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Steve shines

STEVE Johnson's return to competitive racing was like riding a bike - he hadn't forgotten how to win.

Jostling for position amid the lead group with just over 100 metres remaining in yesterday's Epic Road Race, the Cabarita cyclist made a sudden surge to the front.

Johnson's move was timed to perfection and the 37-year-old was never headed as he raced away to claim the Division C title by half a length at the Stokers Siding finish line.

“It just all came together for me,” he said.

“It was a real thrill to win the race.”

Amazingly the title could well have been the electrician's second for the Battle on the Border weekend had ill-fate not struck.

Spearheading the lead pack into the back half of Saturday's Rapid Road Race, Johnson suffered a devastating flat tyre that ultimately ended his race prospects.

“I guess you could say I got a bit of redemption for Saturday,” Johnson said.

Add a fifth spot in the opening time-trials in and it wasn't a bad weekend for a guy that only joined Murwillumbah Cycle Club less than six-months ago as a means of additional training.

“I've traditionally raced endurance mountain bike events, but after joining MCC for extra fitness I found out that I'm pretty good at sprints, and it has gone form there,” Johnson said.

“I wasn't able to get on the bike as much as I'd have liked to, and I don't have as many kilometres on the road under my belt as some of the other competitors, but I've really enjoyed myself this weekend.”

Johnson will have one last crack at doubling his medal tally when he lines up in the 'criterium' event tomorrow.

He said the race was a personal favourite.

“I am really looking forward to tomorrow's criterium,” he said.

“I love the closeness of the racing and fast, tight corners, similar to mountain biking.

“I've done a bit of criterium racing in North America and give myself a chance.”

The final event of the Battle on the Border weekend, the criterium, begins at 7.40am on Forrester Avenue, Salt.

For full event results see Tuesday's Tweed Daily News.