© 2013 by Storck Bicycle
|Phillips flies on a CD 0.9 solo to win
Germany based Gold Coast veteran Jason Phillips yesterday smashed open the Darren Smith Cycle Classic with a spectacular solo effort for victory at Salt Village, Kingscliff, Australia.
Phillips engineered an unassailable lead with 25 minutes remaining in the hour-long race, plus three laps, which featured an entertaining fight for podium placings.
The defending champions remarkable endurance effort in taxing heat and windy conditions was powered by a special motive – Phillips s friend and AIS teammate Smith was killed in a road accident while cycling near Beenleigh almost 14 years ago to the day – November 17, 1992.
"I always think of Darren at this time of year because this was the time he passed away," Phillips said.
Veteran Hank Vogels, of the Sunshine Coast, deservedly finished runner-up after he hatched the bold plan for the race-winning charge in only the fifth lap, from which the main bunch never recovered on the technical course.
Experienced Gold Coast campaigners Craig "Crackles" Cahill and John Cantwell did exceptionally well to finish third and fourth after they were left fighting for race survival after Phillips and Vogels led the seven-man breakaway.
Within 10 minutes the seven-man leading pack had amassed an intimidating 30-second lead before Steven George and Grant Irwin started a two-man chase.
At the races halfway mark Cahill and Cantwell had formed a four-man group for their last desperate bid to get back into the race.
Five minutes later Phillips made a solo break from the leading seven-man bunch on a short rise at the back of the course heading straight into fierce headwind.
Phillips quickly lapped the main bunch and the support he found there proved unstoppable.
"I felt good in the group. I could see some of the guys struggling to ride the tempo. I thought the gap with the main bunch was do-able, so I went for it," Phillips said.
"Once I got into the group, I felt comfortable. The plan worked perfectly."
Cahill and Cantwell were also initiating their own exciting charge in the final minutes when their four-man breakaway linked with George and Irwin before chasing down Vogels lead group with three laps remaining.
Cahill made the most of his momentum by attacking in the first of the three laps before Vogels regained second place in the final lap when he determinedly overhauled Cahill.