Just two points separate series leader Justin Gassner of Lightsview and Jack Sutton of Oliver’s Real Food Racing in the men's competition ahead of the final round of competition. Gassner took the lead in the series by a solitary point after his Lightsview team rode a strong race in the team time trial at Lenswood.
In Round 7 – a Lightsview controlled bunch had let a breakaway slip away and eat up the majority of the points on offer with Jarrad Drizners (SASI) taking his second win for the series. Gassner and Sutton both wanted the remaining points in the bunch sprint and to the naked eye it looked like Sutton had closed the gap.
The finish line camera would show that it was, in fact, Gassner who had taken the upper hand by the narrowest of margins, giving him a slightly bigger, but still incredibly slender, lead going into the final round.
This isn’t the first time that Sutton has found himself in this vaunted position. In 2016, Sutton was locked in a two-way battle with Gassner’s then teammate Russel van Hout. Van Hout, a former Australian Champion and Giro d’Italia star used a combination of team tactics and brute force to overcome the newcomer in Sutton. Now two years on from this battle, Sutton is much more experienced after spending the last two seasons racing with Oliver’s across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Asked whether this experience has motivated him to overcome Gassner, Sutton replied: “Absolutely, the Lightsview boys will no doubt make it hard, but I’m looking forward to it!”
The final round of competition is a street circuit around the soon to be complete AV Jennings development of St Clair and includes tight turns, flowing straights amongst a tranquil urban backdrop, set to be run on Sunday December 9.