The Sunshine Coast Tour this year was massive. The weather wasn't the greatest but the racing was fiercely competitive. HPRW was very well represented and we came away with some great results.
This caught out many riders, it was a very technical start with in difficult lighting conditions. No-one really felt they went full pace. Lucas Nicoll however came within 0.1 seconds of winning Elite B!!! Donna Fyfe rode strongly for 3rd in Masters Women.
Stage 2 - Kenilworth
This was a very tough course! There were two major hills, the second around 1km at 10% and the following descent was made extremely slippery due to the drizzling rain. Unfortunately this caught out quite a few riders, with a few broken bones and lots of gravel rash. Chris Millen in particular lost a lot of skin and a big chunk from his elbow but was back spectating on Monday.
Sandra Foerster rode a strong race but a car interrupting the sprint so Sandra had to settle for 6th place in Elite Women B.
Patti White from HV Vets had a solo win in Masters Women, but Donna Fyfe outsprinted the chase group for second place, after being misdirected the wrong way with 300 metres to go! Her sharp trackie skills helped her pull a beaut u-turn and fire it towards the line.
Lucas made up for the prologue loss with a fine second place in Stage 2 at Kenilworth to put him in the Elite B yellow jersey. Andrew Patten won this stage in Masters B and was then in yellow as well. Tom Bentley also fought hard in Elite C and came up with the win, wearing yellow with a 1 second margin! In Masters A, Adam Harrison got in a 5 man break with ex-HPRW riders Bill Ayres and Paul Butler, along with Craig Taylor and one other rider. 3 of the 5 crashed on the very slippery descent with Adam and Bill making it to the line ahead of the pack. Adam got the win and was in yellow by 11 seconds.
So not a bad haul for HPRW with 4 yellow jerseys!
Stage 3 - Montville Hill Climb
This is the stage Kim Flesser had been waiting for! Sadly the draft effect didn't work nearly so well as on the flat, and he couldn't sprint for 6km. Tom Bentley had a storming ride to retain yellow with 3rd place up the hill. Lucas unfortunately didn't have enough of a margin to keep the bird-like Elite B climbers from stealing his thunder. Andy Patten kept the yellow and put a lot of time into his rivals with another great ride. In Masters A Adam Harrison got second just behind Bill Ayres and just managed to retain yellow by 6 seconds. Alberto Monte Rego selflessly helped Adam, and finished just behind 3rd.
Stage 4 - Yandina
Stage 4 was a very hard fought fast race in all grades. Andy Patten rode a smart race finishing 5th in Masters B, as did Tom in Elite C with 2nd place. Adam lost the yellow by 20 seconds in Masters A to Craig Taylor, who got away with Roger Blackmore.
Stage 5 - Eumundi
Pouring rain at times and slippery conditions made the final stage a nail-biter with most grades still up for grabs. Elite B men in particular was an extremely finish with Craig Mendoza just stealing yellow from David Crosswell with the win and the bonus time.
For HPRW however, Andrew Patten watched his rivals, fought off all the attacks, let a non-contender take the win and kept his Masters B yellow jersey overall by 34 seconds.
Tom Bentley did the same in Elite C and a bunch finish gave him overall yellow by 35 seconds.
Adam Harrison gave it a shot over the climbs and was greatly helped by Alberto, but was outclassed by Ipswich hard-man and great sport Craig Taylor and finished 2nd, only just ahead of Bill Ayres.
Congratulations also to Bill and Melissa Anderson on the birth of their baby daughter Helena last week.
Donna Fyfe placed 2nd with a great sprint and secured the Green Sprinters Jersey in Masters Women.
There were lots of other great rides from HPRW, I'm sure I've missed some, so please let me know your race stories.
Alberto Monte Rego has written about his race on his blog
Sandra Foerster also has a blog and a here is her report - Sandra's Sunny Coast Tour Report
Plenty of photos are at:Kevin Coppalotti: http://maxhr.zenfolio.com/
Nick Shultz's Site: http://nickschultzimages.zenfolio.com/
HPRW'er Daniel White http://picasaweb.google.com/daniel.3408/2008TourDeSunshineCoast
Full results: www.tourdesunshinecoast.com.au