BATHURST were chasing a collection of home victories in Saturday’s Western Division Road Cycling Championships but the day was dominated by Dubbo riders.
Dubbo's Kurt Eather was too strong for his A grade opponents at the Bathurst Bike Park, beating his club mate Tim Hines and Bathurst’s Brad Rayner to the top spot.
Bathurst riders had enjoyed a strong record in the event over recent years and it was no surprise that they went on the attack early in the 55 kilometre race.
Jeremy Ryan and recent winners Craig Hutton and Mark Windsor all attempted to break clear but the Dubbo riders quickly neutralised the moves.
On the climb affectionately dubbed the ‘mother-in-law’ Eather showed his class to kick past brother Dylan to claim a comfortable win from Dubbo team mate Hines.
Bathurst’s Craig Hutton was fifth ahead of Daniel Barber.
Western Region Cycling President Mark Windsor, who took part in the A grade race, said Eather and the Dubbo group had an ideal setup going into the final climb.
“Kurt was the favourite for the race and got the job done but I think if Bathurst rode a bit smarter we could have got Craig Hutton up there,” he said.
“Kurt rode really hard for his win … and he’s a rider with a lot of potential.
“You look after each other out there, and while it’s not strictly a team event, if for instance you see one of your riders go off the front you don’t go chasing that.
“It was a great effort by Brad to get on the podium but we probably needed to break that group up before we got to the end.”
Grades B and the combined C/D grade both belonged to Orange riders.
Ben Anderson and Gary Halloran won those events while the leading women’s rider was Haylee Fuller.
“Haylee Fuller was very impressive. Jodie Martin, from the Bathurst club, was her main competition and she’s in the middle of training for the World Triathlon Championships,” Windsor said.
Eather was happy to get the win in tough conditions.
“It was very tough out there so I’m happy with the win. There were a few attacks out of the neutral zone. The crosswinds made it tough but we shut those moves down,” he said.
“Dylan went pretty early in the sprint. I grabbed his wheel and that was a good lead out.”