Klem defends stage three Gold Fever le Tour title
Townsville cyclist Christopher Klem has defended his 2011 Gold Fever le Tour 120km stage three title with a blistering ride of two hours, 44 minutes 46 seconds.
Klem and more than 120 cyclists rode the Flinders Highway between Charters Towers and Oak Valley on Saturday in ideal racing conditions, and it was Klem who crossed the line first to win the highly prized Goldfields to Paradise leg.
Klem said he sealed the victory with a strong ride home in the event's last 20 kilometres.
"Our plan was to be really agressive from the start and break the field up a bit, and at the 30km myself and two other teammates were able to break away from the pack," he said.
"It was very cold to start with and I think it got down to one degree, so for the first 20 kilometres I was just trying to get the body working properly, but they were really nice conditions in the end.
I was quietly confident going into the race, but this was a really good field this year and I'm not one to go around boasting about my form, so it was good to get it."
Klem was part of the Brisbane based team Pensar Hawk Racing, which featured fellow Townsville cyclist and overall Gold Fever le Tour champion Bevan Mason.
Mason was the weekend's most consistent rider and was in the mix for the event's three stages, including Saturday morning's time trial, and put the icing on Pensar Hawk's le Tour.
Townsville road racing veteran Ruth Corset also featured in the weekend's event and competed with Klem and Mason in the Pensar team.
Klem said he would now focus his energies into next weekend's time trial with the Townsville Cycling Club, and then next month's Strand Criterium.
"I can't go to Brisbane for other events due to work commitments, but there's still plenty of racing to look forward to," he said.
Race organiser Les Preston said next year's le Tour could be even bigger considering that the weekend's event experienced a two-fold increase in numbers from 2011. "Everything about the weekend was supurb," he said.