Canberra first-timer Moorby powers home for maiden Moruya Goodies crown

CANBERRA rider Samuel Moorby shocked competitors and spectators alike on Saturday when he took out the Moruya road race at his very first attempt.

Moorby, who represents the Vikings Club, took out the 52-kilometre event in an impressive time of one hour, 40 minutes and eight seconds after starting from a six-minute handicap.

“It’s a nice course you guys put on here and I definitely love the finish,” an exhausted Moorby said just after the finish line.

“The course was just awesome. I loved the hills. It was a bit hot out there but the hillier it is, the better.”

Moorby handled the windy conditions perfectly and beat runner-up Con Toparis rather comfortably after the scene looked set for a tense sprint finish.

“The wind did make a difference,” Moorby said.

“You had to be a bit more careful about whether to go by yourself or not.”

The youngster from the capital only took up riding seriously in July and said he was a bit “nervous” before the race.

“It was my first open handicap event,” he said.

“I only started riding in July, so I was nervous, but I definitely enjoyed it and we might be back next year – we’ll see how it goes.”

Moorby finished 28 seconds ahead of his father Glenn, who took out third spot to round off a great day for the family.

Pre-race favourite and former Eurobodalla man Brendan Johnston made a bright start before fading away towards the end.

Perhaps that was understandable in the hot conditions after the Suzuki-Trek Cycling team star would have had to close a 23-minute gap with his massive handicap.

“The handicap race went off without a hitch although the increasing hot conditions did become a factor in the staying power of many riders,” Eurobodalla Cyclist Club member Stephan Brennan said. 

“Due to a clash with other events the participation rate was down this year, which meant some handicap groups, especially the back markers, were short of fire power making it difficult for them to factor into the finish.”

Some riders recorded temperatures of up to 42 degrees Celsius in their cockpits, Brennan added. 

However, he insisted that wasn’t the only reason for a large number of retirements throughout the race, citing the hilly Kiora course as another factor.

Troy Herfoss (Goulburn) and teenager Jacob Stuart (Nowra) recorded the fastest times of the day at a “very respectable” average speed of 38 km/h.

Lachlan Brown was the first Eurobodalla rider home when he finished in seventh place, while Jemma O’Brien was the fastest female.  

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