Dubbo cycling legend Darrell Wheeler has added to his massive tally of Australian and World Championship medals by taking two gold and one bronze to claim the Masters Nine Champion of Champions title on the weekends Australian Masters Cycling Championships.
Highlighting the pedigree of cycling in Dubbo was the fact Simone Grounds duplicated that result to take the Masters Three Champion of Champions title.
Darrell Wheeler kicked off the Australian Championships with a bronze medal ride in the Time Trial. After spending two days in the car to arrive at the Adelaide based titles, Wheeler approached the Time Trial as an opportunity to open the lungs and test the legs. Such is the pedigree, this was enough to take bronze.
The following day's road race was a different matter, riding in a bunch with much younger riders Wheeler was far too strong for everyone. He finished with his first gold of the week to be awarded Masters Nine Road Champion. Wheelers week finished in wet and windy conditions on the Criterium course. According to script Wheeler was far too strong, taking another gold. This was enough to see him awarded the prestigious Champion of Champions title for Masters Nine.
Simone Grounds entered the Masters Three category with a large target on her after claiming victory at the NSW Elite Titles only a few weeks earlier.
She showed her form taking the Gold medal in the opening Time Trial by a massive one minute thirty-five seconds. In the road race Grounds broke away from the field with a Tasmanian rider as they established a four-minute lead. In the last ten kilometres, Grounds drove away from second place to finish over a minute ahead of second and more than five minutes ahead of third.
Looking to make it a clean sweep Grounds started the Criterium feeling strong and rode a good race on the wet circuit used by the V8 Supercars. On the last lap, ready to make her charge, Grounds was held up behind a crash. Having to go onto the grass to stay upright Grounds eventually finished third to add a Bronze medal to her collection. This was enough to see her also awarded the Champion of Champions title for the weekend.
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