Cyclists caught in tangled crash

17/08/2010 00:00

Cyclists caught in tangled crash

16 Aug, 2010 12:00 AM
A CRASH involving 10 riders marred the historic Wagga to Albury cycling road race yesterday.

The accident, which happened outside Culcairn, left riders strewn across the road and resulted in four of the casualties being transported to hospital.

Wagga cycling legend Barry O'Hagan reported last night the smash was a dramatic and painful sidelight to Shepparton cyclist Trent Stevenson's victory in the John Woodman Memorial event.

O'Hagan said the fall had come about when the fast-moving scratch bunch of riders had caught another group midway through the 135-kilometre dash.

"It often happens this way," O'Hagan said last night.

"The two bunches get tangled up and it doesn't take much for someone to go down."

O'Hagan said Stevenson, who rode off scratch yesterday, had been fortunate to avoid the smash.

"It was a fairly nasty and a few of boys sustained broken bones," O'Hagan said.

O'Hagan said Stevenson rode the race of his life to capture yesterday's road race, which has been on the Riverina cycling calendar for 80 years.

"Trent rode a great race in pretty ordinary conditions," O'Hagan said.

"The weather wasn't kind to the riders by any means."

For Stevenson, yesterday's race had a remarkable family involvement.

Two decades after his father Geoff registered the fastest time in the John Woodman Memorial in 1987, Stevenson did the same yesterday on his way to victory.

The superb achievement was made all the more nostalgic as Geoff Stevenson also rode in yesterday's classic.

Shepparton riders dominated the John Woodman finish, with Stevenson and runner-up Steve Fairless both from the Victorian town.

Further down the list, 2001 Woodman winner Lee Egan, also from Shepparton, finished fifth.

Stevenson yesterday clocked 2:54.36 for the 135km, but the sour weather was a contributing factor to the time.