Shaw claims New Norfolk Classic

BALLARAT cyclist Patrick Shaw, 24, was first across the line this afternoon in the second annual Launceston to New Norfolk Classic. He was congratulated by Derwent Valley Mayor Martyn Evans, who presented medals to the winner and placegetters. Shaw also won the “King of Poatina” title.  

With a respectable time of 5 hours, 30 minutes and 25 seconds, Shaw had a narrow win over breakaway partners Chris Jory, of New South Wales, and New Zealander Eliot Crowther. Jory took the sprint award.

Some 61 riders started the classic at the Country Club Casino but only  27 pedalled into New Norfolk to complete the race, founded only last year as a replacement event for the 82-year-old Launceston to Hobart Classic.

“It’s one of the best bike races in Australia,” Shaw exclaimed after crossing the line. “The course is so tough.” Shaw, who competed in Europe for the last two years and contemplated retirement upon his return to Australia in January, is enjoying a remarkable domestic season.“This is so exciting for me. To win a race like this really is special.”

The stumbling block to most riders in the classic was the 10km climb up the 1052- metre Poatina mountain which came only 59kms into the race. Shaw and a small breakaway group of Jory, and New Zealanders Crowther, Shem Rogers and Jason Christie were more than seven minutes clear of their rivals at the top of the mountain and, with the exception of Christie who finished ninth, that’s where they stayed.

Race winner Patrick Shaw is congratulated by Mayor Martyn Evans.

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