SOUTH Australian cyclist Harry Carpenter overcame a quality field of riders to claim victory in the Victorian 100-kilometre championship in Hamilton on Sunday.
The 19-year-old is a member of the South Australian Sports Institute. He led the charge early, breaking away from the main group on the first lap and managed to hold onto the lead for the entire race.
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He said a strong wind played havoc with the course.
"It was a square circuit, so we were copping it from all angles," Carpenter told The Standard.
"The wind made it tough for the first few laps but my legs came good and I just kept going."
Carpenter said the wind did damage to the main peloton, cutting it up into a number of breakaway groups.
He broke away from the main group on the first lap with a rider from the Victorian Institute of Sport. He said a breakaway group of seven riders joined them after about four laps.
"About half-way through, another group of seven broke away from the main peloton and started chasing.
"They continued to chase for the rest of the race and caught us in the last couple of laps," he said.
Carpenter then made his move, breaking away from the lead bunch to take the outright lead.
He held onto the lead despite the attacking effort of the bunch and on the final lap was 12 seconds ahead of the bunch, crossing the line about 30 metres clear.
Carpenter is no stranger to roads in the region, having claimed the A grade sprint championship in the Tour of the South West in April.
"We come over here to race quite a bit. There are some great riders which always give us a challenge," he said.
Carpenter said his attention would now turn to the inaugural Tour of the Great South Coast which will be held around the Western District in August.
"That's the next big race for us, then we will focus on the remainder of the national road series," Carpenter said.
Sunday's event capped off a double-header of racing in Hamilton, with the Cecil Shore Memorial held on Saturday.
Hamilton Cycling Club's Paul Bast said the club was pleased with the number of entries both events attracted.
"It was the first time we have hosted the championship. Having it on the same weekend as the Cecil Shore helped bump up its entries," Bast said.
"We had a quality field of riders in both events so we are very pleased with how it all went."