On a beautiful weekend in late May, an Illawarra local did the region proud by taking the top spot in the venerable Ken Dinnerville Memorial Handicap. Illawarra Cycle Club rider Darren Robertson admitted he had to ‘put my head down and give everything I had’ to leave behind the disappointment of his 8th spot finish in last year’s 60th anniversary race.
Darren, the other riders, fans and supporters were delighted with the lovely cycling weather in late autumn, which contrasted so favourably with the harsher conditions at the 2017 event. Riding his trusty new Giant Propel Disc bike, Darren edged out Robert Langridge of Vikings Cycle Club (ACT) and Keith Harris of Hunter District Cycle Club. Neil Arnold was the second member of the Illawarra Cycle Club in the top ten, taking 9th spot, while Mark Morgan, also of ICC, rode in at 12th.
A solid Illawarra tradition since its inception, the Ken Dinnerville race rose out of the decision by local personality Roy Cleary all those years ago to turn a tragedy into a sporting celebration. Mr Cleary was Ken’s uncle, who, following the untimely death of the young, promising cyclist in an accident with mentor Ken Hobbs’ car, resolved to honour his nephew’s memory by launching the first race in ’57. The family’s involvement has continued religiously over the decades: Ken’s aunt Noelene Cleary has been presenting the winner’s trophy each year.
As a leading Illawarra business and avid supporter of local cycling, SOTO would like to congratulate all participants and organisers of the Ken Dinnerville Memorial Handicap.