Hello Vets,

In this week’s Bleat;

  • Vale Bob McDonald
  • From the Desk of the Handicapper
  • Concussion in Sport
  • Racing this Week
  • Race Reports

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

Ian Morton

Vale Bob McDonald

Many of the Vets Club members will remember Bob McDonald;

Sadly Bob passed away last Tue after a long battle with illness. Bob was a very keen racer to say the least. He was old school and knew how to get the bunch working together and ‘g’ everyone up. He loved the club and racing and put many hours into training and just riding. I know a lot of people who Bob helped out on race day always with a smile. Bob trained me when I first go into racing and joined the club back in early 2000’s with his daughter and incredible hill climber Elizabeth, and really transformed me into a racing cyclist (need to lose a couple of kilos to be back were Bob had me now days). Bob was passionate about cycling and helping others on the bike. He always had time and was forever writing us interval sessions. Yep, he was the first one to convince me that 3 black mountains were possible. I can still hear his booming voice of encouragement at the Royalla loop we use to do, I would always think he was on my wheel, then I would turn around and he would be off the back. We would ride no matter what the conditions, even remember getting blown across the Tharwa bridge on my first ever road bike. Bob made us tough!!! And we never questioned him, we just did it. I was lucky enough to say goodbye to Bob and he was still cracking jokes, but his most memorable saying for me is: ‘All you need in life is a bike, baked beans on toast and God on your side’. You will be greatly missed Bob, but glad you are finally at peace.

Bob’s funeral will held on Friday the 1st of March commencing at 1pm;
Holy Family Church,
167 Bugden Avenue,
Gowrie ACT

There will be a private cremation.

Wake to be held at 2.30;
Murrumbidgee Country Club
161 Kambah Pool Road
Kambah ACT

In lieu of flowers the McDonald’s have requested that donations be made to the Canberra Hospital Foundation. You can donate online: www.canberrahospitalfoundation.org.au or phone a donation through on 02 5124 2963.


Ally Roche #5

Bob was a keen and competitive cyclist. He was very generous in his time encouraging others to improve, especially women riders, and devised training programs and accompanied his proteges on numerous training rides. Bob’s daughter Elizabeth also raced with our club for a number of years and I believe they were the first (perhaps only?) father and daughter combo competing at the same time.

Jan Koehler

From the Desk of the Handicapper

In a departure from the not-riding-for-sheep-stations format, the club will conduct prize money races on March 12. The format will be combined AB, CD and EFG races with prize money for first to third, a sprint prime and first from the lower grade. The club will match the $10 entry fee for each rider with an additional $10. First place will receive half of the prize pool, and entries will be limited to 40 riders per race so that means the maximum first place prize could be $400! Eligibility rules:

AB riders must be a financial member and have ridden at least one race during the season (starting October).

C to G riders must be a financial member and have ridden at least three races during the season. C to G riders must ride in the highest grade they have ridden during the season. Entries will be via the SportsTG Event website (detail will be provided closer to the event), and eligibility will be closely scrutinised to avoid burglars taking the loot. Details to follow in the coming weeks.

Rob Langridge

Concussion in Sport

Concussion is a significant and complex health issue within the Australian sporting landscape, affecting all levels of play. Sports Medicine Australia are proud to deliver a concussion workshop at the National Hockey Centre, Lyneham (ACT).

Presented by Dr. Warren McDonald MBBS, FACSP (Sport and Exercise Physician), this workshop is aimed at increasing knowledge and awareness of concussion, whilst exploring return to play and long-term issues. This is a fantastic event for everyone working in sport – from professionals, through to sports trainers, clubs, coaches, parents, players and other members of the support team.

Event Information;
Date: Saturday 2nd March
Time: 1.00pm – 4.00pm
Location: National Hockey Centre, Lyneham ACT
Cost: SMA Members – $10
Non-Members – $20

Registration is essential. Visit https://sma.org.au/event/act-pd-concussion-in-sport/



Tuesday, 26th February: Stromlo Criterium – Age Graded Club Championship – Part 2

Note: This race is Part 2 of the Age Graded Championships.

