Christopher Miller of Sydney Uni Velo won the hotly contested Erik Mather Colnago Cup at Eastern Creek Raceway on Easter Monday, 28 March.
Miller snuck away with four laps to go in the A Grade division, holding off the front bunch to claim the top spot.
The event held in honour of Eric Mather, a popular A grade cyclist who recently passed away, attracted a total of 267 riders.
Miller, who also set the second fastest time at Calga long course time trials (1:01:01) earlier in the month, provided us with the following race insights:
“The Erik Mather cup is an annual race hosted by Waratah Masters and supported by Bike Bug at Eastern Creek Motorway. It tends to attract a large and strong field, 2016 was no different with almost 100 riders taking to the start line.
With only 3 SUVelo Race Team riders, the plan was basic. Get Christopher Miller in any break that had the riders to stay away and lead out Andy Matthews for the sprint if it came back together. Ben Wray took the role of road captain looking after Chris early on and Andy later.
It started fast and after a couple of laps a dangerous looking group got 50m or so. We purposely chose to let that go as they never survive but when it started to seriously open Ben went up and helped reel them back in. Chris then countered and got into a nice little move that didn’t survive either. Moves continued in that vein with Chris lively and involved often.
We were bound to miss one though and about halfway through a good move got away without us having any representation. Ben bridged Chris over before dropping off and he attacked from the lead group, getting away with Greg Burgett (Turbo Studios) and Matt Lucas (Bike Bug). They were building a nice lead but the prime bell went and they got swept back up.
The pace stayed quite high and we dropped back a bit too far, missing a good move with about 4 laps to go. Ben was too far back to help and already thinking of resting to help Andy and Chris rolled the dice and did most of the work to bring them back. He then slipped off the front on the next lap and Greg Burgett again came with him.
Ben moved right to the front with Nic Martin (Turbo Studios) attempted to give their two boys up the road time to open a gap. The Pilu Race Team boys came up to chase but they weren’t rolling well with Nic and Ben able to disrupt it enough.
Coming in to the bell lap the lead was looking good with the form rider of 2016 Naz, and Liam Kelly looking to each other. Chris and Greg were working well together, but they knew the bunch would be flying at this stage so they laid it all on the line.
Amazingly they held off the marauding bunch, Chris rolling over the line just in front of Greg, with Alex Nazarewicz taking the bunch sprint and Ben Wray arms aloft celebrating the victory from the comfort of the peloton.
A great team ride and massive confidence boost for the squad heading into a packed calendar of road races over the next few months.”
A Grade Results
1 Christopher Miller
2 Greg Burgett
3 Alex Nazarewicz
4 Nash Kent
5 Matt Smithson