Clancy wins Hanwood Cup

Cycling

PAUL Clancy has taken out the Griffith Cycle Club's final trophy race for the year - the Hanwood Cup - on Sunday afternoon.

Clancy was all power as he sped to the line to take the trophy in a super sprint effort, ahead of Jason Minato in second and Dave Alpen finishing a good race in third.

After battling all year, the scratch group flexed its muscle and made the race their own from the first lap.

The limit group was in disarray early, losing two riders on the first lap, leaving Peggy Carpenter, Steven Rovere and Alan Jones to battle the wind as a trio, their 14-minute handicap disappearing with every pedal stroke.

Group 5 was riding well but the girl power of group 4 had them in sight after two laps.

The backmarker groups were 10 riders strong and, with that firepower, were going to be hard to hold off. At the halfway point all the groups could be seen on Thorne Road.

Peter Pearson, Dave Alpen, Frank Mastrobattista, Jeff Stoll and Clancy were charging to make their last race for the year a victorious one.

Going into the final lap, Jason Minato led the chopping block group across the line but the scratch racers were only 50m behind.

Moments later, the scratch group hit the lead for the first time this season, and it was a sight to see with all the other riders trying to hang on as they flew by. Clancy powered down the Walla Avenue leg and was shedding riders off the back.

As the leaders hit the final bend, they had the group down to five. Peter Pearson jumped early but his attack was brought back in time for Clancy to kick for the line. The remaining riders crossed the line over the next five minutes, such was the devastating speed that the backmarkers inflicted over the last lap of the race.

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ALSO on Sunday, Griffith's Mal Blake was in Bright contesting the prestigious Bright Tour, a three-stage event commencing with a time trial in stage one.

Blake was contesting the strong C grade event and put in a good opening effort to be in the top 20.

Stage two saw the mountain finish on Tawonga Gap after a 110km race. Blake was active at the front of the race throughout, but the final 7km mountain climb to the finish was savage, with Blake dropping off the leaders to finish in the second grouping.

Stage three was the super-tough Mt Hotham ascent. At only 55km long, the short stage was brutal with 35km of climbing to the finish.

Blake put in a good ride, making sure he stayed in a group all the way to the summit. His ride put him in 38th place from a field of 100 a great effort in his first Bright Tour.

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THIS Sunday is the club's Christmas party, the final official club event for 2014.

The day will start with a ride departing from the visitors centre at 7am.

The club AGM will commence at noon with the party getting underway at around 1pm.

The party will also see the exciting draw of the bike prize generously provided by Tom's Cycle City as part of their sponsorship package. Riders are also reminded their racing license expires at the end of December, so start thinking about renewal for 2014.

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