Physiohealth Swift Carbon Race Report – Sunday 21 June
Jason Lea achieves fastest time in 39th Preston Mountain Classic. The PhysioHealth Swift Carbon Cycling Team continued a run of great results with Jason Lea dominating a talented scratch bunch to achieve fasted time in the 39th running of the 'Total Rush' Preston Mountain Classic over 145 hilly kilometers in extreme weather conditions. Riders, including Jason Lea and Mitchell Dedman from the PhysioHealth Swift Carbon Cycling Team, were greeted with subzero temperatures and thick fog upon arrival in Strath Creek for the 39th running of the classic handicap. Despite the trying conditions, everyone from the officials, volunteers, supporters and riders soldiered on, and were rewarded with a tremendous day's racing. The 80 riders in the elite field took on the two laps of the 70 km Strath Creek – Flowerdale – Yea – Strath Creek course, which included the 6 km Break of Day climb. At the finish of the second lap riders turned onto Broadford Rd for 5 km to finish at the top of Murchison Gap – a grueling 10 percent 2 km climb!! The race took on a classic handicap format with six bunches with limit group starting 28 minutes ahead of the back markers. The back markers or scratch bunch include 16 riders most of which had recent NRS and VRS wins under their belt. The temperature throughout the race hovered around zero degrees, so it was not surprising to see frozen soles chiselled off their bikes, including Mitchell Dedman who rolled in after the first lap with ice on his eyebrows, helmet and most other extremities – there was no way he could be talked into continuing – a change of clothes and a warm car with the heater turned up full was much more enticing. After one lap scratch were on target to chase down the out markers and were only one minute behind second scratch. It looked like an exciting finish was on hand. But half way around the last lap riders started to think about their own individual results rather than helping their bunch. This resulted in all but the limit group breaking up. A fantastic ride by limit riders Matthew Robinson and David Fraumano take out first and second and James Pane (who rode with PhysioHealth last year) from second scratch holding off scratch to take third place. Jason Lea and Lucas Hamilton from the VIS rode away from scratch five km from the finish and in a tight sprint for fastest time, Jason got the honours. Thanks to Preston Cycling Club and Cycling Victoria and all the officials, volunteers and ridersfor a great day of racing. The team’s next race is the Hamilton weekend on 4/5 July which includes the 100 km State title. Jason Lea from PhysioHealth Swift Carbon Cycling Team proudly shows off his fast timemedal for 39th running of the 'Total Rush' Preston Mountain Classic.