On a gorgeous Labour Day Monday morning, 274 riders contested the 2020 Erik Mather Cup at Sydney Motorsport Park, Eastern Creek. Undoubtedly, the huge numbers were motivated by a thirst for racing during this COVID-impacted season. However, it didn't hurt that the annual event, held in memory of Waratah Masters Cycling Club member Erik Mather, carried a generous prize purse of over $7,000 across the six divisions.
In Division 1, a powerful break of four got away in the early laps. Each of the escapees is known for their strong engine, and none shirked the workload as they rode hard to maintain a gap that never exceeded a minute. Some cat-and-mouse on the final lap, coupled with a charging peloton, saw their advantage narrow, but it was still enough for the four to contest the finish. Ben Neppl won the sprint ahead of Chris Ball, with Peter Wakefield and Greg Burgett rewarded with third and fourth for their excellent races. Behind, Jonathon Cridland stole away to claim fifth just ahead of the peloton.
Division 2 attracted the largest field and accordingly saw a close tussle between the fast men. It all ended with a rapid downhill sprint to the line, with Mark Ross too quick for Phil Bardon and Jon Leighton.
In Division 3, Brian Appleyard showed himself to be the strongest throughout the race, making his presence felt in multiple attacks. So it would prove in the sprint finish, where Appleyard finished a clear length ahead of his competitors. Amanda Jones kicked well in the bunch, more than matching the acceleration of the men to take the prize of fastest woman.
Similarly, Division 4 finished in a bunch sprint across the width of the track, with Michael Stanton prevailing just ahead of Duncan Mort and Brad Oaten. Of the women, Katie Banerjee pipped Renee Heinrich in the sprint.
In Division 5, a two-man attack would contest the win between them. Launching his sprint early, Guy Page was strong enough to hold off his breakaway companion Geoff Maguire. Trevor Ratcliff claimed the final podium place with a late solo surge behind, while Jennifer Short rode smartly to finish as the first woman.
The small Division 6 field of home riders stayed more or less together for the race, with Ludwik Dabrowski too good in the finale.
Unfortunately, a few riders crashed heavily on the day and we wish them a speedy recovery.
For photos of the golden morning of racing, view our photo gallery on Facebook.
|1||Ben Neppl||Hunter District CC|
|2||Chris Ball||Manly Warringah CC|
|3||Peter Wakefield||Penrith CC|
|4||Greg Burgett||Lidcombe Auburn CC|
|5||Jonathon Cridland||Southern Cross CC|
|1||Mark Ross||Dulwich Hill BC|
|2||Phil Barden||Northern Sydney CC|
|3||Jon Leighton||Harlequin Wheelmen|
|4||Mitchell Magro||Sutherland Shire CC|
|5||Michael Schembri||Penrith CC|
|1||Brian Appleyard||Parramatta CC|
|2||Oliver Thomas||Penrith CC|
|3||Glen Leechburch Auwers||Camden CC|
|4||Gareth Collins||Randwick Botany CC|
|5||Andrew Woodward||Sutherland Shire CC|
|FF||Amanda Jones||Sydney Uni Velo|
|1||Michael Stanton||Dulwich Hill BC|
|2||Duncan Mort||Waratah Masters CC|
|3||Brad Oaten||Nowra Velo Club|
|4||Todd Smithson||Parramatta CC|
|5||Gerard Sarkozy||Randwick Botany CC|
|1||Guy Page||Central Coast CC|
|2||Geoff Maguire||Nowra Velo Club|
|3||Trevor Ratcliff||Waratah Masters CC|
|4||Gavin Davie||Waratah Masters CC|
|5||Greg Fisher||Waratah Masters CC|
|FF||Jennifer Short||Hunter District CC|
|1||Ludwik Dabrowski||Waratah Masters CC|
|2||Bob Willis||Waratah Masters CC|
|3||Fred Dyer||Waratah Masters CC|
|4||Denis Sullivan||Waratah Masters CC|
|5||Joe Dimech||Waratah Masters CC|
|FF||Annie Simmons||Waratah Masters CC|