SIMON Bone credited experience for his Camperdown to Warrnambool veterans’ race win on Saturday.
Bone, 47, edged out Warrnambool rider Justin Vincent in a nail-biting finish, with Marco Bramucci third.
“I’ve raced here a few times and I’m experienced when it comes into the finish and you have to know when to make your move,” he said.
“If you go too early, you’re finished. So you have to leave it until very late and then hit out.”
Bone, a Eastern Veterans Cycling Club member, said the final 150-metre stretch down Raglan Parade was vital.
“Because it was a head-wind finish, I knew not to come out too early,” he said.
“As I said, I have raced here and done pretty well in the past so it was just a matter of timing.”
It was Bone’s first win in the 72-kilometre Bill Long Memorial, which attracted 112 riders.
The two-time Melbourne to Warrnambool competitor started off second scratch, 27 minutes after the limit riders.
“I’ve had a few second-fastest times here and I normally ride off scratch but I haven’t been training for a few years and this past season I have really been putting in to have a good one this year,” he said.
“I’d say I’ll be pulled back to scratch after this one.” Bone, whose father Ken also completed in the veterans’ classic, said it was a tough ride, particularly given the weather conditions.
“Along the road there was quite a few sprinklings. It was slippery and wet and there was a little bit of wind, so it was a little bit dangerous but that is part of the game,” he said.
Vincent, 38, started alongside Bone in the second scratch group.
In his second Camperdown to Warrnambool classic, Vincent said he might have edged home if the race was 100 metres longer.
“Coming over the hill it started to spread out and the left side of the road seemed to be the empty side so that’s the way I went to finish,” he said.
“I knew I’d got second. I could see that coming the last 100 or so metres. I was happy I was gaining ground but I didn’t quite get there.”
Bramucci, of Northern Veterans Cycling Club, started in the 15.30 group and was thrilled to snare a podium finish as a first-time Camperdown to Warrnambool entrant.
“I got caught in the gutter about 300 metres out and had to get around everyone,” he said.
“You couldn’t make out where the finish line was until you got close but there wasn’t much in it.”