Time now to meet the Illawarra Cycle Club B Grade Club Champion, Dave Stewart. A reminder that the club champs were run and won on 24th August, 2019.
Is this the first time you’ve won the ICC club champs?
Yep, its my first time.
Explain how the race played out for you
It was a very different style race than usual, with tactics dominating it from start to finish, and I just followed suit. It was the exact opposite style race to what the A grade race was panning out to be on the other side of the road.
I think knowing and respecting my strong rivals, knowing my own strengths, and then putting my plan into action, made for the tight race it ended up being. It was also pretty windy too, but I like some wind rather than no wind, and it in itself definitely had its part to play on the way back into the start/finish.
It ended up being a 3 horse race with Rod L and Neil A, both very different riders, but very strong and experienced. It was just cat and mouse the whole race, with no one prepared to do an ounce of work more than they had to. A few small efforts were made by everyone, but the counter moves were swift and strong, I had a crack up marshall mount on lap 3 to test the legs, but knew it wasn’t going anywhere, so just backed it off, and it ended up staying together till the final and so had to back myself to outsprint the others. Luckily for me I had just enough to get myself over the line 1st.
What was your journey in to cycling?
I grew up surfing but eventually got frustrated by the lack of actual surfing I was doing when there weren’t any waves around, so wanted to get into something you could do rain/hail/ or shine A few mates of mine were competing at the national level of x-country mtb – and I just fell in love with it hard. With that, came a love of all things bike!
What is the most interesting place you’ve ever ridden a bike?
I loved riding in and around the Margaret River region in WA, so rugged and brutal, yet so stunning.
What is your favourite ride in the Illawarra?
I think the hills up behind Kiama on the road, and on the mtb – I can’t go past the view from the top of brokers nose.
Any advice to someone considering giving racing a go?
I think definitely do it. I love it, and am right in the middle of having a second wind at racing after having kids etc. I think ultimately you just need to make sure you enjoy riding first and foremost – racing will just naturally come about, the more you get into it.