MAKING A SPLASH: Yamba’s Morgan Pilley completed 50 laps to win the 24-Hour Solo Race of Finale Ligure in Italy.
MAKING A SPLASH: Yamba’s Morgan Pilley completed 50 laps to win the 24-Hour Solo Race of Finale Ligure in Italy. Contributed

Yamba cyclist wins 24-hour Finale Ligure race in Italy

WITH a plethora of cycling this week, it's certainly hard to keep up.

Local cycling, the Tour de Woodford and Tour of Toowoomba (NRS) have all been held over the last seven days. But the standout performance - the 'kapitan's knock' - goes to Morgan Pilley.

We all knew 'Morgs' was tough, but this week he climbed upon his hard tail for the 24-Hour Solo Race of Finale Ligure, held in the Liguria region of Italy near the French border.

Morgan felt optimistic before the race.

"I've raced it a few times before without much luck, so I'm fairly motivated to get a good result."

A good result - thanks to a flawless performance Morgan took the overall win from the 300 riders who took part in the battle. He held onto first position the whole race and lap after lap the title looked more like his, closing with 50 laps at the end of the 24 hours - two more than his closest rivals.

"Everyone worked out perfectly," he said. "I felt good, the support by the team has been massive and I have been able to stay ahead from start to end." Well done 'Coach'.

The Clarence Valley's three NRS riders Shaun Baxter, Craig Evers and Aaron Watts all competed in the Tour of Toowoomba from May 21 to 24.

Standout was Craig Evers with a 4th placing on Stage Two's 9.3km Individual Time Trial just 48 seconds off the winner.

Shaun Baxter racing for OTOC Vault found the time to write up a review of the opening stage: "This morning's first stage was raced aggressively from the outset with multiple teams and riders trying to establish themselves in early breaks. I had a dig in some of the earlier moves. With about 60km to go, 15 riders got away, which contained the main contenders for the overall victory. I along with another three managed to bridge across, but this ended up 'cooking' me and I ran out of 'gas' with only 4km to go. The distance and intensity of this stage took its toll on a number of riders." Over the 154.7km stage Shaun's average was 41kph.

Turning to the local scene 14 riders were bidding for the weekly honours at Trenayr. It was decided to hold a 'Nominate Your Finish Time' or as I've dubbed it "Nearest to Pin".

The group started together but first across the line didn't mean you would necessarily won. The pace took its toll early on with two riders retiring after one lap. The break of three formed early on the second lap included Dion Wilks, Jye Reardon and Steve Wiblen, and these three would go on to battle out the podium.

Reardon kicked clear, some argued, with a little 'vehicular' assistance from his old man coming up the finishing climb, and managed to gap Wilks by 20 seconds, with the ever improving Wiblen coming in third.

But the winner of the day was Chop Hackett who road an intelligent race, never taking his eye of his watch and rolled in on his own to take the Chicken Dinner, riding his Kuota bicycle like he stole it.

Sunday saw about 120 riders participate in the annual Maclean Rotary Club Tour de Woodford. The social event had riders of all calibre in attendance.

Some of the Grafton Cycle Club cyclists used the event as one last outing before the Battle on the Border which starts tomorrow on the Tweed Coast, where average Joe gets a chance to race a staged event.

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