SUNDAY’S Blayney 2 Bathurst long course came down to a sprint finish and it was the man who sparked the final dash, Matthew Dinham, who emerged victorious.
The 18-year-old rider from Manly Warringah Cycling Club – better known for his prowess in mountain biking – led a large breakaway group around the turn for home at Mount Panorama and beat Garry Millburn and Saturday’s criterium champion Cameron Scott to the finish line.
Dinham crossed the line in a time of two hours, 34 minutes and 12 seconds.
Even a detour couldn’t stop the young rider from claiming his first B2B long course crown.
“There was a bit of a mess at the end there on the roundabout. I was unfortunate because had to do a full loop of it before chasing back on,” Dinham.
“That took a bit out of me but I was happy to have kicked around the back and held it all the way through.”
The early pace in Sunday’s race was relentless, with riders racing along at 55 kilometres an hour. During the frenetic tempo no breakaways were able to form.
It wasn’t until the race was past the halfway mark that the first breakaway finally emerged.
Bathurst Cycling Club’s Will Hodges was among the group of six, which also included Clinton Edwards, Cameron Judson, Ben Metcalfe, Jonathan Millington and Phillip Lucas.
The group built up a two minute lead over the peloton at the Georges Plains intersection.
Edwards broke away during the climb to claim the king of the mountains while the remainder of the bunch were snapped up by the peloton.
Once the peloton made its way over the peak they quickly reeled in Edwards before a new 30 rider group formed at the base of the descent.
Going through Perthville it became clear that the winner was going to come from the new group but the question was whether a late breakaway attempt would occur.
That didn’t eventuate and the large group all rolled into the Mount Panorama pits complex as a bunch.
Dinham made his move on the journey up pit straight and he reaped the rewards.
“It was a really fast pace at the start. I don’t think anyone could get away because it was too quick and windy out there. I went up the road once and quickly had to come back because it was so hard,” Dinham said.
“I went up the climb second. I was following [Ben] Dyball, [Michael] Potter and all the top guys. I was happy to stick with them.
“When the bunch regrouped I just sat in and rested up a bit more.
“I had a good kick on me. I knew that from the mountain bike season. I knew I wasn’t going to beat the really fast guys in the sprint. That’s why I went for it around the back and I was able to hold it.”
Dinham found success in the NSW Under 19s Road Race Championships earlier this month and his strong form was on display again in the sprint finish at Mount Panorama.
Hodges managed to hang on to the back of the lead group to be the first Bathurst Cycling Club rider home (28th, +0:29).
Other Bathurst club riders among the elite wave of finishers were Josh Corcoran (33rd, +0:53), Brad Rayner (36th, +1:42) and Craig Hutton (66th, +7:16).