides leading up to the big cycle event of the year so keep an eye on social media for the latest postings.
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