Bendigo cyclists excel on road at country titles

YOUNG guns Jason Lea, Alexander Allott and Belinda Bailey, along with veteran Cheryle Barker, have been crowned champions at the Victorian country road cycling titles.  

They were among many Bendigo and District Cycling Club members who tackled challenging circuits around the Harcourt and Sutton Grange region last Saturday.

Lea rode to victory in the junior men's division, completing his 80km course in one hour and 57:54 minutes.

In the under-13 boys race, Allott battled hard in the final stage of his 12km event to outsprint Echuca-Moama's Patrick Eddy and claim the gold medal.

Bendigo's Blake Agnoletto was hot on their wheels to take the bronze.

It was a Bendigo quinella in the under-13 girls, as Bailey led the field to the finish line ahead of club-mate Ruby McLean, and Hannah Thompson of Echuca-Moama in third.

Cheryle Barker took the honours in the masters women division six event.

One of the closest races was in the under-15 men, where the first six riders received the same time. Bendigo pair Jagan Woods and Sam Buckell won silver and bronze.

Competitors in the elite men's event averaged more than 40km/h over their 112km journey, which ended in a tight four-way sprint.

Shepparton cyclist Trent Stevenson triumphed over Bendigo duo Jason Lowndes and Luke Knox. All were awarded the time of 2.45:20.

Echuca's Minda Murray took out the elite women's race, with Victoria Luxton-Bain from Castlemaine in second place.

Other medallists from the region included:

Under-11 boys: Harrison D'Arcy (C'maine) 3rd.

Under-13 girls: Ruby Byrne (C'maine) 1st.

Under-15 women: Edie Haley (E-M) 2nd; Sarah McLennan (Bgo) 3rd.

Under-17 women: Jessie Thomson (E-M) 2nd; Charlotte Thompson (E-M) 3rd.

Under-17 men: Dylan McKenna (C'maine) 1st; Isaac Buckell (Bgo) 2nd; Nicholas Simpson (C'maine) 3rd.

Junior women: Grace Mayne (Bgo) 2nd.

Masters men 2: Ashley Hall (E-M) 2nd.

Masters men 4: Daniel Abotomey (C'maine) 3rd.

Masters men 6: Geoffrey Bennett (Bgo) 3rd.

Masters men 8: Ray Hamilton (E-M) 3rd.

The championships were hosted by the Castlemaine Cycling Club, which also ran the Victorian metro titles on the same courses last Sunday.

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