Just under 100 starters braved cold and rainy conditions to contest the Dooleys Tour of Sydney last weekend.
This year’s event, hosted by Lidcombe Auburn Cycle Club with support from Parramatta Cycling Club, was held over two days. The first day at Lansdowne Criterium Track consisted of a one- or two-lap Prologue individual time trial and a Kermesse race. As in previous years, the second day was a longer road race at Oakville.
The weather stayed dry for the morning Prologue, but as the Kermesses progressed into the afternoon, the rain arrived, leaving most riders covered with mud by the end. The second day saw cold but mostly dry weather.
Despite the small field, the Under-17 women raced a competitive Tour with three different stage winners among the five competitors.
Local rider Keira Will (Lidcombe Auburn CC) took out the Prologue before Alexandra Cross (Manning Valley) pulled out a splendid performance to win the Kermesse in a downhill sprint; her first state open victory.
Isabelle Russell (Dubbo CC) won the uphill sprint at Oakville, but Will collected enough bonus seconds to secure the overall win by 11 seconds.
The large field saw competitive racing in the challenging conditions.
Oscar Chamberlain (Canberra CC) continued to show his strength at this level, winning the two-lap Prologue by 9 seconds. However, it was on Stage 3 that he really stamped his authority, riding away to win solo by over 1 minute and sewing up the GCC.
The Ludlam brothers from Southern Cross CC completed the podium. In the Kermesse, Oliver Ludlam showed an impressive sprint to win both primes and the stage.
The Under-15 Women’s Tour also produced three unique stage winners.
On her home track, Anna Dubier (Lidcombe Auburn CC) laid down the best Prologue, making the most of her individual pursuit skills from the velodrome. Hayley Dell (Hunter District CC) produced a tremendous sprint to win the Kermesse and claw back a few seconds on GC.
At Oakville, Georgia Gardiner (Jindabyne CC) won a small group sprint for the stage victory, but Dubier’s third place was enough to secure the overall win by 9 seconds.
Yet another local rider prevailed in the Under-15 Men, with Liam Goltman (Lidcombe Auburn CC) winning two stages and the GC.
After taking out the Prologue by just 3 seconds over Rayhan Shockair (Randwick Botany CC), Goltman placed second in the Kermesse, then broke away with clubmate Rab Drummond (Lidcombe Auburn CC) to win the Road Race over 30 seconds ahead of the next group.
Ben Coates (Manly Warringah CC) won the Kermesse in a bunch sprint, helping him to second overall.
A solid turnout of 10 girls contested the Under-13 event. At the pointy end, it was a two-up battle between Jenna Gallagher (Bathurst CC) and Darcy Henwood (Canberra CC), who shared the top two places in every stage.
Gallagher won the Prologue, Henwood won the Kermesse, and then it came down to the Road Race, where Gallagher outsprinted Henwood to win the GC by just 4 seconds.
Zoe Maye (Lidcombe Auburn CC) rode solidly to take 3rd place in each stage and on GC.
The Under-13 Boys race began with a tight one-lap Prologue that saw Charlie Smith (Randwick Botany CC) come out on top, with the top three only separated by 2 seconds.
Gabriel Jackobsen (Illawarra CC) took out the Kermesse in a sprint to move ahead on GC thanks to bonus seconds. It was a similar result in the Road Race, with Jakobsen winning the sprint and clinching the GC victory.
It was a similar story in the Under-11 Boys race, with a Randwick Botany rider – Jett Stokes – winning the Prologue before another rider – Zwi Ratajczak (Southern Cross CC) – took the last two stages and the GC, which was decided on points instead of time.
Out of the youngest racers, Annika Astridge (Canberra CC) and Felix Olsen (Southern Cross CC) won the girls and boys events respectively. Sebastian Gallagher (Bathurst CC) rode an excellent Prologue to take a stage win.
Cycling NSW congratulates Lidcombe Auburn Cycle Club for hosting another successful edition of the Dooleys Junior Tour of Sydney, especially in difficult weather conditions.
The junior road season will continue with the Southern Cross Junior Road Open weekend on 10–11 July in Sutherland, which includes the NSW Criterium Championships and Country & Metropolitan Road Championships. Entries are open now at EntryBoss.
Photos by Morgan Ho, St George CC.