HAVE MONEY WILL RIDE: Classic winner Matthew Goss rides off to cash his winner’s cheque after yesterday’s victory. Picture: PHILLIP BIGGS.(1/2)Still shaking just minutes after her son crossed the line to take the $10,000 winner’s cheque, she said: “For the last half of the race I was so nervous I was getting further and further out into the road.”
Fortunately, Matthew managed to avoid his ecstatic mum, and the stupidly parked clapped-out Mazda in Elphin Rd, to ensure a perfect hometown boy finish to a pretty perfect event.
The people of Launceston also played their part in helping to make their event a real success. Not least the four local lads wearing homemade white Aussie team pursuit uniforms complete with aerodynamic pointed headgear (on bikes that also looked home-made) who resembled a group of high-spirited albino Ku Klux Klan trainees.
Then there were some over-interested but under- informed spectators whose conversations were a joy to eavesdrop on.
“So who’s leading?”
“I think it’s McEwen.”
“You sure it’s not McGee?”
“Oh it could be. It’s Mc- something anyway.”
And also: “Is this where that bloke crashed last year Dad?”
“Do you think he’ll do it again?”
In the interests of research, I took up the organisers’ offer to ride around the course before the event began, and it took me about four times as long as the real competitors – although I have to admit I was playing to the crowd a bit.
My ageing bike basically has three sets of gears – slow, uphill and coronary – and regularly interchanges between them with no instruction to do so from the gear lever.
I did manage to overtake a few fellow riders, although admittedly nobody without stabilising wheels on the back.
The lap gave me the utmost respect for the race riders, who not only went on to complete 34 more than me at a somewhat faster pace but successfully managed to ignore such tempting distractions as the “Wine route” sign that would have required a detour in Elphin Rd and the offer of Pilates classes at the Launceston Indoor Sports Arena.
The corners into Lyttleton St and Racecourse Cres. were the best on the course – the LISA left-hander and Coles Corner destined to become as famous in racing circles as the Lowes Hairpin at Monaco.
Launceston could not have done much more to make the event, now in its third year, a success.
Not only was there decent sustenance for any weary riders in the form of splendid sausage rolls from the City Park Store in Tamar St, but there wasn’t a dagwood dog in sight.
LAUNCESTON CYCLING CLASSIC THE TOP 20
1. Matthew Goss
2. Stuart O’Grady
3. Gui Nelesson
4. Karl Menzies
5. David Tanner
6. Mark Jamieson 7. David McKenzie
8. Chris Wilding
9. Mike Friedman
10. Josh Wilson
11. Sam Lee
12. A Rusden
13. Chris Sutton
14. Jason Phillips
15. Josh Kerhof
16. Jarrod Harman
17. Matt White
18. Michael Wilson
19. Robbie McEwen
20. Tommy Nankervis
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.