Nowra Velo Club road race championships

 Leader of the pack: Gary Bryce leads Brad Oaten and the field in the C grade event at the Nowra Velo Club road championships on Braidwood Road on Sunday.
Leader of the pack: Gary Bryce leads Brad Oaten and the field in the C grade event at the Nowra Velo Club road championships on Braidwood Road on Sunday.

Levi Johns and Brendon Miller were the grade winners in the Nowra Velo Club’s road race championships on Braidwood Road on Sunday.

Johns won the A grade 80-kilometre championship in a sprint finish from Jade Colligan, Aaron Coghlan, Nathan Crump and Steve Crossman.

Miller won the C grade race in a similar style from Ian Kielly, Brad Oaten and Geoff Lockhart.

The A grade event was first to start and the field had only gone two kilometres when Johns attacked and went solo for the first long climb.

Johns was to hold a lone lead for over 30 kilometres until reeled back in by a chase group comprising Colligan, Coghlan, Crump, Crossman, Godfrey Green and Nick Johns. This group were the leaders until Crossman went ahead with 25 kilometres remaining.

Crossman held a 200 metres lead as he went onto the third and final ascent from Hames Road. On this long climb Coghlan and Colligan had jumped clear of the field and were closing the gap to Crossman when Levi Johns made the move to join the leaders.

Crump went with Johns and pushed himself hard to hang on until the junction was made. This was to be the five riders who would race to the finish together.

Into the finish straight Coghlan was the first to make the move but Johns was quicker with his jump. Coghlan was chasing with Crump, Crossman and Colligan in tow.

Up to the line Johns raced clear to cross the line four lengths clear while Colligan surged up the straight passing Crossman, Crump and then just getting over Coghlan as the line went under their wheels.

Nick Johns and Green finished behind this lead group.

Tony Kuipers went on an early escapade in the C grade race and was almost out of sight at the top of the long climb. The chase was being led by Scott Martin until the whole chase bunch rolled through to close down the break.

There were constant attacks as the endurance riders tried to unseat the sprinters. The field turned for the 15-kilometre run to the finish with 11 riders still in this lead group.

Brad Oaten made a surprise move on the downhill run and jumped clear. Kielly saw danger in this move and chased across the gap. These two riders held a 20-second lead into the final five kilometres until the chase bunch shut it down.

Eleven riders swept into the finish straight and Miller saw a gap along the gutter and kicked hard through to the lead and raced away to a five-length clear margin over the line.

Oaten was holding on for second when Kielly zipped past right on the line for the major minor position. Lockhart was finishing fast for fourth ahead of Kuipers, Gary Bryce, Mark Klein, Rob Pickard, Frank Neri, Michael Thompson and Scott Martin.

Graham Johns was next to finish.

The club B and D grade road championships will be held on the last weekend of August.

Next Sunday the Nowra Velo Club will hold the fourth round of the Southern Region Interclub Series as graded criteriums on the Albatross Aviation Tech Park. Racing will start at 9am catering for riders from the Illawarra, Goulburn, Southern Highlands, Macarthur District and Nowra clubs.