Colin Hunt was riding alone and sixteen seconds clear when he crossed the line to win the Nowra Velo Club’s 2017 Jack Hartnett road race on Sunday. Tony Kuipers finished the race in second position.
Hunt rides for Defence Cycling and started this handicapped 53-kilometre race in mid field.
Hunt left the starter along with Kuipers, Michael Berriman and Ian Kielly. This group started six minutes after the first riders group was flagged away and nine minutes ahead of the backmarkers.
With three strong groups chasing from behind Hunt and Kuipers applied the pressure early and drove their co-markers hard until they dropped away. This duo now rode through the front markers bunches and into the lead.
Over the final twenty kilometres Hunt and Kuipers were leading the race with a clear time gap behind. In the final three kilometres Hunt applied more pressure to ride away from Kuipers and to the finish for a solo win.
Over the second half of the event bunches were falling apart and reforming as the road climbed and fell. Phil Rice and Nick Johns were chasing from near the back of the field and gathering in other riders as they chased the leaders and rode hard to remain clear of the race backmarkers, Steve Crossman, Nathan Crump and Josh Henry.
It was ninety seconds after Hunt had the race won that the next group were sprinting for the minor positions. Berriman hung on to a narrow third from Nick Johns, Hubert Driehuis, Steve Gendek, Scott Wallace, Phil Rice, Brad Oaten, Kate Darke and Henry Wakeford.
Scott Wallace (Illawarra CC) was the winner of this event in 2016 and was on the start line to defend that position.
Only seconds later the back markers were into the finish straight and sprinting for twelfth position and the fastest time honours.
Crump took the best time from Crossman and they were followed over the line by Geoff Lockhart, Josh Henry, Paul Mackie and Ian Kielly. Alice Lauder, Jo Chalain, Jason Spence and Mark Williams followed while Brooklyn Henry punctured early in the race.
Former Nowra Velo member, Tristan Ward won the NSW Under 23 individual time trial championship at Gunning on Saturday while Levi Johns finished fifth.
Mark Astley was in Canberra and racing the national 24 hour solo MTB championships where he finished third overall and second in his age category.
Racing continues for the NVC at the Albatross Aviation Tech Park next Sunday with another round of the 2017 Optus series. Access storage are the duty officials.