Timmer-Arends masters the clock with back-to-back titles


A LATROBE City Cycling Club member secured back-to-back Victorian Masters titles earlier this month in Lang Lang.

James Timmer-Arends conquered the 22 kilometre circuit in 30 minutes and 18 seconds to win the Masters 6 (55-59 years) by three seconds.

Timmer-Arends was one of nine LCCC members tackling the event, which also saw Justin Gravett enter the Masters 3 (40-44 years) time trial, finishing sixth amid a strong field.

The road race took place at Catani with each race consisting of two laps of a 41km circuit.

Chris Joustra was first away in the morning session in the Masters 5 category (50-54 years) consisting of 24 riders.

With a large bunch still together through the first lap and after the second lap climb, Joustra scouted for an opportunity.

When another rider broke away off the front with 10km to go, Joustra seized the moment and jumped across, leaving a reduced bunch of 12 behind.

The two leaders worked together but, with victory in sight, were cruelly swamped by the peloton within a few hundred metres of the finish, with Joustra finishing 12th.

Next off the block was Timmer-Arends in Masters 6 looking to back up his time trial win with another good result.

Timmer-Arends was in the thick of the action early which saw the bunch of 18 reduced to six after the first major climb.

The lead group stayed together until the final climb, when they split into three groups of two with Timmer-Arends in the middle.

His pairing chased in earnest, but was unable to pull back the deficit to the leaders and, with the other two well behind, it was soon a battle for bronze.

In the wash up Timmer-Arends was beaten in the sprint and finished fourth.

Danny Gafa started in the Masters 3 (40-44 years) category which was a large field of 30 with some quality riders including ex-Olympian and former Moe boy Julian Paynter.

The pace was on early with some of the big Melbourne outfits playing the team game and trying to hurt the field over the first ascent.

Gafa was able to stay in the front group over the climb and sit in for the rest of the lap as the pace dropped in anticipation of the second and final climb.

The field again fractured over the gradient with a group of 11 riders, including Gafa, together at the bottom.

A group of three attacked off the front which left Gafa and a couple of others to do the chasing.

As soon as the break was caught Paynter made his move and attacked a weakened bunch with under 10km to go.

With the rest left waiting for a chaser to emerge and most tiring, Paynter was soon able to create a healthy gap and stayed away to take the victory from a fast finishing peloton.

In the sprint finish Gafa was able to pass all bar one rider to take the bronze, just two seconds behind the winner.

Colin Aitkin was last away in the Masters 4 (45-49 years) category in a field of 20.

A trio broke away from the bunch on the first time up the climb and with only Aitkin and one other rider without a team mate out front, and the rest unwilling to chase, Aitkin was fighting a losing battle.

Despite a spirited chase the front three riders only extended their lead to take the podium places by six minutes with Aitkin finishing a frustrated 10th.