Tyalgum a tough grind
By ADAM WRATTEN
FAST-finishing Miami cyclist Jason Phillips started what could be his last competitive season in style yesterday with victory at the Tyalgum Cup Cycle race.
Phillips finished a few lengths ahead of another Miami cyclist Jon Cantwell, with the in-form Craig Cahill in third spot in the 36km race.
Eighty-six of the nominated 94 cyclists competed in greasy conditions at yesterday's race.
Phillips said with the handicap system in place conditions suited the top riders.
"Although it didn't seem like it there was a fair bit of wind about which was good for us," Phillips said.
"It was hard work. I had to go flat out all the way and we (top riders) were only able to catch up with the markers with about 1km to go. "I was not even sure then (when we first saw them) we could catch up and win, I was that tired.
"The race was very well handicapped."
Phillips won the race in a time of 49 minutes. He was part of a leading group which started 17 minutes behind the first starters.
This was his last race before heading to Germany in two weeks' time for what "probably" will be his last crack at the European circuit.
Meanwhile, three cyclists were taken to hospital after a collision involving a "handful" of riders about 25km into the race, Murwillumbah Cycle Club president Dennis Burger said.
Burger said the injured cyclists were Dianne Monk, of the Gold Coast, who suffered bruising to her pelvis, John Lindsey, of Brisbane, who suffered minor head injuries and cuts and Murwillumbah's Andrew Mills who suffered cuts.
This was Mills' first competitive race. It is believed touching handlebars caused the collision. Other riders were able to get back on their bikes and continue racing.
Apart from the collision, Burger was happy with the way the day went.
"Conditions may have scared a couple off, it was mostly the away riders who didn't turn up.