Racing is only for Men (ages 35 – 54).

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
M3 (45-49)/M4 (50-54) @5:50 40 min
M1 (35-39)/M2 (40-44) @6:40 45 min

*Age Classification is the Age that you turn on your birthday in 2019, e.g. a rider who turns 40 in December 2019 is classed as M2 (40-44) or W2 (40-49) for all events during 2019.

Race Director:  Greg Collis Contact: Email: Greg_wc@hotmail.com    Ph

Marshals: Leeanne Tennant

Wednesday, 27th February: Track Racing

The Program for Wednesday is;
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.20pm: 8-Lap Graded Scratch;
6.20pm – 6.50pm: 2-Lap Match Race (Omnium);
6.50pm – 7.10pm: 2-Lap Handicap,
7.10pm – 7.30pm: Italian Pursuit.

Sunday, 3rd March: Urriara Homestead Time Trail – RACE CANCELLED

Gunning 2 Day marshals

We still don’t have any marshals for Gunning 2 day. So I will shortly need to start nominating people to help. Which may be inconvenient for those hoping to race.

Gunning 2 Day race is on 18-19 May. We will need 6 marshals each day to safely and effectively run the race. If you are planning to race and have a partner, child, friend etc who would be interested in coming to help marshal, please let me know. Early volunteering to do marshalling would be appreciated.

Upcoming Marshal Roster

Thank you to those who have already volunteered to help. Nominees, in blue have been selected based on results from the previous race season and the period since they last helped at a race. Nominees are requested to advise their availability/unavailability to the race committee (race.committee@actvets.cc) as soon as possible.

Summer series crit races are held at Stromlo Forest Park on Tuesday evenings and road races are held on Sunday mornings.

Date Event Director Marshals
05-Mar Crit Nathan Spillane
Stephen Terracini
12-Mar Crit Robert Langridge
Brendan Chadwick
17-Mar Old Federal Highway Ian Drayton
4 (2 drivers, finish chute & 1 turn marshal) Rob McLachlan, Stuart Roesler, Scott Tozer, Paul Hollings
19-Mar Crit Rosemary Robinson
Mick Hanbury
24-Mar Uriarra Roubaix Steve Crispin
4 (finish chute & 3 ETCs) David Jukes*, Robert Brunato*, Seymour Savell-Boss*, Lyn Vasudeva
26-Mar Crit Mathew Corby
Simon Farnbach
31-Mar Mtn Creek Rd Peter Marshall
4 (2 drivers, finish chute & 1 turn marshal) Jim McLean, Gerald Van Ewyk, Iver Lange, Duane Toohey
02-Apr Crit Paul Ledbrook
Bernard Crowe
07-Apr Orroral Valley Nick Boylan
3 (finish chute & 2 ETCs) Sue Powell*, Arna Walker*, Ally Roche
13-Apr Cooma Michael Carr
4 (2 drivers, finish chute & turn marshal) Andrew Remely, Michael Foulds, Ashley Carruthers Mike Hayes
27-Apr Uriarra Tony Weir
4 (finish chute & 3 ETCs) Robert Brunato*, Mick Donaldson*, Howard Moffat* Annie Broadbent
04-May Dog Trap Road Andrew Peel
5 (2 drivers, finish chute & 2 turn marshals) Paul Smith, Chris Copeland Michael Langdon, Helmut Zeller, Paul McKay
11-May Smiths Rd-Apollo Rd Peter Merrick
3 (finish chute & 2 ETCs) Bruce Goodspeed*, Robert Brunato*, Colin Kelley
18-May Gunning – 2 Day Ben Davis
6 (2 drivers, KOM, finish chute & 2 turn marshals) vacant, vacant, vacant vacant, vacant, vacant
19-May Breadalbane -Gunning 2 Day Ben Davis
6 (2 drivers, KOM, finish chute & 2 turn marshals) vacant, vacant, vacant vacant, vacant, vacant

* denotes ETC required for ACT races.

