Image courtesy Darryl Griffiths

Popular cycling journeyman Joel Pearson notched the bravest performance of his impressive career today with his second victory in the Eastern Oak Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic.

The red-haired, freckle-faced Pearson, 28, who also won the 262km classic in 2009, triumphed by 13 seconds from the rising star of Australian bike racing, Nathan Haas, with the unheralded Victorian Luke Fetch third.

“This is a dream, the biggest thrill of my life,” the jubilant Pearson told a large rain-drenched crowd at the finish line in Warrnambool’s Raglan Parade.

“I don’t think I have ever won a decent race in a solo breakaway before. This is a new one for me.”

Pearson and Fetch defied rain and strong headwinds to spurt clear of a leading group of 25 riders about 15 kilometres from Warrnambool but it was the experienced New South Welshman who found the extra grit to unload his younger rival and power home alone for the final 10kms.

With three of his Genesys Wealth Advisers team-mates – Haas, Patrick Shaw and Steele Von Hoff – back pedalling in the chasing bunch, Pearson was smiling well before he reached the finish.

“I have been playing second fiddle to the likes of Nathan and Steele this year,” Pearson said. “I was happy to do that, but to win a second Warrnambool is an incredible feeling.”

The victory was timely for Pearson, whose only major triumph since his ’09 Warrnambool win was in the eight-day Tour of the Murray River last year.

He crashed when looking a likely winner of the Australian open criterium championship in Ballarat in January, won a couple of minor races in France later on, then suffered the indignity of falling six times when trying to defend his Murray Tour crown in August.

“I’m embarrassed by all those crashes,” he said. “I don’t even want to talk about them.”

Pearson managed to avoid several falls in today’s 210-man contest, which started in buffeting winds at Werribee racecourse and concluded in driving rain.

Despite the conditions, there were still 160 riders in the main peleton as the field approached Camperdown for the Victorian 200km championship, held in conjunction with the Warrnambool, but severe climbs through the lakes and craters region south of the township, trashed the bunch.

Victorian Adam Murchie was a surprise winner of the 200km title.

Pearson’s winning time of 7 hours 24 minutes 14 secs was one of the slowest recorded since the 116-year-old classic became a massed start event in 1996, but his effort was applauded by his team-mates.

“We are excited for Joel,” said Haas whose recent triumphs include the Tour of Tasmania, Herald Sun Tour and Japan Cup.

“Joel is one of the good guys.”

