Hatton and Barnes take Brindabella MTB race

By Jeff Jones in Cotter Reserve

With over two and half minutes to second placed Dylan Cooper, and much bigger margins to the top five, 22 year-old Sydneysider Peter Hatton (Clarence St Cyclery) won the 55 km Brindabella Challenge mountain bike race. Hatton crossed the finish line in Cotter Reserve with plenty of time to savour his win as he completed the hilly but fast course in around two hours and twenty minutes.

The heavy rain that had plagued the organisers yesterday held off today, although it was cool and windy out on the course. "Yeah that was a good race," Hatton told Cyclingnews after crossing the line. "It was tough out there. I think because of all the rain, all the trails and surfaces were real boggy. Dylan was the same - he felt like he had a flat tyre all day and I thought my brakes were rubbing - it was just really slow. It got really cold too. I didn't want to slow down and cool down any more."

Riding on his brand new, twice-ridden Trek Top Fuel, Hatton was pleased with his time, saying that dry conditions would have made it even faster but adding, "The good thing was that on the descents the corners were really grippy."

Hatton is off to the USA to ride on the road for the Jittery Joe's team next season, which means mountain biking may take a back seat. "This is my last summer of being on the mountain bike I think," he said. "It will be secondary after this, but I'll always feel like a mountain biker." On his ambitions, he was unsure. "See what happens. Hopefully get over to Europe or something like that would be great. I don't know whether I'll enjoy being a pro yet. We'll see."

Second placed Dylan Cooper had plenty to spare over third place getter Brent Miller, and described the race. "Pete was driving it from the start. We had a lot of dudes hanging on that we knew wouldn't be there at the end, so he was just smashing it and caused a lot of splits in the bunch. So it was Pete and Brent (Miller) for a while, then I was with another dude for just the first bit, then I ended up on my own for the rest of it, so it looked like Pete dropped Brent pretty early as well and was on his own."

See the Brindabella Challenge mountain bike race brief results & report

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