Words and photos by Ryan Miu
Manly Warringah CC have narrowly defended their overall title on a picture-perfect day at the NSW Club Team Time Trial Championships in Singleton.
The bright blue skies may have been taken a good omen for the riders in blue. However, although the northern beaches club had the most entrants, they only edged out runners-up Randwick CC by the barest of margins, 20 points.
Indeed, testament to the breadth of talent across NSW was the fact that each championship category was won by a different club.
In still conditions and warm sunshine, Manly’s “A-Elite” team took the bragging rights of fastest time, clocking 39:37.12 at an average speed of 45km/h across the 30-kilometre course. They were the only team to finish in under 40 minutes, earning the quartet of Christopher Ball, Matthew Dinham, Tim Clarsen and Dylan George the Elite Men’s title and historic Clubs’ Championship Shield.
For Ball, third time was the charm after his results on the previous two occasions.
“It’s a bit of redemption after the last couple of years, getting third in my first year and then second last year. It’s pretty sweet to finally get the trophy,” Ball said. “The conditions were still – really good day for bike racing. It’s a good, fast course, and a lot of fun.”
Lidcombe-Auburn CC and Sutherland Shire CC completed the Elite Men’s podium. Defending champions St George CC suffered from misfortune with two punctured tyres, leaving them in fifth place at over three minutes behind.
In the Elite Women’s competition, three strong riders from Sydney Uni Velo did enough to take the crown with Georgia Whitehouse, Emily Watts and Nicole Wilson winning with a time of 46:11.93 at an average speed of nearly 39km/h. Being short by one rider, and a lack of time trial-specific equipment, did not prevent the team nicknamed “Will Ride for Coffee” from taking the championship.
“We had one on a TT bike – Emily holding strong on the front – and Georgia and I on road bikes behind, just communicating together,” Wilson said. “I think it worked really well.”
“We were really fast, so we’re happy,” Watts said.
Another Sydney Uni Velo team took silver, while Manly completed the podium.
The Masters titles were shared among a variety of clubs, with Hunter District CC, Sydney CC, Harlequin, Southern Cross CC and Illawarra CC all winning gold.
The tussle for overall club champion went down to the wire. Manly Warringah had entered 13 teams to Randwick’s 11, but consistent results from the latter kept them in contention. Only two of Randwick’s teams finished outside the top-ten in any category, and they also earned three silver medals throughout the day.
However, while Randwick finished the day with 679 points, the extra two teams proved vital for turning the competition in favour of Manly Warringah, who finished with 699 points. For example, Manly Warringah president Mitchell Dixon’s team earned 23 points by finishing 13th in the Masters Men All Ages category, proving that every rider’s contribution can make the difference.
“I think it’s about having a good club culture,” Dixon said about Manly Warringah’s success. “We like having fun on our bikes, we like doing that together, and I think the guys wanted to come out and represent the club, have a bit of fun together – and try to defend the title; there’s always a bit of incentive there to bring a few people out.”
Earlier in the day, combined teams contested the Singleton Challenge, with “Scone’s Cheeky Cyclists” winning the mixed category and the junior squad from Team Rauland winning the men’s category.
Full results: https://my.raceresult.com/157194/results
Singleton Challenge Mixed
Singleton Challenge Men
Masters Women (All Ages)
Masters Men (180+)
Masters Women (140+)
Masters Men (150+)
Masters Men (All Ages)