Saturday, October 29
Distance: 262.0 km

General Classification
1. Joel PEARSON (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 7h24:14
2. Nathan HAAS (Genesys Wealth Advisers) +13
3. Luke FETCH (Search2Retain) +15
4. Samuel DAVIS (Plan B Racing) +15
5. Steele VON HOFF (Genesys Wealth Advisers) +36
6. Luke DAVISON (Team Budget Forklifts) +36
7. Bradeley HALL (Plan B Racing) +36
8. Chris JORY (Bikebug.com) +36
9. Brendan JOHNSTON (Suzuki Trek) +36
10. Nicholas MITCHELL (Wyndham City Council) +36
11. Charles HOWLETT (Search2Retain) +36
12. Russell GILL (Eastern Oak) +36
13. Steven WAITE (Flagstaff Hill) +36
14. Jason SPENCER (Team Budget Forklifts) +36
15. Dylan HATELY (Eastern Oak) +36
16. Stephen FAIRLESS (Eastern Oak) +36
17. Sam RUTHERFORD (Bikebug.com) +36
18. George TANSLEY (Sasi/Team O’Grady) +36
19. Mark O’BRIEN (Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race) +45
20. Jay BOURKE (Search2Retain) +45
21. Patrick SHAW (Genesys Wealth Advisers) +45
22. Tom LEAPER (Wyndham City Council) +54
23. Joshua TAYLOR (Bikebug.com) +1:53
24. Adam MURCHIE (Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital) +5:00
25. Andrew CHRISTIE (Tifosi Eyewear) +5:49
26. Edward WHITE (Bikebug.com) +5:49
27. Anthony KELLEN (Wyndham City Council) +5:49
28. Travers NUTTALL (Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital) +5:49
29. Danny KAH (Cycling-Inform Team) +5:49
30. Aaron SALISBURY (Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital) +5:49
31. Harry CARPENTER (Sasi/Team O’Grady) +5:49
32. Benjamin JOHNSON (Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital) +5:49
33. Joel STEARNES (Warrnambool City Council) +5:49
34. Jason RIGG (Genesys Wealth Advisers) +5:49
35. Mark GUIRGUIS (Sole Devotion) +5:49
36. Scott MCPHEE (Sasi/Team O’Grady) +5:49
37. Rene KOLBACH (John West Cycling) +5:55
38. Lachlan AMBROSE (Warrnambool City Council) +5:55
39. Andrew MARTIN (Plan B Racing) +6:02
40. Brian MCLEOD (Team Budget Forklifts) +6:02
41. Matthew LLOYD (Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race) +6:14
42. Kel CHAFFEY-JONES (Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race) +12:55
43. Joel STRACHAN (Tkm Slattery) +12:55
44. Nick BENSLEY (Sole Devotion) +12:55
45. Conan DALEY (Sew-Eurodrive) +12:55
46. Callum FAGG (Warrnambool City Council) +12:55
47. Luke AGGETT (Eastern Oak) +12:55
48. Brendan ROWBOTHAM (Cycling-Inform Team) +12:55
49. Ben WHITE (Tkm Slattery) +12:55
50. James LOVE (Ma Cycling – Jarasport) +12:55
51. James BENNETT (John West Cycling) +12:55
52. Reece STEPHENS (Tkm Slattery) +12:55
53. David MULHALL (Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital) +12:55
54. Daniel STRAUSS (Zoom Video Racing) +12:55
55. Luigi VECCHIO (Wyndham City Council) +12:55
56. Kyle MARWOOD (Genesys Wealth Advisers) +12:55
57. Pascal LUSSIER-DUQUETTE (Ma Cycling – Jarasport) +12:55
58. Steven ROBB (Search2Retain) +12:55
59. Trent STEVENSON (Eastern Oak) +12:55
60. Tim HUCKER (Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race) +12:55
61. Josh EGBERS (Flagstaff Hill) +12:55
62. Mitchell FLYNN (Suzuki Trek) +12:55
63. Dave EDWARDS (Evolution Cycles) +12:55
64. Steven PILSON (John West Cycling) +12:55
65. Gabriel CAREY (Independent Cranes) +12:55
66. Julian HAMILL (Bikebug.com) +12:55
