THE Optus Nowra Velo Club 2013 Mountain Championships were held on September 15 at Woodhill Mountain, Berry.
Jake Stuart raced up Woodhill Mountain to win, setting a new course record for the climb.
Stuart topped the six-kilometre course in 15 minutes, 37.89 seconds, to clip 15 seconds off Damian Mason’s two-year old record time.
Twenty-three seconds was the time gap back to second-placed Scott Thompson to give the two 18-year-old juniors the best times up Woodhill Mountain for 2013.
Defending champion Mark Fenner was only two and a half seconds away from Thompson’s time of 16 minutes 1.43 seconds.
The road surface was wet, and this gave some wheel slipping on the hairpins and steep sections but the rain stayed away.
Mitch Cunningham threw a surprise into the results by finishing fourth in 17 minutes 55.87 seconds.
Cunningham was graded in the third division, but the lightweight 16-year-old has shown plenty of improvement over the last few weeks of competition.
Despite a limited program this year, previous winner Damian Mason finished in fifth place with a time of 18 minutes, 10.69 seconds.
Mason was the mountain champion in 2010 and 2011,
Matt Wright was sixth, his times suffering from a limited program in 2013.
Paul Mackie retained his position as the division two winner, but the placings were hotly contested in this division.
Mackie topped the climb in 19 minutes, 7.91 seconds with Levi Johns next in 19 minutes, 22.48 seconds.
Levi held big brother Nick out of second position and Nick only just scraped into third ahead of Mel Kilby by less than a second.
Nick John’s time was 19 minutes, 48.28 seconds, with Kilby improving by almost a minute to finish with a time of 19 minutes, 48.35 seconds.
With Cunningham romping away with the division three placings, the chase was on for the minor positions in this division.
Stuart Quine wrapped up second in 19 minutes, 10.64 seconds and Rob Pickard just crept under the 20-minute mark.
His time was 19 minutes, 59.75 seconds.
A 40-second improvement on his previous time was enough to give John Cullity the win in division four.
Cullity went up Woodhill Mountain in 21 minutes, 33.56 seconds, while the much-improved Kate Darke took second position in 22 minutes, 51.25 seconds.
Dave Gray was third, while Britanee Schinella’s fourth place gave her the fastest of the junior girls times.
The Optus Nowra Velo Club continues with 2013 club championships next Sunday with road events on Braidwood Road.
Division two riders will race over 83 kilometres and division four riders will have a 54-kilometre event.
Start time is 9am, entries close at 8.45am and riders from division one and division three will be the race officials and marshalls.