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Clarke claims third in “brutally hard” race By Ben Triandafillou MORNINGTON Cycles owner Brad Clarke competed in one of the world’s toughest mountain bike races in South Africa on Wednesday 28 March. Clarke partnered with common competitor, Rohin Adams, in the gruelling eight-day Absa Cape Epic race and covered more than 650km of rugged land. With 650 teams entered into the competition, the pair managed to claim third place in the Masters category (40-49 years old) and finished 30th overall. For Clarke, it was his second time attempting the race which included 13,530m of climbing – that’s one and half times higher than Mt Everest and the first word that came to his mind when describing the course was “untamed”. “It’s just rugged, raw and brutally hard,” he said. “Every single kilometre you have to work for.” “There are no easy trails, and if a section did look easy, it’d be full of sand or jagged rocks.” While the track is incredibly demanding physically and mentally, Clarke said that that is exactly the sort of challenge which lures him back. “It’s a real adventure and an amazing event,” he said. “It’s extremely rewarding after you’ve put in all of that hard work in training, and then to complete the course as well.” It has taken Clarke just over six months of training to prepare for the race in which he competed against some of the best riders from around the world.
Having competed once before, he knew exactly what it took to prepare for the event but said it was “actually tougher than the first time”. “I was a bit naive [the first time] and didn’t realise what I had gotten myself into,” he said. “That’s why it was tougher this time as I knew exactly what I was in for. Whenever I got unwell in the lead-up to the race, it would stress me out a lot. “You’ve got to get yourself to be able to commit to really hard, tough training to get to that top level. There are more hours a week that you need to put in, and it’s a bit more specific training to the race as well as you need to be able to ride for 100 kilometres at full speed. “You have those ups and downs in the preparation but [having competed before] it helped give me the confidence that I was undertaking the right training.” There was no financial gain for Clarke in undertaking this adventure but he said that overcoming the challenges of the course has been a massive reward. Clarke doesn’t believe he is ready to back up again next year but said he would “definitely like to go back”. He thinks 2020 would be a possibility but it would “depend on my situation and how I’m travelling.”
Hard yards: Brad Clarke has come in third in South Africa’s Absa Cape Epic race. Picture: Sportograf.com
Western Port push persistent Gators BASKETBALL
THE Western Port Steelers fought valiantly but were unable to pull off an upset in their clash against top of the table Shepparton Gators in Division One Big V competition last Saturday. Western Port’s Dylan Travis did his best to help his side to victory with an impressive 31 point performance, but ultimately it was not enough to earn a win. Shepparton Gators proved too strong for their opponents, with Matt Bartlett, Cameron Vines, and Spencer Coleman scoring 28, 26, and 22
points respectively. Western Port stayed in contention, but ultimately fell short by 9 points (79-70) as Shepparton secured their eighth consecutive win. Elsewhere in Division One, the Chelsea Gulls squared up against the Sunbury Jets in a clash they would have been strongly expected to win. The 3rd vs 11th clash saw Chelsea stretch their muscle to extend their winning run to five straight games. The bulk of Chelsea’s points came from Corey Standerfer and Matthew Brasser, who scored 45 points between them. Sunbury Jets remained in the con-
test, but could not push on to claim an upset win, as the Chelsea Gulls secure the victory (81-73). In Division Two Basketball, the Southern Peninsula Sharks secured 4th place on the table with an emphatic victory over last place North East Bushrangers. Colin Voss was the standout performer for Southern Peninsula, as he put up 26 points, making 10 of his 15 attempted shots. Lloyd Wright was the shining light for the Bushrangers with a valiant 23 point effort, but it was little help as his side went down to the Southern Peninsula Sharks (61-77).
Last Sunday also saw the Mornington Breakers pull of a dominant victory over the Coburg Giants in Women’s Division Two Competition. The two sides, placed 8th and 9th going into the round, looked as if they would be evenly matched at the start of the game, but the final score told a far different story. Ashleigh Wright and Erin Ludwick were the star performers for Mornington, as they put up 53 points between the two of them. Coburg never got close to a rampant Mornington, with the final margin standing at an astonishing 31 points (51-82)
Big V competition has been on break as the teams earned a well deserved rest, but will be back up and running this weekend. This weekend will see the Mornington Breakers travel to Darebin Stadium to take on the Collingwood All Stars in Women’s Division Two action. In Men’s Division Two, Southern Peninsula Sharks will take on Pakenham Warriors next Sunday. Division One action on Saturday will see Shepparton Gators host the Chelsea Gulls, while the Sunbury Jets will host the Western Port Steelers.
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11 June 2018
Frankston Times 11 June 2018