Hello Vets,

In this week’s Bleat;

  • Heat Warning
  • From the desk of the handicapper
  • Interstate Events
  • Registration Renewal for 2018
  • Racing this Week
  • Race Reports

Please send me your contributions at: TheBleat@actvets.cc

Ian Morton

Heat Warning


The temperature for tomorrow’s Crit Race (23rd Jan) is forecast to reach 36 degrees.

Members are urged to take care in the hot conditions. Ensure you drink plenty of water before, during and after the race.

Riders who feel unwell during the race should stop and seek assistance from the First Aid attendant.

From the desk of the handicapper

This week’s Promotions;
– Michael Brice D to C

Riding down a grade

Summary: We have grades to ensure fair racing as much as possible. Riders competing in a grade lower grade than normal should respect the abilities of those riders and not seek to upset the dynamic of the race or deliberately thrash the entire grade.

The club has a grading system to ensure that scratch and handicap races can be as fair as possible but take into consideration that everyone’s form varies, not many riders are strong on every course and there is usually quite a gap between the fastest and slowest rider in each grade. A and G grades have no upper and lower limits, respectively, so can be challenging grades to compete in. Riders coming back from a break or wanting to have a ride in a lower grade because of time constraints should normally consult with the handicapper (Rob Langridge), a committee member of race director beforehand. If riding in a lower grade, competitors must respect the dynamic of the lower grade race by not closing breaks or attacking the bunch. They should mainly sit at the back. Most riders rarely win races so you can imagine that although we are not riding for sheep stations, it still would annoying to come second to a rider from a higher grade who shouldn’t have been vying for the top positions at all. Please respect your competitors by riding in the correct grade or non-competing for the podium if riding in a lower grade.

Rob Langridge

Interstate Events

  • 2018 Tolland Open Handicap Weekend
    3-4 March
    Saturday: 90km Handicap & Sunday: 72km Handicap.
    $17,000 in Cash & $3,000 in Prizes. Entry Fee: $52.
    Entries Close: Wednesday 21st February 2018.
    For All Enquiries Please Contact Club President – Barry O’Hagan 0431 919 803.

Registration Renewal for 2018

Note: For new members who registered after 1 Oct 2017, your membership is valid up until the end of 2018.

2018 membership renewals are due. To renew, go to https://memberdesq.sportstg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main&OrgID=10244 or follow the prompts via our website www.actvets.cc. Click on the Login link and enter the username and password from last year. If you have forgotten your login and password , after clicking on ‘login’ – go to the tab at the top right hand side of the screen and click on ‘Username & Password’ – then forward your email address as requested in the box that will appear. SportsTG will then forward you the information.

You need to renew your membership prior to your first race in 2018.

As a courtesy to those committee members who work hard to ensure the club complies with the terms of our insurance cover and also produce the race results, please renew your membership at least 2 days prior to racing. Membership costs are:

  • A full competitive membership for 2018 is $110
  • A full competitive membership for a sight impaired tandem cyclist for 2018 is $95
  • Non competitive membership for 2018 is $5

Upon renewal, your 2018 licence will be emailed to you direct from SportsTG. Please print out a copy and it is suggested that you laminate it or place it in plastic for future reference during the year ahead. You will need to show this licence if you enter events run by other Veteran Cycling Clubs or the AVCC.

Please ensure that your personal particulars are always kept up to date, in particular your emergency contact details. For those members with First Aid qualifications please also update the site. It is a member’s responsibility to keep these updated via the SportsTG website.

Kirsti McVay
Membership Secretary


Tuesday, 23rd January: Stromlo Criterium

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
A/C 5:50 A 45m+2, C 40m+2
B/D 6:40 B 45m+2, D 40m+2
E/F/G 7:15 30 min + 2 laps

Race Director:  Ben Davis Contact: Email: bdavis@internode.on.net    Ph  0416 014 629

Track Racing

Wednesday, 24th January: Track Racing

The Program for Wednesday is as follows:
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.20pm: 10-lap graded scratch race;
6.20pm – 6.50pm: 1 Lap Screamer TT;
6.50pm – 7.10pm: 2-lap handicap;
7.10pm – 7.30pm: Italian pursuit

Road Racing

Road Racing will resume on the 4th February.

