The Copper Coast Council hosted Round Four and Five of the 2017 Super Series. With almost 200 riders taking to the start line across the six grades on both days, the racing was as exciting as it comes.
Round four, the most iconic race of the series featuring two punishing dirt road sectors, was awaited by the riders with a combination of excitement and trepidation. The unsealed roads throw an element of luck into the event and create many tactical challenges for the rider. Hit out early with an early break, follow wheels and attack on the dirt, or just to ride conservatively and hope to get through the dirt sectors unscathed and without punctures.
The elite men were the first to hit the road. Despite many early moves, it took around 25 km for a break to establish. With most teams represented the break worked smoothly together, forging ahead and creating a sizeable gap back to the more relaxed peloton. With the first sector of dirt coming just outside of the Alford, the bunch sprung into action. By the end of the first 8 km dirt section, there was only a small gap between the remnants of the early break and the charging peloton.
At the end of the second dirt sector, and with 5 km to go to the finish, the winner of the 2016 edition, Lachlan Glasspool, emerged from the dust as the last surviving member of the break. With a slender lead over the chasing bunch, the Cervelo-Olivers Real Food Racing rider powered alone to the finish. Series Leader Welsford increased his lead once again by taking second on the stage. They were joined on the podium by USG Cycling’s Leo Simmonds.
The elite women lined up with a stacked field of riders. Cyclocross superstar Stacey Riedel (Ventou Cycling Team) would be one to watch being perfectly suited to the slippery conditions. SASI cycling have been almost dominant so far in the series, with young riders classification leader Maeve Plouffe being one to watch.
But it was Mercedez-Benz Adelaide-Blackchrome who would provide the main protagonists for the days racing. Coming into the dirt sectors with an already reduced bunch due to some aggressive racing, MBA-Blackchrome used their depth to take the race to its limit. Despite some powerful work by up-and-coming SASI rider Olivia Wheeler it was MBA-Blachromes Jessica Mundy who took the win leading home a trifecta for the team, with Victoria Veitch and Narelle Hards in second and third respectively.
Master’s Cat 1
With a smaller field than last year, there was going to be nowhere to hide for the riders this year. Due to several riders, including Shane Johnson of Lightsview cycling, trying to break free of the peloton there was considerable pressure on the bunch. The strong Lightsview team were the ones to watch, with series Leader Tim Decker always a marked man.
It was Jarrod Currie who would steal the show. Using the form that he had gathered training for and racing the recent Melbourne to Warrnambool, Currie soloed away from the chasing bunch to take the win on his own! Decker, who also rode “the Warnie” followed him home in second, with Currie’s teammate Michael Davies coming through in third.
Men’s Cat 2
The Men’s Cat 2 race followed in the same vein as it’s predecessors. Despite a fast start to proceedings, it was not until the first dirt sector that the damage was done. Adelaide University-Form Physio had their chances cut down with all bar one of their riders succumbing to flat tyres. Norwood Cycling Club also had a bad run with flats, with their protected rider Frank Smith also getting caught out. Despite a frantic chase, he was not able to regain contact with the bunch.
The two major players of the day ended up being Gravier.CC X Spin Cycle Clothing and the CSA State Development Team. Harry Askew, the series leader, was heavily marked throughout the day, but he was unable to shake his recent run of seconds, once again ending up on the second podium step. Mark Sampson of Gravier.CC X Spin Cycle Clothing took the win in a well-timed sprint, with Askew’s teammate Sam Tierney in third. Tierney’s efforts are going a long way to show that triathletes do indeed know how to handle a bike.
Women’s Cat 2
The women’s Cat 2 race has been a tail of shifting jerseys, with a two way battle between Coffylosopy’s Jazz Martin and the State Development rider Hannah Seeliger battling hard for the yellow jersey. Emily Hill of Blackchrome Butterfield was also one to consider, with her mountain biking background putting her in good stead to handle the dirt sectors.
The race came down to a bunch sprint, with Martin regaining her ascendancy in the competition. Emily Hill took her second second in a row, with Seeliger taking the final podium spot to keep her in contention for the overall series. Bronwyn Dolman continued her push to take the Masters Classification closing the gap on Annoushka Sathianathan (PACC Silver and Black Respectively).
Masters Cat 2
With speeds rivaling the supposedly faster grades, the Master’s Cat 2 continues to be a hard-fought category. The ADX Depot riders were keen to support their leaders after taking first and second in the opening round. After an aggressive, but ultimately unsuccessful start to the series, Team Scyon were also looking to place as many riders in the top 10 as possible to aid their push up the leaderboard. It was ADX Depot though who would ultimately come out on top. Mirroring the MBA-Blackchrome in the Elite Women, ADX took all three podium Spots. Todd Rolton in first, with Graham King in second and Nicholas Chabrel in third.
Cycling South Australia would like to thank all the corner marshalls, commissaires, vehicle drivers and all of the riders for their efforts on what was a fantastic day’s racing.