The 93rd edition of the Collie to Donnybrook and Return Cycle Classic was conducted by the Collie Cycle Club in near perfect racing conditions on Saturday afternoon.
The first four groups of limit riders started to break up very early as the climbs out of Collie saw these groups string out in bunches of two and three.
By the time they arrived at Mumballup a small group of riders had established at the front of the race and started to set a good pace.
By this time all back markers were on the road and had started at a fast pace. This had to be the plan if any of the middle markers were to keep in front of the scratchmen and finish in the podium places.
At the 40 kilometre point the back markers had made up a lot of time with scratch, one and three minute bunches taking 16 minutes back and riding strongly.
Heading into Donnybrook the lead bunch was still together and working well but the gap between them and the chasing groups was coming down.
A group of riders including some from the 23 minute bunch caught the lead bunch not long after turning in Donnybrook.
The lead bunch and back markers passed each other about 4km out of Donnybrook leaving an 8km gap, or 12 minutes between the lead and back markers.
The winner would come from this lead bunch of about 30 riders. As they approached the turn at Mumballup they were followed closely by a few smaller groups and a very large bunch containing the back markers.
The first climb up to the dam was a quiet one. This all changed on the next big climb at Mt Bonser with a very strong attack going off the front and four riders chasing the attack down over the next few kilometres.
Among the four was the only female at the front, Maria Madigan, who would hold on for fourth overall.
At this stage a powerful group of back markers was chasing strongly and gaining time so for the lead group of four it was heads down and push hard.
As these four riders turned into Throssell Street and lined up for a sprint finish the fast finishing back markers also entered the finishing straight, failing to feature in the podium places by only 100 metres.
Rob Dreghorn won the sprint from Steven Knight, Dean Holwill third and Maria Madigan in fourth place. Scratchman Tyler Lindorf rode fastest time, approximately 2 min outside the race record of 2hr 17min 46sec.