Upcoming Marshal Roster

Basically anyone who raced in 2017 will be required to marshal at least 1 race throughout the 2018 season. Marshals are critical to the running of events through the helping of finish line duties, driving trail/lead cars, turn points and setting up/packing up. The marshal assignment schedule for the first 6 months of the year is below. It is also on the race calendar and you receive an email advising you of it several weeks in advance, so there should be no excuses to missing your allocated race. If you are unavailable for your allocated race you need to organize a swap with another rider and advise the race committee (race.committee@actvets.cc).

Date Event Marshals
4th Feb Tidbinbilla Handicap Ben Davis
11th Feb Old Federal Highway Andrew Chamberlain, Liz Lowe, Gerald Van Ewyk, Chris Kon
4th March Uriarra Homestead Lindsay Graham
18th March Old Federal Highway Matt Hinchcliffe, Tess McLachlan, John Lowe, Rosemary Robinson
25th March Uriarra Roubaix Peter Marshall
7th April Cooma James Curran, Jarrod Cook, Andrew Matz, Kevin Wells
14th April Uriarra Peter Young
21st April Lookout Hill Brian Chugg
28th April Orroral Valley Bruce Jones
12th May Smiths Rd/Apollo TT Ben Healy
19th May Dog Trap Rd Daniel Grillo, Robert Miller, Peter Klein, Jan Koehler
2nd June Old Federal Highway Bernie Crowe, Adam Potts, Alwyn Chilver, Steve Crispin
16th June Pierces Creek Chris Short
23rd June Honeysuckle Creek Michael Carr
30th June Lookout Hill Rainer Wilton


Stromlo – 16th January

If this had been a sailing race then everyone would have welcomed the stiff breeze with gusts around 20+ knots, however for a cycle race not so desirable. Regardless there were 93 entries on the night with B grade registering the largest peloton with 23 and D Grade with 22 riders. Bernie Crowe once again had a solo effort in G grade.

B and D grades were off first, and while there were lots of attacks in B grade from the outset they were soon swallowed up as a lone rider or two could not sustain the effort into the breeze. The pace was on as evidence by the 5 DNF’s. David Medlock who earlier had to bridge the gap across to Taylor and Minehan took out first position followed by Peter Taylor and Tim Minehan in third. D grade rode mostly as a pack, though splits did occur and at times looked like two bunches, but all brought back together again each time until the end, though a few riders including the tandem could not hold on and were shelled out the back by about half way through. D grade was taken out by Michael Brice followed by Steven Simms with Elton Carneio in third.

One point of contention during the race was with B grade overtaking D grade. With the two largest groups on the track it was rather messy as there were no clear calls for passing from either group. This resulted in the two groups mixed and what looked like from the sidelines like a close call of near rear enders. For everyone’s safety, it is vital to call out when overtaking, both those overtaking and those in the ‘slower’ group. Admittedly, this happened head on into a stiff breeze, so calls may not have carried forward sufficiently for those ahead to keep to one side.

Then there was another incident when an ‘international’ (possibly limited English?) person was walking on the track with D grade spread right across the width and bearing down fast on the unsuspecting pedestrian. Ian McVay vigorously attempted to wave him off but to no avail and the fellow turned around and took a step further onto the track to look back just as the riders were on him. Fortunately evasive action was taken and without incident, though Simon our First Aid officer was gearing up for some serious work. Later in the evening with A grade racing another pedestrian with no English walked across the track. Ian, not to be outdone this time, raced up and physically escorted the fellow off the track and showed him the safe place to cross. However there were no kangaroos to contend with!

