Mitch Bullen won the 100km Mt Yarrowyck to Bundarra road race held on Sunday 3 May, from Brendan Jones of Inverell and Wayne Toomey of Tamworth.
The race has been dominated by the front markers over the last few years, but good handicapping this year saw the scratch riders catch the main field in the final stages for a close finish.
A large contingent of Armidale riders in the 16 minute bunch rode strongly to make the back markers earn their money in the chase. Led by Peter Wilkinson, and also containing Tony Burgin (Moree), Leigh Alexander (Inverell), and Mal Ellicot (Tamworth), this group got to the head of the race by the 60km mark, bringing a number of the front markers with them.
With 15km to go they still had a lead of more than a minute over scratch, but the gap was rapidly closing as the hills were getting bigger and legs tireder.
Peter Wilkinson and Pat McMillan then rode away to build up a handy lead which for a while looked promising. Wilko lasted longest, but inevitably he was caught within sight of the finish line by a group of about a dozen riders.
Mitch Bullen who had been biding his time patiently, then burst out of the pack with one of his trademark sprints to take both the win and fastest time.
You can see just how fast he was going in this video of the finish:
The 40km race also proved to be one for the scratch riders, with Braden Ludlow (Gunnedah) first and fastest time from Jake Campbell (Inverell) in second and Cody Burton third.
Armidale riders also did well in the 20km race, which was won by Sam Jenner with Kirk Burton taking fastest time. Inverell youngsters Gavin Wilson and Josh Corcoran filled out the minor placings.
Our thanks to riders from Tamworth, Gunnedah, Inverell and other clubs who continue to support this event. Hope to see you again next year!