Kate Darke won the bike race while Access Storage was the top team in the final round of Nowra Velo Club’s 2018 Optus Series held on Sunday.
Darke (Allen Price & Scarratts) was in control of the race for 13 kilometres as she rode to the win.
Darke was in a seven strong group of riders at the front of the field as they went onto a long uphill drag. She went to the front and applied pressure and left the bunch in her wake.
Over these final stages of this 42-kilometre handicap event the field was bunching up behind and as Darke rode into the final 300-metre finish straight the field was coming together just a few seconds back.
Jose Pereira (Access Storage) took second in a bunch finish at the same time another group of riders was sprinting into the finish. Kate had a three-second margin over Jose on the line with Geoff Lockhart (BVH/Coffeeliscious) crossing just two seconds later for third placing.
Lockhart was followed by Greg Showell (BVH), Brad Oaten (APS), Jo Chalain (Access), Scott Wallace (Illawarra), Rob Rix (BVH), Henry Wakeford (Access), Dave Gray (Access), Colin Hunt (APS) and Bruce Jenkins (BVH).
The scratch riders and other back markers were next to finish with Aaron Coghlan (APS) sprinting over the line ahead of Levi Johns (Access), Ben Rolfe (APS), Brendon Miller (BVH), Ben Wallis (Access), Nick Johns (APS) and Scott James (Access).
Coghlan and Johns were the scratch riders for this event where they gave varying starts of up to 15 minutes across the field.
The gaps ahead of scratch looked long for more than half the race but the hardworking duo of Coghlan and Johns were closing it down in the closing kilometres as those ahead were tiring.
Coghlan crossed the finish line a minute and ten seconds after Kate Darke.
The Access Storage team have dominated the Optus Series this year and have been the overall team winner in eight of the 12 rounds. This team have finished the series as overall winners with a comfortable lead of 470 points from Bomaderry Vet Hospital/Coffeeliscious and Hanlon Windows who have finished together with 360 points.
Allen Price & Scarratts as a new team have finished with 330 points.
Amy Mottram has won the individual points section of the 2018 Optus Series despite missing this final round with work commitments.
Mottram has been consistent all year gathering points and finished with 169, ahead of Jo Chalain (159), Levi Johns (156), Geoff Lockhart (156) and Ben Wallis (151).
The women of the Nowra Velo Club have displayed some amazing racing this year with top results from local, interclub, state and national events.
Those successful in challenging the men include Jade Colligan, Stephanie Lord, Kate Darke, Amy Mottram, Alice Lauder, Sara Armstrong, Lynne Vaughan and Amelia Trkulja.
The Nowra Velo Club will return to criterium racing on the Albatross Aviation Tech Park next Sunday with graded racing getting under way at 8.30am.
The Access Storage team are the rostered officials.