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Hat Trick of National Road Race Titles for Phil Kesby
The Cycling Australia Masters National Road Championships were held in McLaren Vale, South Australia on 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th October.
The Race Director had set a challenging 19km loop for the road race, and included the brutal 2.6km climb of Penny’s Hill, with an average gradient of 7.5% and sections up to 12%. It is located on the range just north of the famous Old Willunga Hill.
A cloudy day and 20km per hour block headwind on the Penny’s Hill section was bound to play a significant part in the day’s results.
The Masters 6 Road Race was three loops of the 19km course, 56km and 1,065 metres of climbing. A triangular course layout with a punchy Range Road section followed by a super-fast downhill and then a false flat to Penny’s Hill ensured a very tough race where fitness, strength and tactics would all be crucial.
Phil said, “As National Champion for the past two years, my coach warned me that I would be a marked man,” and so it was. Attacks started almost from the gun with Brisbane rider Adrian Land, winner of Brisbane Granfondo, going up the road. Teams from Carnegie Caulfield and Norwood continued the attacks, and after the second climb, a lead group of eight competed for the title on the final climb. “A solid pace on the climb and constant attacks meant holding the nerve until the right moment and, with one kilometre to go, I made my move on the final 11% pinch.”
Phil joined the Hamilton Wheelers in 2015, which is also the first year he ever raced. We covered his previous two wins and the compliments he received last year from a fellow competitor about his sportsmanship. It’s an excellent reminder to all of us that you can achieve whatever you want if you put your mind to it. “National Champion three years in a row leaves me happy and proud. I am grateful to my team and for a life that allows me to cycle around the world, meeting amazing people. They all inspire me.”
Congratulations Phil, bring on 2020!