Ian McVay
Race Committee


Criterium Championships Part 1 – 19th February

Thank you to the following who provided assistance in running this event, Mark Terracini, Phil Coulton, Jan Koehler, Ian McVay, Kirst McVay and Simon Whitehead.

Racing started with some excitement as a snake was spotted on the track half way down the front straight. Phil used his snake handling experience to dispatch the reptile quickly.

Race Grade M7 – 5 starters

In the M7 race Tony Beasley was driving the pace early, possible trying to use his track fitness to break up the field. Phil Anderson was under pressure and eventually lost the last wheel. Howard also feel victim to the fast pace leaving Mark, Tony and Brian to fight out the finish.

1st Taylor, Mark
2nd Beasley, Anthony
3rd Peak, Brian

Race Grade M8 – 7 starters

The M8 featured 7 riders. Jim Veal and Paul Robey celebrated 44 years riding and racing together. Unfortunately they found the pace a bit too hot with Donny and Des doing the majority of the work. Alex rode a canny race, hiding from the wind. While riders went one by one, he was still there in the finals laps. Dennis and Mike found it all too much around the 20 minute mark and the breakaway trio took it all the way to the line with Alex just pipping Donny for 1st and Des coming in third. Jim did a bit of coaching along the way and the old mates finished together.

1st Sommariva, Alex
2nd de SMET, Donald
3rd Brown, Des

Race Grade M9 – 4 starters

Bruce was seen re-joining the club minutes before the race and Mike came out of the woodwork to contest the M9 race. Lindsay was just too powerful and only Mike could go with him. Bernie held on for 3rd.

1st Graham, Lindsay
2nd Spoljaric, Mike
3rd Crowe, Bernard


The women’s race was an all in affair, with separate placings in each category. 12 starters contested this race.

This race started gently, most riders untroubled by the pace until Liz decided to hit the accelerator through the corners, continuing on up the back straight. Gai and Brandy found the pace a little too much.

Gillian also decided to have a bit of a go, stretching the bunch out, Peta followed through with attack and a few gaps appeared. Sprinters legs were starting to sting, but the bunch came back together.

Sue, Lyn, Penelope, Theresa, Linda and Kirsty hid in the bunch for the most part, riding very well in the conditions.

The major change in this race came when a nasty easterly whipped up and Liz was finally able to split the bunch apart. Only Gillian, Peta, Ally and Kirsty were able to handle the injection of pace and the wind.

The sprint came and Ally was keen, maybe too keen and led out maybe 100 metres too early. The sprint was close and the finish line marshals had to rely on chute honesty to sort out the finish order in each category. Thanks to Mark for this.

Race Grade W1
1st Lugg, Gillian
2nd McLachlan, Theresa
Race Grade W2
1st Brill, Peta
2nd Cummin, Kirsty
3rd Roche, Ally
Race Grade W3
1st Lowe, Elizabeth
2nd Stals, Linda
Race Grade W4
1st Vasudeva, Lyn
2nd Anderson, Penelope
3rd Frost, Susan

The last races of the night started with the nasty easterly whipping across the race track. Riders were immediately under pressure.

Race Grade M5 – 14 starters

In M5 Bruce was putting on the pressure early, usually followed by Mark. When gaps appear Mark usually goes on the counter attack. Riders became quite used to riding in the 10cm or so at the edge of the track. Riders went out the back one by one as persistent attacks by Michael, Mark and Bruce put the pressure on.

In the end a big attack by Frank and John was countered by the master of counter attacks Mark. At this point towards the end of the race all the accumulated fatigue meant that only Mark, Michael and Bruce went up the road to lead the race. John and Frank were left chasing and the rest of the bunch left behind.

Predictably Mark won the sprint, with Michael second, Bruce third. Frank and John rode well to come in next.

The rest mostly in grade order on in tough and entertaining race;
1st Harris, Mark
2nd Foulds, Michael
3rd Goodspeed, Bruce

Race Grade M6 – 10 starters

The M6 race started a little more gently than M5. Ian and Johnathan were able to hold on in the gutter for quite a long time. Chris found the pace a little too much and Russell was gone from the lead group soon after. Ian hung on bravely for 4 or 5 more laps. James had a big go, byt it all seemed too much as he blew soon after. This lead to the demise of Alian soon after.

