THE Mount Gambier Cycling Club held its annual Banks Thargo Cup 35km road race at Penola along the flat course of Maaoupe Road.
While an accident mid-field marred the event, the racing was spirited, with an unlikely win going to young Riley Hill.
A young rider more accustomed to the BMX track and in his first race for the club on a borrowed bike, Hill sprinted away at the end to claim the honours.
Some racers took advantage of the Saturday 2:30pm start, by riding from Mount Gambier to the start line as a warm up for the main event – a decision some came to rue later in the day.
The race proved popular with the riders, with 20 signing on, which allowed for some large groups to be formed from the start.
A sunny day with a light wind greeted the riders on the start line.
Michael Dethmore and Hill headed off first.
Five minutes behind, a group of Jen Buckland, Stuart Miller, Phil McGee, Harry Opperman and Brady Dethmore took up the chase.
A further seven minutes behind, John Cranwell, Mike Bakker, Paul Brooker, Bruce McLaughlin and Spek Peake headed off, with a two-minute head start on Malcolm Tirabassi and Gerard Coote.
A minute back were Niel Van Niekirk, Ash Herrewyn and Richard Schilling and finally another minute further behind was the group of Nick Kidman, Matthew Opperman and Dave Bryant who gave up a huge 18-minute head start to the front runners.
All groups worked hard into a slight headwind for the outward journey, with the faster
groups eating quickly into the lead.
A large peloton consisting of the back four groups had formed soon after the turnaround and worked well to chase down those ahead of them.
A crash with approximately 10km to go took away some of the hard chargers and the front racers were able to stay away.
After an excellent ride on a borrowed bike, Hill powered away from Michael Dethmore to take the win.
They were followed in third place by Harry Opperman who had also managed to get away from his group in the final stages.
Cranwell arrived in fourth position, just ahead of Brooker and Matthew Opperman.
As a result of the crash, Schilling, Van Niekerk and Kidman were unable to finish the race.
All competition has currently been suspended awaiting a decision of return to community sport by the state government.