Tour of Bright Race report

December 6, 2023

The 2023 edition of the legendary Tour of Bright will go down as one with amazing performances, determined efforts, bad luck and epic weather. A hardy band of 7 Vikings lined up across 6 grades, with a total of 5 debutants. As the great Vikings Simon Claringbold is fond of saying: “getting to the start line is half the race”. So well done to all riders for making the journey from both a training and travel point of view.

Stormy skies greeted riders on Saturday as they rolled out on the famous ‘Gaps Loop’ stage. While the racing was on in earnest, the weather also had a part to play. Everyone seemed to get over Rosewhite Gap without getting too wet, but for most bunches this changed after the descent. The normally baking hot trip up the Kiewa Valley Highway turned into a series of epic rain bursts. The good news was that bunches generally rode sensibly in the wet. While everyone got soaked, it wasn’t cold until you reached the top – just as well some people got there extra quick!

Vikings excelled on the Tawonga Gap summit finish, with Andrew Foster (Mens Masters B) the pick of the results with a brilliant 5th place. Hugo Young (C grade) managed 7th, but will have to work on his Rosewhite Gap descending skills to climb further up the podium. And Zoe Sinclair (Womens C) also rode well for 8th place.

After a big effort on Tawonga the stage 2 Time Trial is aways tough in the afternoon. The showers were still around – some got a dry run in, others got wet. Our Vikings put in solid times with most holding their position in the General Classification (GC) going into Sunday’s Queen Stage: Mt Buffalo.

It’s the Queen Stage for a reason: a solid hour of climbing at your limit always decides the Tour of Bright champions. Hugo Young stunned the C grade field, pinning the ears back early and taking the stage win – well done Hugo! Andrew Foster (who’s form went vertical in the weeks leading up to Bright) also contested for the win in a three-up sprint for the line, coming away with 2nd place on the stage. Andrew’s Bright debut featured a podium GC finish in 3rd place, and a 2nd place in the King of the Mountains classification. A well deserved result after a lot of hard work and training. Chapeau! Felix Koninx, who’s form-build mirrored Andrew’s, suffered some very bad luck after puncturing on the last day – don’t worry Felix your Bright destiny is still to be written.

And as usual “stage 4” at the Bright Brewery is always a great way to top off the weekend.

And so concludes another Tour of Bright campaign – the best stage race on the amateur racing calendar. Congratulations to all riders. If you’re thinking of doing this race next year, be sure to ask the debutants how they went – I’m pretty sure they’ll all be back!


Women’s C Grade

  • Zoe Sinclair – GC 8th (on debut)

Mens B Grade

  • Felix Koninx – GC 53rd (on debut)

Mens Masters B Grade

  • Andrew Foster – GC 3rd, KOM 2nd (on debut)
  • Michael Rosser – GC 13th

Mens C Grade

  • Hugo Young – GC 6th, Queen Stage winner, KOM 2nd (on debut)

Mens Masters C Grade

  • Sam Cuninghame – GC 23rd

Mens Masters 6

  • Col Young – 13th (on debut)