Then it was down to 5. Owain, Dale, Bryan, Helmut and Steve. Owain looked most likely to break it all up, but Dale looked keen to do some more damage with him. Towards the end Owain did manage to break away, looking over his shoulder quite a few times for a potential breakaway partner. It looked as if Dale was in the wrong spot at the wrong time and could not bridge across without taking all the rest with him. With only Dale doing the work the gap to Owain was quickly 300-400 metres and it was all over. Bryan took second and Steven third.

1st Tilley, Owain
2nd Holloway, Bryan
3rd Simms, Steven

The Winners

Allan Bontjer

Track Racing – 20th February

Wednesday 20 Feb provided a near perfect evening for track racing. Warm dry conditions with little wind prevailed throughout the evening. The turn-out was fair, with thirteen riders, 9 in A grade and only 4 in B grade.

The initial events were graded scratch races over eight laps. Dougal Torrance led out A Grade at a good clip and the pack settled in for three laps. Steve Hirsler took a turn on the front and upped the pace further. After 2 more laps, a duo comprising Wayne Benham and Michael Langdon began to pressure the bunch. Michael took over as the paceline strung out and began to look ragged. Craig Kentwell then took over the front running for a few laps. As the bell lap approached, the pace slowed and riders started to jockey up the banking to get a good run into the final lap. Hamish Anderson was the first to launch with Michael Langdon and Dougal Torrance his closest pursuers. The pace was hot. However, Michael Langdon surged past Hamish in the back straight and went on to a decisive win. Dougal Torrance overtook Hamish closer to the line and Hamish held on for third place.

Because of the small numbers, the B grade scratch race was quite tame initially. Ross Scutts led out with the riders rotating at around three-quarter laps. The pace remained steady until the bunch reached the back straight on the penultimate lap. At this point Ross Scutts, Phil Anderson and Bruce Griffin were almost abreast up the banking. Bruce took off with a real surge of power. Ross and Phil pursued. It was a long sprint. Ross Scutts made every effort to overhaul Bruce Griffin. However, Bruce was on form and stayed the distance to take the win. Ross expended too much effort trying to overtake Bruce. He was ultimately overhauled by Phil Anderson and settled for third place.

The second event was a one lap standing start time trial that we commonly call the ‘one lap screamer’ for obvious reasons. It is quite a gut busting event. The times were very interesting as, unusually, Michael Langdon did not dominate. Ed Garnett had an incident on the start line almost coming to grief. When he restarted, he must have had a good shot of adrenalin, as he absolutely scorched around the lap for the best time of 27.11s. Hamish Anderson was on song and screamed around in 27.48s. Michael Langdon was not far behind in 27.56s. B grade did well in this event with Bruce Griffin clocking 31.44s for the win, closely followed by Ross Scutts in 31.78s. With the low numbers, Graeme O’Neill had the opportunity to take third in 33.44s.

A 2-lap handicap that was part of the omnium championship was next. This race was all-in with both A and B grades combining to provide a field of 13 riders. Several recent handicaps allowed the handicapper to fine tune start times. The result was an exceptionally close race with the whole bunch consolidating in the last quarter lap. Steve Hirsler took a great win, overcoming adversity, as his start had been put back one second. Phil Anderson and Ross Scutts also excelled, taking second and third respectively. With the bunch so compact at the finish, it was difficult for the race referee to spot placings after the first half dozen.

The track session closed with an all-in, Italian pursuit. This event had six riders per team and was notable for a sensational first lap by Ross Scutts. Ross gained Team 2 an immediate 10-15m advantage and they did not look back from this point. Team 1 found themselves bravely pursuing from behind for the whole race. Team 2 rode faultlessly and provided Team 1 with no opportunity to regain the advantage. Congratulations to team 2 for a fine win.

