Last weekend, 95 junior riders from Under-9s to Under-17s contested the 2021 Percival Property Port Macquarie Junior Tour based at the Port Macquarie CC clubhouse at Lake Innes.
For the first time, the Port Macquarie junior weekend included a team time trial.
The TTT Challenge was designed to encourage more juniors to develop their skills in this discipline, which is on the program for this year’s national championships.
Instead of being contested between clubs, the TTT Challenge welcomed composite teams made of interclub riders, allowing more riders to participate.
18 teams took part from Under-13s to Under-17s, and a wide range of riders from NSW, Queensland and the ACT performed excellently to finish on the podiums.
Congratulations to the young riders who embraced this new event and demonstrated excellent teamwork.
With the new TTT on Saturday afternoon, the Port Macquarie Junior Tour itself was made up of two stages: an individual time trial on Saturday, followed by a road race on Sunday.
Coming to the fore once again in NSW junior racing was Keira Will (Lidcombe Auburn CC), who rode a dominant time trial to win by over a minute to Nicole Duncan (Central Coast CC), with Bronte Stewart (Tolland CC) in third.
In the road race, Will and Stewart broke away and gained an enormous 7-minute lead on the field. Stewart dropped her breakaway companion to take an impressive solo victory, with Will finishing 35 seconds behind to win the general classification. Duncan won the sprint to consolidate third place overall.
The individual time trial was incredibly tight, with Ben Anderson (Dubbo CC) winning by less than 1 second from Curtis Trkulja (Nowra VC) and just 2 seconds ahead of Toby Inglis (Armidale CC).
Inglis, whose background is in mountain-biking, became the revelation of the Tour when he broke away in the road race and won solo by 49 seconds. It was his first NSW open win on the road and bumped him up to second on GC.
Anderson won the sprint to clinch the general classification, while Trkulja placed highly to take third overall, just as he did in Goulburn earlier this month.
Anna Dubier (Lidcombe Auburn CC) and Georgia Gardiner (Jindabyne CC) were outstanding. Dubier won the time trial by 12 seconds ahead of Gardiner, before the pair broke away in the road race to establish an advantage of over 3 minutes to the bunch.
Gardiner won the sprint, but Dubier won the general classification on a tiebreaker rule, thanks to her quicker time trial.
With a third and fourth place in the two stages, Hayley Dell (Newcastle Hunter CC) completed the GC podium for her newly-merged club.
Queensland’s Ethan Lang (Hamilton Wheelers CC) rode a brilliant time trial to win by 3 seconds ahead of Liam Goltman (Lidcombe Auburn CC).
In the road race, however, Hayden Stevens (Canberra CC) timed his attack perfectly, winning solo by 6 seconds ahead of a reduced bunch led by Ben Coates (Manly Warringah CC). Stevens did enough to take the general classification, with Goltman finishing third overall behind Lang.
Canberra’s Darcy Henwood swept the standings with wins in both the time trial and the road race. In fact, the rankings looked like they were copy-pasted from the time trial to the road race, with Mackenzie Smith (Gold Coast CC) taking second place and Tayla Mathiske (Manning Valley CC) in third.
An impressive performance by Queensland’s Lucas Soegaard (Gold Coast CC) saw him win the individual time trial by over a minute to Luka Collins (Southern Cross CC) and Gabriel Jakobsen (Illawarra).
Soegaard won the road race solo to secure the overall. Collins sewed up second place while a consistent weekend by Ollie Taylor (Neo CC) saw him take third on GC.
Gold Coast rider Reilly Dickson won the individual time trial and road race, on each occasion by just five seconds ahead of Jett Stokes (Randwick Botany CC). Cooper Shevlin (Gold Coast CC) placed third on each stage to also take third overall.
Three interstate riders contested the under-9 girls’ tour, with Ashleigh Maas (Canberra CC) winning thanks to her better time trial. Adele Dickson (Gold Coast CC) picked up the road race win, with Annika Astridge (Canberra CC) finishing third overall.
There were just two boys in this category, but it was a close competition with just six seconds separating Hamish Smith (Bathurst CC) from Elliott Szkudlarek (Lidcombe Auburn CC) in the time trial. Smith consolidated his lead with another stage win in the road race.
Cycling NSW thanks Port Macquarie Cycle Club for hosting another excellent weekend of junior racing.
Full results: https://my.raceresult.com/170541/results
Photos by Rob Lloyd