Home track advantage and a blistering start have combined to help local team Al Dente Racing take out the team’s event at the Bathurst round of the Evocities Mountain Bike Series yesterday.
The team of brothers Paddy and Josh Corcoran, along with Craig Hutton, were never headed in the multiple rider division, easily defeating a couple of two-man teams into second and third and finishing well clear of the nearest three-man outfit.
The trio led by more than a minute after the first lap which was completed by Hutton, and were two minutes and 17 seconds clear after two when Paddy Corcoran had completed his first.
In fact they were so dominant, their biggest duel of the day came with men’s solo winner Shaun Lewis as each of the Al Dente riders spent time both on Lewis’ wheel and also in front of him.
They ended up finishing their ninth lap not far behind Lewis and men’s solo runner-up Jason English before riding another two hours and completing 13 laps in total.
After his win, Lewis praised their team and explained his use of them as pacesetters, and Paddy Corcoran agreed that the way the race panned out was mutually beneficial for both parties.
“It was good to get out there and try to take line honours overall. We said before the race that to win the team’s event we would probably need three riders and we think we came up with a pretty good outfit,” he said.
“We expected the Ward brothers [Kyle and Jayden] to be competing, but for some reason they weren’t here. Instead we found ourselves battling a bit with some of the solo guys leading their race.
“It was a good little tussle that we had with Shaun there at the front for a while. It was a really good experience to race alongside him and pace ourselves with him.
“It is a massive help to have someone like that near you because you know how you are travelling, whereas otherwise when you’re in no man’s land you sometimes struggle to work out how your pace is and if you’re working as hard as you should be.”
Hutton took the first lap for Al Dente and as part of a deliberate strategy, he immediately put time into the Over Yonder Racing team of Peter Fisher and Mike Cameron who were to be their nearest challengers throughout the day.
A gap of more than a minute meant that Paddy Corcoran was given a nice platform to build from, and he stretched it comfortably.
Incrementally their lead grew and when they commenced their penultimate lap they were 17 minutes ahead.
They were the only team to make a 13th trip around the circuit.
Mixed team Sur la Plaque (Eva Boland and John Bridge) were third, nearly half an hour behind Al Dente when their race ended.