VETERAN Port Fairy cyclist Graeme Burchell won the 64th annual Frank Long Classic on Saturday.
Burchell, 57, having returned to competitive cycling 12 months ago after an eight year break, was one of four riders who took the race lead with 15 kilometres remaining, eventually going on to fill the first four placings.
Forty-four of the original 53 entries faced the start line with the scratchings partly due to the tough weather conditions on offer, with the back bunches affected most.
Burchell’s 13 minute bunch caught the 17 minute group after North Byaduk on the outward leg and after the turn this group broke up climbing Blacks Hill, creating the quartet of Burchell, Hamilton’s Mark Hermon and Port Fairy’s David Rae and Stacey Hocking.
They came back through North Byaduk 45 seconds behind the leading pair of Hamilton’s John Hodkinson and Colac’s Neil Widdicombe, with a further 5.15 to the chasing scratch bunch.
The race finish saw Burchell sprint away to win clearly from Rae and Hermon, with Hocking in fourth place, also claiming the first lady prize.
Full story in The Spectator on Thursday, May 8, 2014, or subscribe to our epaper at top of page.