Hodges pips Tuckwell in a sprint finish in club race

SPRINT FINISH: Will Hodges won Sunday's Bathurst Cycling Club 40 kilometre handicap road race. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
SPRINT FINISH: Will Hodges won Sunday's Bathurst Cycling Club 40 kilometre handicap road race. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

It was a close finish but it was Greenethorpe's Will Hodges taking bragging rights in ideal conditions for the Bathurst Cycling Club's 40 kilometre handicap road race last Sunday.

Both Will Hodges and second place finisher Luke Tuckwell started the race on scratch, with the duo competing closely throughout the entire race before a sprint finish saw Hodges pip Tuckwell at the last to claim victory.

Tuckwell - who was competing in a combined A and B grade race - was racing off scratch with Hodges for the first time and was forced to work hard to catch Cowra's Jeremy Ryan, another rider racing off scratch.

"We had a minute and a half until the guy in front of us, Jeremy Ryan, who's a really good rider," he said.

"Will and I had to really go hard in the first 20 kilometres to catch him.

"We worked together until the bottom of the Quarry Hill. We went hard, setting the pace at the hill and we just slowed down the rest of the group too until the end of the ride.

We went hard, setting the pace at the hill and we just slowed down the rest of the group too until the end of the ride.

Luke Tuckwell

"It was just Will and I for the sprint."

Tuckwell said it was a challenge to get into the rhythm in the opening 20 kilometres of the race.

"I was really struggling in the first 20 kilometres, waiting for my legs to really get going," he said.

"Once they got going I was able to just settle in the rhythm with Will and Jeremy."

Sunday's race started at the Bathurst Cycling Club's velodrome on Vale Road, before taking riders out to several villages in the region including Perthville, George Plains, Rockley Mount and Newbridge, before fishing at St Johns Road at Georges Plains.

Hodges and Tuckwell both finished their race in a time of 55 minutes and 38 seconds.

Honours went Pete Wilson in the C and D grade combined race, finishing in a time of 49 minutes and 39 seconds.