The Nowra Velo Club returned to racing on Sunday where Curtis Trkulja carved out a new record time on Woodhill Mountain in the club's mountain championship.
Trkulja raced up the wet mountain road in 14 minutes, 59.82 seconds.
He had also won the race in 2020 and his new time was one minute and six seconds faster this year.
However, Trkulja also took 38 seconds off the official course record that had been held by Jake Stuart since 2013.
Trkulja started steadily and climbed within himself until that one-kilometre pinch that is the steepest part of the climb.
The road was wet and slippery but he unleashed his power on this section and raced to the win with a margin of one minute and 20 seconds.
Mitch Cunningham was the second-fastest in this event in 16 minutes 20.31 seconds with Brooklyn Henry taking third position in 16 minutes, 45.52 seconds.
This top three on the mountain are all young, lightweight and competent climbers.
This event was the return to competition for the Nowra Velo Club, having been restricted due to the COVID-19 crisis since August 8.
Despite the rain and wet road which was scattered with leaf litter, there were 27 riders who entered and were keen to go.
In fourth position was Josh Ludman (17:37.41) ahead of Alex Onus (17:54.97), Gavin Nethery (18:25.96), Mark Astley (18:37.07) and Ben Wallis (19:08.07.
Mark Williams won the B grade section of this championship event by less than two seconds from Hugh Vaughan.
Wiliams posted a time of 19 minutes, 55.68 seconds and Vaughan's time was 19 minutes, 57.43 seconds.
Godfrey Green was the third-placed B grade rider with 21 minutes, 40.06 seconds.
After a long absence, Jon Schol has returned to racing and in his second start in the club this year, he won the C grade section of the mountain championship.
Schol rode 21 minutes, 17.31 seconds with Gary Bryce in second position (21:44.56) and Jason Spence in third (22:40.96).
Lynne Vaughan was fourth with a time of 23:13.01.
Alex Verdi won the D grade in a time that was almost a podium position in C grade. Verdi topped the climb in 22 minutes 44.81 seconds.
Martyn Smith was second in this grade in 22:52.09 and Jo Chalain was third in 24:36.41.
The Nowra Velo Club returns to criterium racing next Sunday at the Albatross Aviation Tech Park for round ten of the 2021 Optus team series.
The sprinters will emerge for this program.
The program will also include the Vic and John Jones memorial across all grades.
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