Late Attack Earns Cameron Scott Victory In Melbourne To Warrnambool

  • By: AusCycling
  • Feb 21, 2022
  • 0
  • [addtoany]

Cameron Scott (ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) would have been the hot favourite in a bunch sprint, but the 24-year-old has won today’s Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycle Classic in unexpected fashion, holding off the peloton by a bike-length after a late solo attack.

Scott made his winning move just outside the final kilometre after shutting down an attack by National Road Series (NRS) leader James Whelan.

After 267 kilometres of racing, with his legs tying up on the uphill drag on Raglan Parade, Scott barely crossed the line ahead of the main bunch. Brenton Jones (InForm TMX Make) led home the sprint for second with Myles Stewart (Nero Continental) in third.

Cameron Scott wins 2022 Melbourne to Warrnambool

Scott, who is originally from Wagga Wagga, came into the race as the top sprinter of the NRS. That made it surprising to see the St George Cycling Club member opting for a late attack – much like Jensen Plowright did to win last year – instead of waiting for a bunch sprint.

Scott revealed that he decided not to sprint late into the race, even after ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast contributed heavily to controlling the peloton for most of the day.

“We missed the early break but we didn’t panic. We put a few guys on the front, tried to keep the race moving. They did an amazing job just keeping the race in check,” Scott said.

“I made the call in the last 5km. My legs were feeling a bit heavy. We were going to sprint for Craig Wiggins, my teammate.

“So, when that move with Jimmy Whelan and Liam Johnston (went), I just had to cover that and make sure they weren’t going to ride away. I got to them, looked back, and we had a gap and so I just pinned the ears back.

Melbourne to Warrnambool podium 2022 - Cameron Scott, Brenton Jones and Myles Stewart

“I took a bit of inspiration from Jensen’s win last year, so I knew it was possible and I just gave it everything. I tried to get out of the saddle in the last few metres just to keep the bike moving.”

Scott described the victory as the biggest win of his road cycling career. He has a significant background in track cycling, having won the 2019 world championship with Australia in the team pursuit.

Scott has come back from serious injuries suffered in a horrific crash at the end of 2020, when he rode into a stationary motorbike at around 55km/h.

Today’s result – surely the highlight of his palmarès so far – adds to his two stage victories at the Mitchelton Tour of Gippsland this week, as well as previous stage victories in China and New Zealand.

How It Unfolded

Melbourne to Warrnambool 2022

The 106th edition of the ‘Warrny’ was the fastest since it became a mass-start event in 1996, with the peloton covering the distance in 6 hours, 7 minutes and 41 seconds at a speed of 43.4km/h.

113 riders set out from Avalon Airport under ideal conditions, with a light cross-tailwind pushing them along the inland route through Colac.

It took 70km for a breakaway to establish, with none of the biggest teams represented. Team Bridgelane, ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast and InForm TMX Make were instead left to control the chasing.

The eight escapees were Edwin Britts (Oliver’s Real Food Racing), Aidan Buttigieg (Nero Continental), Cyrus Monk and Terance Hoare (Cycle House Racing), Jason Thomason (Butterfields p/b Van D’am Racing), Tim Cutler (CCS Cycling), Matthew Sherwin (TheHurtBox/Carnegie Caufield) and Callum Pearce (Onyva Racing).

With 50km remaining, as the gap fell under three minutes – down from a maximum lead of just over six minutes —Cutler and Monk increased the pace and dropped their companions except Buttigieg, who followed the move without contributing.

Melbourne to Warrnambool 2022 - Cyrus Monk, Tim Cutler and Aidan Buttigieg(L-R) Aidan Buttigieg, Cyrus Monk and Tim Cutler were the last to survive from the day-long breakaway. (Photo: Con Chronis)

At 40km to go, a flurry of attacks in a crosswind section saw a brief split in the peloton. Once things had settled down again, the main field had been reduced to about 30 riders.

The gap to the breakaway tumbled steadily even as Cutler and Monk committed to their effort despite having a spent Buttigieg sitting in the wheels.

As the peloton drew within sight of its quarry, Monk attacked one last time to go solo, but he was caught with 6 kilometres remaining on the outskirts of Warrnambool.

That triggered a sequence of counter-attacks by Tristan Saunders (InForm TMX Make) and Whelan, but nobody was able to gain more than a handful of metres until Cameron Scott surged away in the final stages and held on for a breathless, famous victory.

Results – 2022 Powercor Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic

For full results, click here.

1. Cameron SCOTT (ACA) 6h07:41
2. Brenton JONES (ITM) +0
3. Myles STEWART (NER) +0
4. Nicholas WHITE (BLN) +0
5. Benjamin HILL (CCS) +0
6. Liam WHITE (OLI) +0
7. Josh DUFFY (ITM) +0
8. Henry DIETZE (GRT) +0
9. James FORBES (HCC) +0
10. Curtis DOWDELL (VDR) +0

Photos: Con Chronis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.