2019 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND RECAP
The WA road racing season officially came to a close on Sunday, following an enormously successful State Championship Weekend hosted by WestCycle and presented by the City of Bunbury and supported by the State Government through Tourism Western Australia and Royalties for Regions.
Over 200 riders converged on Bunbury from around the State to pin on a number for the WA Fondo, and U19, Open and Masters ITT and Road Races.
The weekend kicked off on Saturday morning with the WA Fondo; a mass-start participation event for recreational riders through the stunning Ferguson valley. Starting from the beachside Dolphin Discovery Centre in central Bunbury, riders chose to tackle either a challenging 90km circuit as individuals in a peloton, or in teams of two or more riders on a shorter but still just as epic 70km distance.
The riders faced a moderate headwind out to their respective turnaround points, but this saw them return in record time – almost an hour before the scheduled finish time!
It was fantastic to see local club South West Cycle Club (SWCC) riders in particular embrace this event on their home training grounds. The peloton was largely dominated by the club’s bright orange jerseys, which is an encouraging sign of the health of the cycling community in the South West region.
Following the ride, a majority of the riders chose to hang around for a coffee and a bite to eat at the Dolphin Discovery Centre’s cafe – a great way to celebrate a great morning out on the bike, and also show thanks to the centre for the generous use of their facilities for this event.
2019 marks the very first year for the WA Fondo, and WestCycle would like to thank all of the riders who came out to Bunbury to take part in the inaugural event. It was great to hear your feedback following the ride, and we look forward to implementing your suggestions to help this event become a staple on the WA recreational cycling calendar for years to come! Watch this space.
U19, Open & Masters ITT Championships
Saturday afternoon saw the State’s fastest riders line up along what is arguably Bunbury’s most scenic stretches of road – the beachside Ocean Drive. The cracking head wind that whipped up as riders began arriving to register would undoubtedly become the determining factor across all grades!
Our open male and female riders contested a challenging 48km out-and-back course (4 laps total), with all other age groups completing 24km (2 laps). Such was the strength of the wind, the ride out to the turnaround point appeared to take double – or even more – time to achieve that the return leg! Despite this, the riders rose to the challenge and some lightning fast times were recorded across all grades.
Current National road race champion Michael Freiberg powered home to the win in Open Men with an incredible time of 1:03:21, followed by Oli Stenning at 1:04:15. Competition was tight for third place with three riders all clocking times within 1:05, but Craig Wiggins staved off the competition to secure his spot on the podium in third place.
In the Open Women, Emily Mascaro demonstrated a strong return to form following a crash earlier in the year, posting a very quick 1:16:22. Serene Lee followed closely behind at 1:17:20, followed by Kate Bonner at 1:18:34, and Open category debutant Darcie Richards at 1:24:26.
It was a very tight competition between the U19 Men, with all 8 riders finishing within 4 minutes of the winner – an on fire Seb Barrett! Seb took the win by just over 2 seconds with a time of 33:33 from U19 debutants Matthew Connan (33:35) followed by Joshua Commons (33:50) in third place. Unfortunately there were no U19 female starters this year – we hope to see this turned around in 2020. Girls, if you are reading this, get on your bikes!
In the women’s Masters categories, four brand new state champions were crowned between Michelle McLintock (30-39), Shannon Miraglia (40-49), Vanessa Johnson (50-59) and Deb Kempe (60-69). Many of the times posted were just as competitive as those posted in the open category, showing the strength and competitiveness of Women’s time trialling in Western Australia. Congratulations!
Last but not certainly not least, in the men’s Masters categories, 5 riders will be wearing the black and gold jersey next year. A big congratulations to Lennon McLintock (30-39), Matheos Venetis (40-49), Chris Glasby (50-59), Alan Nicholls (60-69) and Geoffrey Cass (70+). Masters 50-59 was perhaps the most hotly contested grade, with Chris Glasby, Richard Woods and Colin Rose all finishing within 8 seconds of each other! As with the Women, the Men’s masters time trialling scene is highly competitive with the Open category, demonstrating the calibre of time trialists in Western Australia.