67. Rowan DEVER (John West Cycling) +12:55
68. Michael CUPITT (Team Budget Forklifts) +12:55
69. Chris BEECK (Plan B Racing) +12:55
70. Christopher JOUSTRA (Latrobe City Cycling Club) +12:55
71. Michael KNOFF (John West Cycling) +13:05
72. David TOZER (Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race) +13:05
73. Andrew HUTCHESON (Flagstaff Hill) +24:06
74. Timshel KNOLL-MILLER (Warrnambool Sheetmetal) +24:06
75. Michal KRODKIEWSKI (Tkm Slattery) +24:09
76. Cameron WINTON (Tifosi Eyewear) +24:11
77. Simon KNOWLES (Ma Cycling – Jarasport) +24:13
78. Samuel RIX (Lady Bay Resort) +24:14
79. Kane FRASER (Shipwreck Coast Marketing) +29:48
80. Cameron MCDONALD (Zoom Video Racing) +29:48
81. William RAISIN-SHAW (Sole Devotion) +29:51
82. Ryan MACANALLY (Team Budget Forklifts) +29:53
83. Michael BROWN (Zoom Video Racing) +29:56
84. Brendan MAHONY (Tifosi Eyewear) +29:56
85. Fraser NORTHEY (Sasi/Team O’Grady) +29:59
86. Boon YEO (Tifosi Eyewear) +30:01
87. Geoffrey ROBERTSON (Footscray Cycling Club) +30:06
88. Ben JAMES (Lady Bay Resort) +32:38
89. Brad JAMES (6am-ers Cycling) +32:38
90. Mat TIPPETT (Evolution Cycles) +32:38
91. Mitchell LOVELOCK-FAY (Warrnambool City Council) +32:38
92. Daniel GAFA (Latrobe City Cycling Club) +32:38
93. Tim JONES (Cheese World) +33:35
94. Karl EVANS (Eastern Oak) +33:36
95. Lee TURNER (Sole Devotion) +38:02
96. Anthony SEIPOLT (Lady Bay Resort) +38:02
97. Michael SKERRITT (Vip Packaging) +38:02
98. Matt HAND (The Standard) +38:02
99. Tony MCGANN (Radio 3YB) +38:02
100. Paul LA CAVA (Independent Cranes) +38:22
101. Mitchell COOPER (Ma Cycling – Jarasport) +40:26
102. Matthew OPPERMAN (Tifosi Eyewear) +40:26
103. Iain CLARK (The Standard) +40:26
104. Lewis GARLAND (Sew-Eurodrive) +40:26
105. Neil ROBINSON (Cheese World) +40:26
106. Nicholas MCENIRY (Tkm Slattery) +40:26
107. Jack CARECOS (Independent Cranes) +40:26
108. Jake MORGAN (Warrnambool Sheetmetal) +40:26
109. Chris HALLEY (Shipwreck Coast Marketing) +40:26
110. William MURRAY (Footscray Cycling Club) +40:26
111. Brett VAN BERKL (Latrobe City Cycling Club) +40:26
112. Neale ADAMS (Radio 3YB) +40:26
113. Paul VOLK (Shipwreck Coast Marketing) +40:26
114. Glenn SCHOER (Latrobe City Cycling Club) +40:26
115. Gus GOLLINGS (6am-ers Cycling) +40:26
116. John MARCAN (Vip Packaging) +40:26
117. Andrew CAUNE (Evolution Cycles) +40:26
118. Vince CONDELLO (Crino Cycles) +40:26
119. John DAM (Crino Cycles) +40:26
120. Tim MCGRATH (Sole Devotion) +40:26
121. Peter APPS (Tifosi Eyewear) +40:26
122. Philip TURNBULL (Lady Bay Resort) +40:26
123. Stephen BOMBALL (Suzuki Trek) +40:26
124. Nicholas SQUILLARI (Cheese World) +40:36
125. Caleb JONES (Bikebug.com) +40:36
126. Colin BELL (Vip Packaging) +42:47
127. Paul HEARNE (Shipwreck Coast Marketing) +43:21
128. Rian DOUGLAS (Ma Cycling – Jarasport) +51:22
129. Liam MCCRORY (Ma Cycling – Jarasport) +51:25
130. Alejandro JIMENEZ (Independent Cranes) +53:31
131. Daryl STEWART (Radio 3YB) +54:50
132. Brad FOGG (6am-ers Cycling) +1h12:46
133. Gavin DE KRETSER (Ma Cycling – Jarasport) +1h12:51
134. Thomas MCDONOUGH (Crino Cycles) +1h12:54
135. James O’KEEFE (The Standard) +1h22:10
136. Glynn MATTHEY (Vip Packaging) +1h31:15
137. Patrick MCINTYRE (Vip Packaging) +1h31:15
138. Erich GSTREIN (Radio 3YB) +1h31:15
139. Glen BOWEN (The Standard) +1h31:15

