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David Duff Memorial Road Race

Last weekend the David Duff Memorial road race event was staged from the Fairhall Hall.  This is one of Cuddon Cycling Marlborough’s blue ribbon events of the season and is always well attended.  The Duff family established the race 25 years ago and their generosity continues to benefit the club and this event.

The massed start/sealed handicap racing was split into a long course 65km and a short course 33km, both courses utilising the Hawkesbury circuit with the inclusion of the Barracks Road hill and the finish line at the top of this easy-to-moderate hill climb.  Conditions were a stifling 31 degrees and a northerly which took its toll on several riders.

The long race for the coveted David Duff Memorial trophy saw the stronger riders breakaway reasonably early in the race with two distinct groups forming.  Nick Batt who was part of the leading group on the road and looking a likely contender for the title unfortunately suffered a mechanical just a kilometre short of the finish, leaving a group of five to contest the finish.  Ethan Batt showed his strength on the hill finish to take the trophy, just holding off Sean O’Neill and Paul Newman.  Fifth place getter, U19 rider Zac Mortimer, rode superbly to take out the sealed handicap by a minute and a half from Paul Newman, with Martin Fletcher taking third.

The short race included the Newport Trophy for the first junior U17 rider, and it was the U17 riders who were out in front making the race from very early on.  On the climb to the finish Sam Morgan and Joel Madsen-Clark established a clear lead over the chasing riders and sprinted in to the line.  Morgan showed great strength to clinch the line honours from Madsen-Clark and take the trophy.  James Greer finished just 30 seconds adrift to claim third place.  U13 junior rider Katie Batt was the first female finisher carrying on her good form, followed by Brittany Lucas and Christine Dew.  On handicap, Andrew Bidwell rode superbly for his first outing on the road and held off Jessica Spencer who took a well deserved second place, and Joel Madsen-Clark in third.

This weekend, Saturday 7th March, the Cuddon Cycling Marlborough club is holding their Road Club Championships out on the Seaview, Seddon course.  The start line and finish line is in the vicinity of Yealands Winery, with the notoriously tough circuit along the length of Seaview Road being used.  Several categories will see some very tight racing and in particular the Masters and Junior U17 categories are expected to provide the fireworks.  Registration is at 1PM at Yealands Winery, prizegiving is approximately from 4PM at the Starborough Tavern in Seddon.