Contentious cycling race ends with ‘hooks’ being thrown in
ALLEGATIONS of dangerous riding fuelled an already heated rivalry during day two of the National Road Series in the 63km criterium held in sweltering conditions.
While temperatures were at 33 degrees, riders' tempers were simmering way above this with an alleged dangerous riding complaint due to an altercation in the final kilometre in the criterium around the industrial park south of Murwillumbah.
Jensen Plowright (Team BridgeLane) was the first rider over the finish line, but any celebration was cut short when a protest was made by ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast and Oliver's Real Food Racing about the result.
They alleged as riders were coming up for the fourth last corner, Plowright and Cameron Scott (ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast) were involved in a contentious racing incident, described as a 'hook'.
It appeared Plowright made an sudden inside-line move, overtook Scott on the left, then a bump and outwards move which left his rival to brake to avoid hitting the road.
Plowright took the win leaving Scott in third behind BridgeLane teammate Nick White.
Earlier, BridgeLane gave a tactical masterclass as they slotted Alistair Christie-Johnston in the break which ensured they controlled the move from the pelton's head.
However, as ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast worked hard to stay competitive through the final technical corners, BridgeLane hunkered down to keep them at bay.
Scott slid in near the BridgeLane train and took advantage of their slipstream.
But after chief commissaire Tony Torr viewed the incident after the stage and heard evidence from ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast and Oliver's Real Food Racing, he dismissed their complaint.
Torr decided against giving Plowright either a relegation or disqualification.
But ARA-Pro Racing Sunshine Coast men's sports director and former racing great Henk Vogels was furious after the finish.
Vogels told SBS Cycling: "If Jensen's (Plowright) deciding that it's OK to throw hooks like that, then it's game on for the rest of the week," he said.
"We both protested, the Oliver's team and I … if they're going to set a precedent we understand what that means."
Day thrree of the National Tour continues on Monday with a road stage starting and finishing in Tyalgum.