dnf Anthony GIACOPPO (Genesys Wealth Advisers)
dnf Nathan EARLE (Genesys Wealth Advisers)
dnf Peter LADD (Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race)
dnf Andrew CRAWLEY (Bikebug.com)
dnf Jake MAGEE (Bikebug.com)
dnf Peter HERZIG (Team Budget Forklifts)
dnf Chris SAVAGE (Team Budget Forklifts)
dnf Michael VERHEYEN (Plan B Racing)
dnf Steven DEL GALLO (John West Cycling)
dnf William LIND (Suzuki Trek)
dnf Ivan MICHELIN-BEARD (Suzuki Trek)
dnf Tom DONALD (Search2Retain)
dnf Phillip MUNDY (Sasi/Team O’Grady)
dnf Andrew ROE (Sasi/Team O’Grady)
dnf Nicholas D’AMBROSIO (Eastern Oak)
dnf Tom PATON (Wyndham City Council)
dnf Michael SMITH (Wyndham City Council)
dnf Andrei TONELLO (Wyndham City Council)
dnf Rhys GILLETT (Warrnambool City Council)
dnf Jacob SUTHERLAND (Warrnambool City Council)
dnf Harry HANLEY (Cycling-Inform Team)
dnf James BELL (Footscray Cycling Club)
dnf Adam TREWIN (Footscray Cycling Club)
dnf Nathan WILSON (Footscray Cycling Club)
dnf Trevor PERRY (Footscray Cycling Club)
dnf Justin MATTHEWS (Ma Cycling – Jarasport)
dnf Byron DAVY (Tkm Slattery)
dnf Adrian JACKSON (Tkm Slattery)
dnf Andrew CLARK (Zoom Video Racing)
dnf Wesley CORDINGLEY (Zoom Video Racing)
dnf Leigh CLIFFORD (Sew-Eurodrive)
dnf Anthony FEWSTER (Sew-Eurodrive)
dnf Dermot HEALY (Sew-Eurodrive)
dnf David KELLY (Lady Bay Resort)
dnf Ben HILLEARD (Lady Bay Resort)
dnf Peter MALCOLM (Lady Bay Resort)
dnf Reece-Emerson VAN BEEK (Lady Bay Resort)
dnf Tim CLAEYS (Tifosi Eyewear)
dnf Ben AIGNER (Crino Cycles)
dnf Brent HALL (Crino Cycles)
dnf James CIUFFETELLI (Crino Cycles)
dnf Tony PIACQUADIO (Evolution Cycles)
dnf Daniel STANDEN (Evolution Cycles)
dnf Samuel BEVERIDGE (Latrobe City Cycling Club)
dnf Wayne FLINT (6am-ers Cycling)
dnf Richard READ (6am-ers Cycling)
dnf Benjamin DOUGLAS (Warrnambool Sheetmetal)
dnf John FORREST (Warrnambool Sheetmetal)
dnf Vincent GELUWIE (Warrnambool Sheetmetal)
dnf Peter CLARKE (Cheese World)
dnf Tony ESCOTT (Independent Cranes)
dnf Ross HAMILTON (Independent Cranes)
dnf Mitchell ALLEN (Vip Packaging)
dnf Sam EVANS (The Standard)
dnf Peter MARKEY (The Standard)
dnf Gary MCLENNAN (Radio 3YB)
dnf Peter MAY (Radio 3YB)
dnf Gareth KNIGHT (Flagstaff Hill)
dnf Peter REID (Flagstaff Hill)
dnf Jason FARNELL (Shipwreck Coast Marketing)
dnf Ray FORBES (Shipwreck Coast Marketing)
dnf Antony DIMITROVSKI (Warrnambool City Council)