Next up it was E/F/G grades. E grade was joined by John Marinov from D grade for the night, and while he rode very strongly and outpaced all of E grade by a large margin – nearly a lap, he did say at the end that he should not be included in the ‘official’ results. Therefore from a grade perspective Kevin Newhouse took out first place with our only visitor for the night Kim Pederson in second and John Ignatius in third. Quite a few of E grade riders suffered from the pace and the breeze to break up into smaller groups such as Rosemary Robinson and Ian Morton making a good team effort. Bernie Crowe started with F grade, but soon tailed off to ride his solo routine. Meanwhile Penelope Anderson and Mike Hays kept up the pressure and Paul Robey and David Witteveen were off the back after about 4 laps. David, realising his position made a valiant effort to bridge the gap, though used up a lot of energy that took its toll in the final lap. Mike Hayes made a very strong challenge with a big sprint for the line but Penelope Anderson held on by a tyre width for the closest sprint finish for the night.

With the sun getting ever lower towards the horizon, A and C grades set off. Mark Terracini was the first to attack in A grade but was quickly reeled in. Nicholas Stewart attacked and was joined by Lewis Cressey and Rowan McMurray for a while. There were numerous attacks as riders tried to get bridge, only to be caught again, especially when the remaining peloton turned into the wind and used their combined force compared to power down the track. In the end the consistency of Nicholas Stewart won the day, with Mark Harris who had managed to break away from the rest in second and Lewis Cressey was a close third.

C grade had several times when small groups formed out the front, only to be brought back together again. Corey Bacon managed a spell out in front, only to be reeled in like the others. Chris Daly proved to be the quickest on the line to take out the win with Reg Sheridan who had been in the lead with about 20 minutes to go in second and John Stokman held out for third.

Thanks to Ian McVay for assisting on the line and Kirsti with the sign on and both for helping with the set-up and pack down, and Simon Whithead for first aid, which fortunately was not needed.

Bob Miller

Narrabundah Track Racing – 17th January

Our Chief Commissaire / Handicapper, Graeme O’Neill, has not yet returned from Adelaide. Thus, the new Regime continues; it’s enacted a Court which has Advisors & obligatory First Aid Officer; (no Court Jester as yet, but we have plenty of Lycra uniforms for applicants)!…For this VETS Track session we had 17 riders – a pleasant 29°C at the Bundadome; with winds from the east, turning westerly.

A Grade 10 lap Scratch had a strong field of 12 riders – de rigueur Dougal Torrance couldn’t wait for his turn and took off; this to no interest of the bunch at that stage. Tim Mineham, (back at the track for more and now in A grade), substantially closed the gap on Dougal with his turn on the front – the bunch asked Dougal to stay down low on the track as it overtook him. The bunch now had a fair centrifugal pace line going – Martin Graham on lap 5 shot ahead gaping the field by 70 odd metres – that gap had to be closed as Martin tends to ride away with these things. Martin’s powerpak became critical with such a powerful burst – he was caught on the back straight by Michael Langdon, Hamish Anderson 2nd and Steve Jones 3rd.

B Grade 10 lap Scratch had 5 riders – they were advised to perhaps save some energy for the following 4 lap handicap. The bunch heeded the Court’s advice and circulated taking turns with the pace building. With 2 laps to go… Ross Scutts took the bull by the horns and made a break, the other riders became aware and chased with Steve Hirsler powering around Ross on the final back straight, this left Phil Anderson and Ross Scutts to battle it out…with Ross taking a second bite at the cherry for 2nd place and Phil for 3rd.

The 4 lap Handicap was run in 2 mixed A/B Grade heats with handicaps as assigned by the chief Commissaire in absentia.

Heat 1: had a majority of riders off 14 seconds, 12 and then 7 seconds. The bunch coalesced with 2 laps to go, Martin Graham had recharged and sprung ahead of the bunch again, with Hamish Anderson and Michael Langdon in pursuit. Martin kicked… and held on to the win Heat 1 of the handicap race.

