Dave Watkinson may not yet have grand children, but when he does they will hear this story many times. Fresh from his stint in Japan where he must have been honing his skills as a samurai – Dave Watkinson turned up to Round 4 of the Cycle Nation Series at Heffron Park and promptly beat Chris Sutton – Tour of Spain Stage Winner and Team Sky sprinter in the final straight. Only Graeme Brown of Team Rabobank and some mug from Uni of NSW was able to out kick Dave ‘Neo Pro’ Watkinson.
As they came into the straight with 400 metres to go the UNSW ‘lad’ as Watto referred to him as – was clear in a late attack, with the bunch of sprinters rapidly closing in and most of the crowd looking on felt confident that Watto could take the cash and glory. After Rabobank super domestique Thomas Leezer had dragged most of the A graders around for a good turn, Sutton and Brown attacked with a little over a lap to go. With time remaining as they hit the straight, Graeme Brown of Rabobank decided that he would head to the left and kick off early with a few hundred remaining which can often be the fatal mistake at Heffron. Neo Pro Watkinson of MWCC knew that he would prefer to sit behind someone with a bit more hair on his head and decided to go with CJ Sutton of Team Sky on the right.
Now for the uninitiated it may have looked like Sutton sat up once Brown went clear, however as Dave told us at the finishing line – “it was only as I put the hammer down and came around CJ that he realised I was over powering him and hence he sat up dejected, knowing I was too strong.” For his efforts Dave stood on the podium and cracked open the champagne bottle and in turn earned himself a photo that will be taking front row centre on the mantel piece in front of the wedding photo. He also picked up a handy cheque for his work which dwarfed his usual teachers salary.
The photo shows it all – Watkinson on the podium only beaten by another lucky escapee and one of the biggest cycling teams in the world. Behind him was another cycling behemoth in Team Sky looking on dejected knowing that they were beaten by the stronger man.