THE first Bathurst Cycling Club race victory of the new year has gone the way of experienced rider and triathlete Darren Fenton, who defeated 2021's top rookie Gary Hamer to the top prize.
Coming third was cycling club administrator Glen Partridge, returning to the sport after recovering from a long term injury.
The club used a handicap format on the short and fast screamer course to kick the year off in an intense way, while a few changes were made to race day procedure given the new wave of COVID, with all activities moved outside for the event.
By the mid-way point it was clear that the five minute bunch of Partridge, Bruce Hutton, Fenton and Hamer looked the biggest threat to the early leaders.
The four minute group of Toireasa Gallagher, Peter Wilson and Rob Stephen were trying very hard to close the gap to that bunch.
The back markers looked unlikely to feature in the finish with lone scratch marker Craig Hutton set a difficult task to get across to the 45 second group of Jack Cannon and Mark Windsor, who were catching the two minute bunch led by Ray Thorn, Robert Jeffries and Tony Barlow.
In the final couple of kilometers Hamer, Partridge and Fenton caught the leaders, with Jille Harris going with the trio to make a four rider sprint to the finish.
That was where Fenton took the win from Hamer and Partridge. Harris was the top placed female rider in fourth place with Cathy Adams fifth in front of Gallagher and Wilson.
Thorn, Windsor - who was fastest rider - and Steve Scott rounded out the top 10.
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