Place getters for this session were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Michael Langdon, Dougal Torrance, Hamish Anderson. (B Grade) Bruce Griffin, Phil Anderson, Ross Scutts.
1-Lap Screamer: A Grade, Ed Garnett (27.11s), Hamish Anderson (27.43s), Michael Langdon (27.56s), B Grade, Bruce Griffin (31.44s), Ross Scutts (31.78s), Graeme O’Neill (33.44s).
2-Lap Handicap: (A&B Grade): Steve Hirsler, Phil Anderson, Ross Scutts.
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 2 (Steve Hirsler, Dougal Torrance, Hamish Anderson, Craig Kentwell, Wayne Benham, Ross Scutts).

Season Point Score Update:
Michael Langdon (225), Ross Scutts (223), Dougal Torrance (208), Steve Hirsler (187), Phil Anderson (170), Craig Kentwell (148), Bruce Griffin (148), Tony Beasley (137), Hamish Anderson (118).

Graeme O’Neill

Old Federal Highway – 24th February

A strong roll-out of 57 riders assembled at the Gravel Pit on Shingle Hill Road for the Vets’ classic out to Lake George and back. Grades A-D rode four laps (48km) and E-F finished three (36km), with pulsating racing across the six grades. The weather was fine and sunny, with a brisk, cool South-Easterly breeze blowing throughout. Road conditions were near perfect, with just a hint of loose gravel after recent resurfacing.

A Grade: 10 riders

A competitive field of A graders rolled off the start shortly after 9:00am, with Brendan Byatt hitting the front by the first turnaround. They completed the first lap in 21 minutes, averaging an impressive 35 km/h. The field stayed more-or-less together until the final turn, when Christophe Barbaret got the upper hand over Rob McLachlan and visitor Kurt Andrews, with Seymour Savell-Boss and visitor Alex Dietrich all there or thereabouts.

B Grade: 11 riders

B Grade was a different story: carnage was the order of the day – at the turnaround to start the final lap, the bunch had blown apart, and the spread of riders was one of the biggest of all the grades. Visitor Nigel Smith staged a break off the front to win the race at 1:26:37, within cooee of the A Graders and nearly a minute ahead Bruce Goodspeed and Simon Costello. Conan Liu brought up the rear almost five minutes later in the still-very-respectable time of 1:31:30.

C Grade: 16 riders

The morning’s biggest field belonged to C Grade, and your Race Director wished he was there to share the joy/pain. Warwick Wilson took an early break off the front, with the bunch seemingly unable to organise to chase him down. Eventually, he won at 1:32:54, 45 seconds ahead of Stephen Schwenke and the ever-consistent Damian Copeland. Others – some very respectable C Grade names – finished in a clump that bamboozled the best efforts of the race administrators to separate them. Frank Zeller deserves an honourable mention after he suffered a puncture on the first lap, fixed it, then chased the bunch for the rest of the race.

D Grade: 8 riders

The D Grade race was the most compelling of the morning. Iain Johnstone took an early lead, and looked every inch a B Grader. However, perhaps weighed down by his extra vowels, he started to lose ground to a campaign organised by Bryan Holloway and Ian McVay, with visitor Anna Gurnhill bravely hanging on. In the end, Iain succumbed and placed 4th behind his three pursuers.

E Grade: 9 riders

E Grade battled hard all day with the result that, entertainingly, they finished their three lap race at almost exactly the same time as the A Graders were sprinting home for their finish. The result was total pandemonium, and you could have thrown a handkerchief over the first five E-Grade riders. In the end, Russell Marston took the chocolates in a tight finish ahead of Alex Sommariva and Jan Koehler, with Kirsti McVay and Donald De Smett one second and two seconds back, respectively, in 4th and 5th places.

F Grade: 3 riders

Chris Copeland and Lindsay Graham duelled for most of their entertaining race, before Chris got the upper hand in the latter stages to take the win. Mijo Spoljaric worked hard for 3rd.

A special thanks to drivers and marshals: Tony Beasley, Ben Carmody, Ashley Carruthers, Tom Hartley, Don Mankewich and Graham Hendrie. And, to Ian Morton for doing the signage.

Andrew Matz