Tour a tough test in Marget River: cycling

Theo Yates takes the win on stage four. Picture: Todd Elliot
Tour a tough test in Marget River: cycling
Theo Yates takes the win on stage four. Picture: Todd Elliot

THE Tour of Margaret River features experienced professional racers joining more than 500 riders for three days of racing over four stages.

Peel District Cycling Club was represented by two teams as well as members making up the two Avanti and Uberquads teams, the Champion Lakes Racing team, most of the Lakes Ladies team and a number of other teams.

Theo Yates was riding with Navitas Satalyst Racing.

The first stage was a 7km uphill time trial, Avanti Racing securing the first four places with Matthew Clark taking the win. Peel’s English import Lewis Keightley finished equal 17th, Avanti Uberquads’ Liam Magowan 29th and Cass Higgs was the first woman home in 65th.

In the women’s team event, Niche Living Women’s Racing employed similar tactics to Avanti, securing the first three positions, with Sarah Duffield taking the win.

The second stage was a 50km team time trial. Peel’s first team consisted of Keightley, Higgs and four experienced time-trial riders. They finished 14th, with Navitas Satalyst first, Avanti Racing second and OTOC Vault third.

In the women’s teams, it was Niche Living Women’s Racing continuing its dominance with Sub Six Women second and Cycle 4 Life third. Lakes Ladies was sixth.

In stage three, the first five teams started 30 seconds ahead of the next five teams, with the next five teams 30 seconds behind. It meant members of the Peel team had to bridge a one-minute gap to get to the front of the race.

Keightley and a number of other riders bridged the gap during the 104-kilometre race, to be in a group of 28 contesting the finish.

A small group attacked late with Chris Hamilton from Avanti Racing taking the win from Darcy Pirottta second and Michael Fitzgerald third.

Keightley was 25th and moved to 16th overall.

Behind the Avanti Racing trio of Hamilton, Clark and Pat Shaw, Higgs finished 105th and increased her lead in the pink jersey contest for fastest woman. In the women’s team event, Duffield was first, with Erin Kinnealy from Sub Six Women’s a close second and Liz Leyden third.

The final day was only a 52km race into a headwind to Yallingup. This time, the front five teams stayed away and did not let any riders bridge across, with Yates taking the sprint from Stephen Hall of OTOC Vault and Connor Lambert of Unicorn Specialized third.

Hamilton finished in the group for the overall win, with his teammates from Avanti Racing, Shaw and Anthony Giacoppo, second and third.

In the women’s team event, Julia Kalotas from Niche Living Women’s was first, Kinnealy was second again and Serene Lee from Cycle 4 Life third. Sarah Duffield finished fourth, securing the event win from Kinnealy with Katy Duffield third.

Best performing Peel club members were Yates fourth overall and winner of the red sprinter’s jersey, Keightley 23rd and Magowan 26th.