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GALLERY: Cyclists return home with swag of medals, national titles

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It was a merry Christmas and happy new year all rolled into one for some members of the Newcastle Hunter Cycling Club (NHCC).

During the recent festive period, the local cyclists dominated a number of Australian-level interstate events.

At the Federation University Road National Championships (RoadNats) at Ballarat, the NHCC garnered a total of eight medals and five titles.

The quartet of Ben Neppl, James Ogilvie, Stephen Lane and Clinton Edwards secured gold in the masters’ men 90 team time trial.

In the process, they were crowned national champions.

Stuart Jones also threw his winning hat into the ring, claiming the para T2 road race and para MT2 individual time trial double.

Rod Price snared victory in the MMAS10 criterium, too.

Ogilvie picked up another gold in the MMAS3 criterium, while adding a silver to his tally, courtesy of a second in the MMAS3 individual time trial.

Neppl bagged a couple more silvers as well, via strong performances in the MMAS4 criterium and MMAS4 individual time trial.

Others to impress included Kevin Gaides (fourth – para MH3 ITT), Ian Lovell (fourth – MMAS8 ITT; MMAS8 criterium), Clinton Edwards (seventh – MMAS2 criterium), Andrew Giovanetti (11th – MMAS5 criterium), Jonathan Farley (16th – U23M road race), Lucie Fityus (U23W criterium and road race), Kai Chapman (elite men criterium and road race), Finton Conway (elite road race) and James Farley (U23 road race).

Meanwhile, the NHCC’s under-17s competed at the two-day Australian Junior Track Series (AJTS) in Melbourne.

Hosted by AusCycling Australia, the event provides the nation’s top youngsters robust competition leading into the national track championships later in the season.

And, with every state represented, bar Western Australia due to COVID-19, the fight for podium spots was intense.

“Each of our club riders rode extremely well,” publicity officer Kim Rose said.

“Noah Mason finished the first weekend series in third place overall in the very strong under-17 men’s division.

“But, other several placings were gained, with each rider showing great improvement in their respective races.

“The juniors are now preparing for the second round in Launceston next month.

“Well done to Noah (Mason), Matthew Drohen, Jake Pajtl, Caitlin Rose, Hayley Dell and Phoenix Jullian.

“This week, the club is represented by several of our under-23 and elite members – Lucie Fityus (Cycling Development Foundation), Aiden Sinclair (Team Garmin Australia), Kai Chapman (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) and Finton Conway (Oliver’s Real Food Racing) – at the Santos Tour Down Under.

“The three-day road event features Australia’s top cyclists as well as international riders, so they should gain a lot from the experience.”

On the local club scene, the NHCC will host a four-week program, the Motorola Newcastle Open Track Series.

It all starts at the Newcastle Velodrome from 7pm on Friday 28 January.

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