GRAHAM Stait was a popular Bathurst Cycling Club member, and it was only fitting that the first memorial race held in his honour would produce a finish fitting of the fighting qualities he displayed on the road.
It was two of the club's younger members, Xavier Bland and Cadel Lovett, who fought out a great uphill sprint battle for the win.
Orange junior Bland got the job done ahead of Lovett while their fellow four minute bunch starter, Oscar Hansen, completed a young podium of up and coming riders.
Bland said the 57 kilometre race featured plenty of strong teamwork among his bunch.
"It's really exciting and it was good that we could get everyone out to race here. It was really fun," he said.
"Our group worked really well together. There's no way we could have caught everyone without all the team members there."
Bland had prepared himself for the climb to the finish and felt good about his chances in the approach for home.
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"The whole race I heard about the uphill finish, and it was a hilly course, so I was thinking that if I could be there at the end then I would be a chance," he said.
"Once I crossed the last corner and it was just me and Cadel and it was going to be all uphill from there."
Stait's son, Adam, said it was great to see such a wonderful turnout for the race.
"It was great to see everyone turn up. He'd be extremely proud of everyone that attempted the race," he said.
"Dad was very much in the old school when it came to that style of racing - putting the bunch over the individual. If you got the bunch to do what it needed to do then you usually succeeded. It was great to see that on display during this race.
"Those young riders are the future of this sport and it's great to see them riding at a level where they're able to take out a race like that one today."
Charlie Gascoyne (8 minutes) and Billy Hutton (13 min) rounded out the top five, with Nick Barrett (4 min) sixth.
Scratch rider Jeremy Ryan was seventh and finished with the fastest time.
Charlotte Lovett was the first female rider home, in eighth.
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