CRAIG Hutton gave himself an ideal preparation for the National Road Championships by taking out the final round of the Bathurst Summer Criterium Series.
Hutton made it two wins in a row to end the series by winning a close sprint battle against Brad Rayner at the Mount Panorama Sulman Park course.
Josh Corcoran won the fight for the final podium spot ahead of Mark Windsor.
Windsor’s result saw him crowned the overall winner of the series thanks to his consistent performance across all three rounds.
“I was very lucky to win the series with guys like Hutto and Will Hodges racing really well at the moment. They’ve been getting ready for the crit nationals and it’s great to see them heading there with great form,” Windsor said.
“For them the Bathurst series is just training for next year. That’s how they’ve treated it. It was great that Norman Wise was able to put on this series.”
The series was originally scheduled to run over four races but one event was washed out.
Hutton finished the series with his pair of wins while Harry Carter claimed victory in his sole attempt during the opening round.
Windsor said that Hutton was, as usual, was dictating the terms on route to victory.
“Brad Rayner was able to go with Hutto though, and it ended up being a sprint between the two. If there’s an award for most improved rider it’s definitely got to go to Brad. He’s come back to racing from a broken leg and he just keeps getting better and better,” he said.
“Josh and I had a sprint for third as well. It’s good to see Josh riding strongly.”
Bathurst has been spoilt by top-class criterium talent in recent years.
“I remember at the  Bay Crits we had Mark Renshaw finish as the overall winner and Dean Windsor winning the green. With Megan Dunn winning the women’s race it meant all winners were from Bathurst or the Central West,” Mark Windsor said.
“Both Mark and Dean have won medals at the Australian crits and I think Hutto will go there as a good winning hope. He’s always a chance since it’s a discipline he excels at.”
In B grade Julian Wood’s final round finish of third – behind Stuart Renshaw and Drew Carter – was good enough to see him claim overall honours.
Nathan Pearce was second in the title race and Emily Watts was the leading female in the series, finishing third overall.
Hayden Booth defeated Toireasa Gallagher in the final round of the series to take the overall C Grade series win. Gallagher was second overall in the series in front of Bruce Hutton.
In D Grade John Kitchen defeated Wise in the final round event. However, both were beaten to the title by Rosemary Hastings.