After 262 kilometres in the saddle, 11 time Australian National Champion Peta Mullens sprinted to victory on Raglan Parade to claim the Deakin University elite women’s category at the Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool.
Mullens (Bendigo & District CC) out-sprinted Taryn Heather (Albury-Wodonga Panthers Cycling Club) and Rebecca Wiasak (Canberra Cycling Club) as the trio crossed the finish line amongst a 100-rider strong peloton.
Mullens completed the undulating course which began at Avalon Airport in 6h26:22, just 11mins 16secs behind race winner Nick White (Team BridgeLane).
“I think with 100kms to go I was more excited because there were six girls in the main peloton of men. That gave me real shivers that we were all that competitive and we were all going to be duking it out at the finish. I’m really excited to win but more excited about the presence we had in the peloton as women,” explained Mullens who just last weekend won a mountain bike event in Thredbo.
“It was an interesting sprint, I have never sprinted in a men’s NRS race or actually in a women’s NRS race for about five years, for us at the end of the race it was more about safety. We wanted to stay on our bikes and just have an honest sprint for the finish.
“I was pretty confident that I probably had the best of the bunch skills in the finale to take the win.
“When I finished I wasn’t sure if I’d won so I didn’t even salute but I’m really proud to stand on the podium with the girls Taryn and Bec.”
In the men’s A grade, Peter Milostic (Penrith CC) took out the category after he found himself in the early breakaway group which at one point had gained a 14 minute advantage on the peloton.
Milostic finished 11th outright, just 8 seconds behind breakaway companion and eventual race winner White in a time of 6hrs 23secs.
Stuart Smith (Leongatha Cycling Club) finished in the peloton 11mins 08secs behind Milostic to claim second place. Simon Hubbard (Cairns Cycling Club) was third.
In the men’s B Grade, Adrian Little (Southern Masters Cycling Club) claimed line honours, also coming home in the peloton after 6hrs 26mins of racing. Brendan Thornton (Hawthorn Cycling Club) was second and Brenden Halleur (Carnegie Caulfield CC) was third.
C Grade honours went to Brodie Sims (Seymour Broadford Cycling Club) in a time of 6h26:22. Grant Harvey (Seymour Broadford Cycling Club) claimed second 27secs behind Sims while Brett Hickford (Gold Coast Cycling Club) rounded out the podium 50seconds in arrears.
The first Warrnambool Rider honours went to Ryan Brodie.
Canberra’s Sam Hill took out the South West Tafe King of the Mountain classification and the Deakin University Sprint classification.
The 2019 Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool was the 103rdedition of the race and after a year away from the calendar saw entries sell out.