FORMER Camperdown resident Tony Pickles claimed an emotional breakthrough Saul Pasque Memorial Road Race win last night.
Pickles, 46, defied stifling conditions to win the 16-kilometre race in 23 minutes and 24 seconds.
The race honours Camperdown cyclist Saul Pasque who was killed in a training accident near Geelong in 2005.
Pickles, who now lives in Modewarre, was close friends with Pasque, as was runner-up Damian Forster.
An emotional Pickles embraced Pasque’s mother Barbara at the end of the race and described the win as “pretty special”.
The father-of-three said it was heart-warming to see how supportive Pasque’s family and the Camperdown community was of the race.
“It must be a tough thing for the family to come up each year,” Pickles told The Standard
Pickles said he had ridden in each Saul Pasque memorial race and was thrilled to finally snare a win to honour his friend.
Pickles said hot weather conditions made the Chocolyn Loop course tougher than usual.
“It was fast on the way out. We had a tailwind for the first half of the race,” Pickles said yesterday.
“In the headwind we slowed down.”
Pickles said he was in a lead group of between eight and 10 cyclists and won in a sprint finish.
He rode off a handicap of three minutes and 30 seconds.
Jay Bourke notched the fastest time of 20.26.