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Stephen Hall and Erin Kinnealy – 2017 State Road Champions

It was Stephen Hall who went back-to-back in the men’s race while Erin Kinnealy claimed her first state road title in a solo getaway in York on October 29. Checkout the full wrap including a feature interview with our open champions.

Women’s Race

It took a 70-kilometer breakaway for Erin Kinnealy to claim her first ever state open road championship in York.

Kinnealy broke away at the 20km point trying to make a move and “soften some legs” of other riders as she had questioned her own fitness after returning on the bike following a break.

She said no one wanted to go with her when she made the move, so she ended up riding the rest of the race solo.

It worked out for her, claiming the win by almost seven minutes on the 92-kilometer challenging course in York, with Corrie Fillmore taking second.

Kinnealy said she just kept riding tempo.

“It was all about fatigue management and not riding too hard and blowing up,” she said.

She said ever since she started riding three years ago, she never expected to take home a state title.

“I never could foresee my progression,” she said.

“I took cycling up for fitness.”

The Busselton resident is a full-time cyclist riding with the Holden Women’s Racing team and played a key role to Shannon Malseed taking out the National Road Series this year.

Kinnealy also finished in the top 15, which is pretty impressive given her role as a domestique.

She said she would now turn her focus to the upcoming major Australian races including the National titles.

Men’s Race 

In the Men’s race it was Stephen Hall who went back-to back and now currently holds the state criterium and road championship trophies.

Hall, who has been dominating the race scene over in the United States, said the course in York was one of the toughest courses that he had ever ridden at a state road race.

“It was not really nice flat roads,” he said.

“The best way to describe it is there is nowhere to hide and it is a hard day even if you are still in the bunch,” he said.

Hall ended up at the front of the race with another five riders which slowly dwindled and eventually ended up with two to go at the 10km to go point before Hall rode on solo with just 2km to go to take the win.

Hall has been over in the USA racing on both track and road and took 10 victories on the road and 30 on the track state side.

He said he used his time in Australia earlier this year to build a base before a strong season of racing in the United States.

“It’s pretty unique to master how many race days I have,” he said.

“When you have a program that heavy you don’t need to train –  I was racing three to four times a week in the US.”

He said the prize money over there was one of the best.

Hall said his next major focus was racing track and the Ring Summer Criterium Series along with a host of other races.

Earlier this year, Hall, Cam Meyer, Sam Welsford and Michael Freiberg claimed the national title in the team pursuit in 3.55.988.

Hall plans on racing in Australia until April next year before he heads back the USA to race again.

Winners

Open Men:                  Stephen Hall
Open Women:             Erin Kinnealy
MAS women 30-39:    Sarah McLachlan
MAS women 40-49:    Kylie Anticich
MAS women 50+:       Anne Heitz
MAS men 30-39:         Michael Kent
MAS men 40-49:         Brett Stapleton
MAS men 50+:            Thomas O’Neill

 

Quotes from age-grouper winners

Thomas O’Neill: I knew that the course profile would prove challenging and my plan was to wait for the last lap before committing to a move, it worked out perfectly, Gary Boylan went first, I waited for the gap to open up (and for the Commissaire to finish giving Gary a lecture) and bridged across, a few minutes later Alan Thomas made a huge effort to join us, that was the race winning move. This my third win in the +50 state road titles and I’ll wear the black and gold stripes with pride this summer, thanks Pedal Mafia it’s a beaut jersey. Thanks also to Roues Chaudes CC and all the officials and volunteers, a challenging course and relaxed atmosphere made for a great day’s racing.

Brett Stapleton: For my race I knew I was the strongest, so it was just about controlling the race and showing riders the back door every time there was a chance to make it hard. I spent several years racing in Europe in my early twenties which was a brutally effective way to learn how to race smart. I had a long time away from racing after this but have enjoyed being part of it again these last few years. This year has been a good one for me, winning the state title in the criterium, cross country mountain bike and now road race events.

Anna Heitz: I was lucky to get a break on the group about 12km into the race, together with teammate Kylie Anticich. The chasers pushed us hard but we worked together to hold them off and ended up crossing the line together, winning our respective age categories. That was a great feeling. It’s fantastic to win a State jersey but just staying upright and having a competitive race with lots of stories to share at the end is the best. My son won the 2017 State Road Championship in his age category (U13) so I had to go for the win at the older end of the spectrum.  It’s a buzz to win but the social side is the best. You can’t always win but you can always count on lots of laughs with teammates and the other ladies in the bunch.

Sarah McLachlan: I made a break for it with 9km to go as the peloton looked to be tiring on the climbs at this later stage of race, and I still had more in my legs on the climbs. The peloton caught me with 3km to go but that allowed perfect positioning leading into the sprint, where I managed to hit the line first. I thoroughly enjoyed the course having never raced at York before. Let’s do that again!  I’ve been road racing now for 20 years, ever since I was a teeny Junior – my passion for simply being outdoors and ultimately the meditative beauty of riding my bike makes it easy and rewarding to spend hours a day pedalling. It is truly my favourite thing.

Images: Peter Walpole.

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