Total Distance: 41.7km, 1hr55min, Ave speed 21.5km/hr
The Lizzard Howick Super Classic is the oldest classic on the calendar and in its 25th year of existence its become something of a legend in its own right. This year the event attracted Lizzard as it new title sponsor and it seemed quite fitting that an event with such heritage can welcome a young brand like Lizzard to the mountain biking circles. Howick is not know for its manicured and smooth track but it has received legendary status for being one of the most technical classics out there and the 2012 edition lived up to its reputation. With over 50% of the 40km route being single track it was really up to the real mountain bikers to take to the trails.
The racing up front was always going to be hotly contested between the two in-form men; RECM’s Luke Roberts and TIB’s Andrew Hill. The two have been collecting notable results over the past couple of months with Hill claiming the top step on the previous weekend with the young Roberts standing next to him in second. Was this going to be a repeat of the past weekend?
Roberts took the race by the horns and pushed hard for the gun. It was at 2km in where the route turned up steeply for 500meters that a race deciding move was made. Hill Attacked first and Roberts responded pulling Kyle Dorkins (Elsworth SA) and Patrick Belton (JEEP) onto the back of the TIB athlete’s wheel. Roberts took to the front and attacked dropping Dorkin from the group. This drive at the front lasted 6km and dislodged the JEEP rider on a long single track climb through some young pine trees. This left Hill and Roberts to fight it out for first place with each trying to dislodge the other over the next 30km of tight single track.
When both riders realised they couldn’t make a break from each other it was decided a sprint finish would be the race decider. Roberts went first and pushed hard with Hill on his wheel. But coming into the final hair pin corner Roberts got the first jump resulting in the TIB rider needing to come round over the top in order to make up lost ground. The RECM rider crossed the line 1m ahead of Hill and claimed the top step of the podium in spectacular turn of speed.
1st Luke Roberts (RECM) 1:55:16
2nd Andrew Hill (TIB Insurance) 1:55:17
3rd Carl Calverley (Marshalls Work of Sport) 2:00:31