dns Alexander MALONE (Bikebug.com)
dns Chris JONGEWAARD (Team Budget Forklifts)
dns Samuel WITMITZ (Warrnambool City Council)
dns Rodney ANDONOPOULOS (Sew-Eurodrive)
dns Danny COHEN (Sew-Eurodrive)
dns Steven MARTIN (Sew-Eurodrive)
dns Mike EDGAR (Crino Cycles)
dns Matthew GSTREIN (Warrnambool Sheetmetal)
dns Tim O’LEARY (Cheese World)
dns Derek BOGAERT (Cheese World)
dns Daniel CHALHOUB (Flagstaff Hill)

Average speed of the winner: 35.39 km/h
Number of starters: 201
Riders abandoning the race: 62

Wyndham City Council Victorian 200km Championship
1. Adam MURCHIE (Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital) 5h37:01
2. Joel PEARSON (Genesys Wealth Advisers) +0
3. Charles HOWLETT (Search2Retain) +0

SEW Eurodrive Sprint Championship
1. Julian HAMILL (Bikebug.com) 24
2. Mitchell LOVELOCK-FAY (Warrnambool City Council) 12
3. Michael CUPITT (Team Budget Forklifts) 11
4. Stephen FAIRLESS (Eastern Oak) 7
5. Joel PEARSON (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 5
6. Kyle MARWOOD (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 5
7. Joshua TAYLOR (Bikebug.com) 4
8. Charles HOWLETT (Search2Retain) 4
9. Patrick SHAW (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 4
10. Steven WAITE (Flagstaff Hill) 4
11. Sam RUTHERFORD (Bikebug.com) 3
12. Steven PILSON (John West Cycling) 3
13. Luke FETCH (Search2Retain) 3
14. Nicholas MITCHELL (Wyndham City Council) 3
15. Nathan HAAS (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 3
16. Adam MURCHIE (Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital) 2
17. Edward WHITE (Bikebug.com) 2
18. Tom LEAPER (Wyndham City Council) 2
19. Luke DAVISON (Team Budget Forklifts) 1
20. Jason SPENCER (Team Budget Forklifts) 1
21. Jason RIGG (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 1
22. Russell GILL (Eastern Oak) 1
23. Dylan HATELY (Eastern Oak) 1
24. Tim JONES (Cheese World) 1
25. Mark O’BRIEN (Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race) 1
26. Luigi VECCHIO (Wyndham City Council) 1
dnf Anthony GIACOPPO (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 2
dnf Peter HERZIG (Team Budget Forklifts) 9

Lady Bay Resort King of the Mountains
1. Mitchell LOVELOCK-FAY (Warrnambool City Council) 12
2. Julian HAMILL (Bikebug.com) 8
3. Joel PEARSON (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 7
4. Adam MURCHIE (Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital) 5
5. Russell GILL (Eastern Oak) 3
6. Luke FETCH (Search2Retain) 3
7. Kyle MARWOOD (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 2
8. Jason SPENCER (Team Budget Forklifts) 2
9. Michael CUPITT (Team Budget Forklifts) 1
10. George TANSLEY (Sasi/Team O’Grady) 1
11. Charles HOWLETT (Search2Retain) 1
dnf Anthony GIACOPPO (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 1
dnf Nathan EARLE (Genesys Wealth Advisers) 3
dnf Peter HERZIG (Team Budget Forklifts) 2
dnf Rhys GILLETT (Warrnambool City Council) 1

Teams Classification
1. Genesys Wealth Advisers 22h13:31
2. Search2Retain +47
3. Eastern Oak +59
4. Bikebug.com +2:16
5. Plan B Racing +6:04
6. Team Budget Forklifts +6:25
7. Wyndham City Council +6:30
8. Sasi/Team O’Grady +11:25
9. Bikebug.Com – Forza Capital +15:49
10. Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race +19:05
11. Warrnambool City Council +23:50
12. John West Cycling +30:56
13. Flagstaff Hill +36:48
14. Tkm Slattery +37:56
15. Sole Devotion +47:46
16. Ma Cycling – Jarasport +49:14
17. Suzuki Trek +53:08
18. Tifosi Eyewear +59:07
19. Zoom Video Racing +1h11:50
20. Evolution Cycles +1h25:10
21. Latrobe City Cycling Club +1h25:10
22. Independent Cranes +1h30:54
23. Lady Bay Resort +1h34:05
24. Shipwreck Coast Marketing +1h49:51
25. Cheese World +1h53:48
26. Vip Packaging +2h00:26
27. Radio 3YB +2h12:29
28. 6am-ers Cycling +2h25:01
29. Crino Cycles +2h32:57
30. The Standard +2h39:49