Congratulations to everyone who raced on an incredibly tough course! Just finishing with that wind was certainly a challenge, and we’re sure this race will continue to be talked about for many years to come as one of the most competitive and challenging State ITT Championships to date.
View the full results here: https://results.sporthive.com/events/PC1742409
U19, Open & Masters Road Race Championships
If there was one word that summarised Sunday’s road racing championships it would be “hot!”
Notwithstanding the unprecedented warm weather in the valley with temperatures soaring well above 35 degrees, the racing itself was blistering! Many a rider would feel the effects of both the weather and intense competition brought on by some seriously strong riders out on the course.
Given the challenging conditions, it was unsurprising that there was a large number of riders who were unfortunately unable to finish the race.
The men’s open road race saw eight riders contest a sprint finish, with rising international talent Darcy Pirotta taking the win by 0.3 of a second from young guns Jayden Waters and Matthew Harvey. Men 30-39 were also combined with the Open men, and a great ride from Elar Kalda who took the win from Craig Denham and Logan Marriott. The heat particularly affected these riders over a 117km distance and over 3 hours in the heat. Pre-race organisation, planned nutrition and hydration, along with a solid tolerance to the hot conditions would have certainly set the lead group apart over this distance. Even finishing the race is a huge achievement – congratulations!
There was a strong turnout in the Men’s masters grades, which made for some exciting racing for these riders. In Men’s 40-49, Jon Gregg and Brook Burgess had a two-up sprint finish after breaking away from their respective bunch, with Jon securing the win on the line. Men’s 50-59 was again hotly contested but over a bunch kick. Chris Glasby did the double and took the win over Steven Knight and Thomas O’Neill. In 60-69, Alan Nicholls escaped up the road for a strong solo win over Peter Wilshaw and Jim Watmore, and Richard Barville rode to the win in 70+ men.
A big change to the event this year was the introduction of equal course distances for Men and Women (across both the ITT and road races), which certainly affected how the women’s race played out on the day, in addition to the logistical challenges of battling the heat. This is a huge testament to Emily Mascaro’s impressive solo win in the road race, as traditionally lower turnouts across the women’s grades leave fewer opportunities to hide in the bunch, and riders being very reluctant to let breakaways form out on the road. Congratulations Emily, as well as Darcie Richards, Serene Lee, and Natalie Laurendeau, who were the only four Open riders to finish on the day! In Women’s 30-39 who were also combined with Open on 117km, congratulations to Olesya Alutina on the win from Marissa Drummond in second.
In Women’s U19, Dharlia Haines battled it out with Danica Wiggins to take the win over the 60km course. The U19 women rode with Women’s 40-49 and 50-59, where our winners included Jo Milward (40-49) and Sam Bolton in second. In 50-59, Vanessa Johnson took out first place followed by Luba Kovalenko. Congratulations! It is always challenging in smaller grades, and we absolutely encourage more women to make it down for the State Championships to have a go at seizing the black and gold stripes!
Check out the full results here: https://results.sporthive.com/events/PC1743027
Overall, it was a fantastic weekend on the bike and a great way to cap off the road racing season! To see the number of registrations nearly double from last year, along with the return of the ITT and the large number of riders who put their hands up to support its reintroduction was absolutely awesome. The calibre of rider being produced in this state is on the continual incline, and the future of road cycling in WA is looking bright!
This event could not have run without the incredible support of our volunteers and staff, who put in months of hard work to ensure the success of this event. Thank you to everyone who put their hand up to help out across the weekend, in particular those that continue to give their time and effort across a long season of demanding events. We’d also like to thank SWCC for their generous assistance in sourcing volunteers for the event – the sheer number of volunteers contributed by this club is a testament to their strong community-driven culture. Thank you!
A huge congratulations to all our winners, and to everyone who came down and pinned on a number this weekend. We hope to see this event grow from strength to strength over the coming years, and thank you for your support in making this happen.