Cycling: Crooks uses hill climb to set up Portobello Tour win

Stu Crooks continued his run of good form to win the three-stage Portobello Tour on Saturday.

The novelty event, the brainchild of club cyclist Bill Allen, comprised a 9km time trial, a 600m hill climb and a 20km bunch race.

The first stage was won by junior Lachie McGregor, who averaged 44.3kmh to hammer out the time trial in 12min 12sec, with Crooks 27sec behind and Chris Harvey a further 19sec back.

However, it was on the 600m climb up Allens Beach Rd where Crooks made his mark, beating the bogey time of 2min 10sec by 13sec and gaining valuable bonus points.

The last stage was fast and furious and the inclusion of two sprint primes led to frenzied attacking. However, Crooks was able to accumulate enough points to comfortably seal his win.

In category two, Jordan Gilmore picked up maximum points in the time trial, with a 1sec lead over Muir Gold. Elyse Fraser was 19sec back, posting the fastest women's time of 13min 47sec. These placings remained intact during the next two stages.

In category three, newcomer Phil Gallagher carved out the time trial in 14min 12sec. Bryan Murray was 5sec behind. Dwayne Sheddan posted 14min 42sec and Ali Davies 14min 50sec.

Gallagher surpassed the bogey time of 3min 7sec by a massive 66sec, also beating the category one bogey time.

Gallagher won both sprint primes in the road race and was the overall winner from Murray and Sheddan.

- Jan Brosnahan