Wemyss King of the Mountain
Mount Arapiles Classic
Sunday 23rd October 2011
A recent intensive training program paid dividends for Crystal Wemyss last Sunday, giving her the edge to grab victory in the last hundred metres of the coveted Grampians Vets 46 kilometre Mount Arapiles Classic.
Having covered some big weekly mileages in recents months, resulting in a win in the Australian Masters Championships in Ballarat several weeks ago, Wemyss is in the best form of her short but distinguished cycling career. Having only taken up the sport competitively two years ago, she has already collected an impressive array of firsts and placings in both Australian Masters and Veterans cycling championships.
In Sundays race, Crystal combined with fellow scratch riders Dean Hayward, Rod Hetherington, Peter Wemyss and Sean Prins, giving the limit riders Meg Parnaby and Shirley Hetherington a fifteen minute thirty second start.
With a gentle tail wind pushing riders along, speeds were good out to Noradjuha with all three chasing bunches making up time on the limit riders, but still remaining evenly poised.
With seven kilometres to go, the limit riders retained a two and a half minute lead over the six minute riders, Tony Rathgeber, Tom Eldridge, Les Dunn, Andrew Reid and new rider Shaun Casey.
However, the two and three quarter minute bunch Chris Scott, Gerard O’Brien, Glenn Ford, Brian Howlett and Daryl Elliott were only a minute further back, with scratch also chasing hard, a mere twenty seconds further in arrears.
At the very base of the climb up Mount Arapiles, with 4 kilometres to go, the back two bunches combined, with the better climbers starting to take charge. A further kilometre up the Mount, they overtook the 6 minute riders, but Meg Parnaby was still well clear.
Still battling hard, Parnaby survived until the last 100 metres, when Crystal Wemyss flashed past her, followed quickly by husband Peter. Also closing in fast were Dean Hayward, Glenn Ford and Shaun Casey.
Crystal Wemyss held on to win narrowly from Peter Wemyss in a very close and exciting finish, with Meg Parnaby not far behind in third. Dean Hayward was fourth, followed soon after by Glenn Ford.
Crystal also recorded fastest race time of one hour fifteen minutes and forty seconds, an average speed of 36.5kph including the steep 4 kilometre climb.