Heat 2: had a similar spread of handicap timings and; after 1 lap a solid bunch formed and caught the lead riders. (In such a short 4 lap race riders cannot slow their pace…it’s a sprint). Early in the race one of the Court’s adviser’s / handicap race Commissaire, Steve Jones, had money on John-Paul. And so… Ben Robey with over one lap to go took the initiative and went off the front at pace to drop the other riders – John-Paul DeSousa wound up, and pursued, and finally came level with Ben on the final turn and then both riders sprinted for the line with John-Paul just winning a very entertaining race.

Belgian Win & Out

This race was set at 8 laps for A Grade and 5 laps for B Grade.

In the A Grade race the bell is rung on lap 5 to indicate the first sprint for a 5th place, and then each subsequent lap the bell is rung for other places 4…1. The B Grade riders were kind enough to administer the A Grade race and vice versa. And so – in A Grade after a very slow and precarious couple of initial laps, the riders with some simple subtraction figured on what places they wanted, or thought they wanted to race for. On the lap 5 bell all hell broke loose – Ed Garnett using his Flying 200 skills took off high on the track, as did Craig Kentwell in close pursuit, riders chased or held off wanting a place. Ed came in for 5th place and out, next lap was Craig 4th and out. Martin Graham went and Michael Langdon chased, Martin coming in for 3rd and Michael Langdon for 2nd and out, The final riders seemed to be on for a sprint for 1st place – Rowan McMurray (an Engineer with good maths), went for what he thought was 1st and was awarded the points.

Even so, a more subtle and less visible contest had been underway at the back of the field fighting for last place (or so they thought there were at the back!). Ben Robey was sitting on Alec Millet’s wheel for 5 laps after the latter decided to leave the argy bargy at the front of the field to others. At the start of the last lap, Alec waved Ben through with both riders coming alongside in the back straight and holding that position (and having a bit of friendly banter). As they entered the final straight, ‘noble’ Ben decided it would be a bit rude to climb a position without actually doing any work. As Ben eased up, Alec eased up. Ben eased up again then Alec eased up even more. Both were looking for last place with them almost trackstanding as they crossed the line, Ben then Alec! It appeared all for nought as a mixup with the lap board seemed to suggest there was one extra lap and hence Alec finished in front of Ben in the previous lap – and in fact were not dualling for last position; that may have been awarded to someone else! – Controversy! (The score sheet has been submitted to the Commissaire).

In the B Grade race – the riders were up for 5 laps with the first 2 neutral. On the last lap, and racing for 1st place, Ross Scutts magically dove under the back wheel of Steve Hirsler as Steve was high on the bank; Ross sprinted away for 1st followed by Steve Hirsler – 3rd to Bruce Griffin, 4th to Phil Anderson and 5th place to Ken Birch.

The Italian Pursuit is the final race of the night – teams we picked on pairs running down the sign on sheet. With 8 riders a team this was set to be a fast race. The VETS President sitting out, administered the starting rights by whistle and we’re away. Team 2 made a flying start, Team 1, also a good start, but then gradually lost ground. Team 1 riders needed to lift as the pace of Team 2 grew…4 riders down and Team 1 spluttered. Team 2 took advantage and moved further ahead. Team 1’s JP (Diesel) DeSousa sensed the danger and got out of the saddle to lift for his lap, with the following Team 2 riders in sync…JP made metres on Team 2, – on the final lap Team 2’s anchor Hamish Anderson released a watt bomb, however Team 1 came in faster on the line.

Major place getters were as follows:
10-Lap Scratch Race: (A Grade): Michael Langdon, Hamish Anderson. Steve Jones, (B Grade): Steve Hirsler, Ross Scutts, Phil Anderson.
4 Lap Handicap: (Heat 1) Martin Graham, Michael Langdon, Hamish Anderson. (Heat 2) John-Paul DeSousa, Ben Robey, Ed Garnett
Italian Pursuit – Team 1: Ken Birch, Bruce Griffin, Martin Graham, Ed Garnett, Michael Langdon, John-Paul DeSousa, Steve Jones, Ben Robey

Season Point Score Update:
Michael Langdon (226), Hamish Anderson (168), Ross Scutts (157), John Paul DeSousa (143), Tony Beasley (135), Steve Hirsler (126).

Michael Langdon