- Repetition is the mother of skill as Justin Stott discovered when winning the Hastie Memorial 120km Millers Flat to Mosgiel race on Saturday. Clocking up hundreds of kilometres each week in preparation for the Tour of Southland has led to a superb level of fitness and a 10kilo weight loss. The 39 year old has really hit his straps in the last couple of years, winning titles at Age Group Track Nationals and notching a win recently in the elite Benchmark series. The Hastie Memorial has special significance for Stott as he was the inaugural winner in 1992 at age 18, and has waited 22 years to repeat the feat. On that day he fought it out with Gordon McCauley and Mark Spessot, who both featured on Saturday. Stott’s father, Dave, who started on limit on Saturday, revealed he has also won the race twice. Fenton Lambert, another two-time winner, was within striking distance on Saturday, only to be caught at Lindisfarne, 2 kilometres from the finish and rolled over in fifth. The reality is that a handicap race is difficult to win, so repeat wins of such a prestigious race are remarkable, but the race enticed Lambert back from Perth and provoked the older Stott to dust off his bike.
Saturday’s outcome was decided by a sprint amongst the 4 remnants of the break group, with Stott just edging out Nick Kergozou (Southland). Josh Haggerty posted fastest time with Liam Aitcheson next fastest in a swiftly moving scratch bunch that averaged over 45 kilometers an hour; by contrast the limit bunch averaged just over 30 kilometers an hour. Elyse Fraser was fastest woman while fastest masters were Gordon McCauley and Paula Hasler and fastest junior was Kergozou.