After the rain and thick mud of previous years many were rightfully cautious upon entering this years Stevens Husky 100 at Callala Bay,NSW. However optimism returned when the forecast was announced as clear skies and sun. Pre dawn the riders began to roll in for the 100k, bacon and egg sandwichs were consumed and before long it was time for the riders brief. Andy Blair and Jenny Fay had to breifly strip themselves of their upper garments as they were awarded the purple series overall jerseys then it was straight to the start.
Brief chatter on the start line, then the gun. Shippard and Ward were leading off the front, with a certain returned Mitch Codner of Stevens eagerly looking to climb through the ranks. Soon they were out of sight and wave after wave followed them into the wilderness. Hitting the road, the chase was on to catch a glimpse of the riders. Early within the first 50km a bunch had formed comprising of big wigs Blair, Lewis, Ward, Jackson, Day and others were all slowly pulling away from the main bunch. Genuine threat Jason English had been dropped with a mechanical but after a quick fix he appeared to be back in the chase. Jenny Fay was and still very much is in a league of her own, even at this early stage she had half the male field in her wake.
Back on the road, Mitch Codner was spotted the early attacker out with a mechanical. He was disappointed but that’s racing. The 50k’ers were off by now and it was a struggle to find viewing spots to see the leaders. The course was now flooded with riders from elites to first timers and everyone was having a crack, right down to the crazies on their rigid cyclocross bikes.
Heading back to the event centre the wait was on for the first finishers, who would come in first? Making the dash up the golf course at rapid speed was Cameron Ivory easily sealing the win in the 50 km. The fight for the rest of the line honours was much closer with Gary Millburn, Brad Morton and Michal Kafka all looking for the glory, finishing 2nd 3rd and 4th overall. Soon after the 50k’ers were flooding in all eager for some free ice cream and fruit.
The organiser’s began to fret, no one had seen or heard of the 100k’ers in a while and the current rumour was that Jason English had closed the gap. Only time would tell and though the wait seemed long it was worth it. The sound of the lead out moto drew near and the chase was on, bunched up Shippard and Hall were dropped then English too, Blair made a final dash but just wasn’t able to push in front of Lewis who sealed his win with a salute. Such a exciting sprint after 100 kilometers, who could ask for more. Sick!
Muddy and dirty riders began to roll in, with the 100k’ers looking far more worse for wear than the 50k’ers. Tales of thigh high puddles and more obvious mud clogged drivetrain’s seemed to be frequent. Luckily, there was pizza and ice cream and free bike giveaways to soothe the weary riders.
Full Results HERE