Hippolyte shines down south

The Northern Beaches ‘Affogatos’ team at the Margaret River tour. Picture: Tony Lendrum Photography.
The Northern Beaches ‘Affogatos’ team at the Margaret River tour. Picture: Tony Lendrum Photography.

President Chris Howards said it was the club’s first foray into the tour, with two men’s teams, one mixed and one women’s team entering.

‘Friday morning was spent on a reconnaissance ride,’ Dr Howard said.

‘Pre-race, we thought it wisest to finish with the slowest rider in each team, to ensure we would all be competitive when were seeded.

‘Once the team time trial started however, everyone’s competitive nature kicked in.’

Dr Howard said their top two teams, the Espressos and Macchiatos, were separated by 23 seconds in the 25km time trial, placed 26th and 30th, and qualified for Category 2 in the November 9 race.

‘The Ladies team (Affogatos), who previously asserted they were not in it to race, finished 54th,’ he said.

‘The mixed team, in which Rachel Hippolyte spent most of her time looking over her shoulder wondering why the men couldn’t keep up, finished 49th for a Category 4 placement.’

Dr Howard said they had two races on the Saturday, November 9, including a two-lap 32.6km ‘lumpy’ course which Stephen McNeilly won after being five bike-lengths behind at the 200m mark.

‘In the mixed team, the ‘lumpy bits’ sorted out most of the boys before the finish,’ he said.

‘In her first ever group race Hippolyte finished 15th in a bunch finish.

‘The mixed team fared better on the flatter third stage, Rachel finishing 14th, Mick Dowling 20th, Stuart Marr 24th.

‘The two men’s teams really raised the bar in their race ” McNeilly got on the podium again for third.’

Dr Howard said on the Sunday, Ricky Andrews took second place in the final 75km road race along Caves Road, and McNeilly came fifth.

‘Rachel Hippolyte, competing in her first races, rubbed shoulders with Phil Anderson and finished third overall in the Women’s Green Jersey Category,’ he said.

‘With a 1st, 3rd and 5th, Stephen McNeilly was consistently the best category 2 rider in the Tour.’