Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

  • From the desk of the President
  • Racing this Week
  • Race Reports

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

Ian Morton

From the desk of the President

Dear Members,

The committee and I have taken the decision to suspend racing. We are hopeful of resuming our race calendar in May, however I am sure you will all understand that the situation is out of our control.

We will keep you posted on developments as we hear them and thank you for your continued support.

I hope that these unsettled times don’t stop you from training and I look forward to seeing you all in the not too distant future around the urn after racing resumes.


Seymour Savell-Boss
ACTVets President

How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Practicing good hand hygiene and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence against most viruses:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet,
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser, and
  • If unwell, avoid contact with others (touching, kissing, hugging, and other intimate contact).

More information can be found on the Australian Government web site at: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert#current-status


Tuesday, 24th March: Stromlo Criterium

No racing

Wednesday, 25th March: Track Racing

No racing

Sunday, 22nd March: Road Race

No racing


Track Racing – 18th March

Wednesday’s track racing session was the last competitive session for the 19/20 season. Conditions were very good with a balmy evening temperature and moderate wind. Ten riders attended, four in A grade and 6 in B grade. The evening saw the resolution of both the Track Season Championship and the Omnium Championship.

The first race was an 8-lap graded scratch race. Dougal Torrance lead out A grade at a comfortable pace for a few laps. As lap 2 concluded, Ben Davis accelerated from high on the banking. However, Dougal was soon on his wheel with the pair gaining a 15-metre gap on the pursuing bunch. As the attack looked like petering out, Dougal accelerated into a good lead that he held for several laps. The bunch was splintered as Wayne Benham set out in pursuit of Dougal. By lap 7 Wayne and the pursuing bunch had caught Dougal and riders began jockeying for the final sprint. Wayne Benham and Dougal Torrance took the initiative in an early sprint with Wayne just gaining the upper hand as they crossed the line. Dougal took second with Warwick Wilson, who had been temporarily promoted from B grade, taking a very creditable third place.

The B grade scratch race started at a comfortable pace that soon edged upwards. As lap 6 commenced, James Newhouse rotated to the front and further notched up the pace, dropping one rider from the bunch. The bunch stayed tight for the next two laps and slowed slightly. The sprint began well into the final lap with Bruce Griffin taking off and soon being rounded up by Tony Beasley. Tony held his lead to the line. Bruce took second place and James Newhouse moved up for third.

The second event was an all-in 2 lap handicap that was the final Omnium Championship event and had a lot riding on it. Graeme O’Neill took off as the limit rider and, being in contention for the Omnium Championship, strained to keep his pace as high as possible. Phil Coulton was pursuing relentlessly, but could not draw level with Graeme until around 35 metres from the line. The pair were at their limit trying to hold off a fast closing bunch. Phil finally surged past Graeme for the win. Graeme held on grimly for second place, just ahead of Ross Scutts and a bunch of fast closing riders. Graeme’s second place and 4 points were enough to take the Omnium Championship by a single point.

The third race was a 6-lap Snowball, run all-in. The B grade riders had around one third lap start on A grade. James Newhouse surged out of the B grade bunch to take the first sprint and 1 point. By the second sprint, Wayne Benham from A grade had caught the B grade bunch. Tony Beasley took the sprint win with Wayne second and James Newhouse third. By race finish Wayne Benham had a handy lead to take first place. John Paul De Sousa was second and Tony Beasley third. In the Snowball, sprint points escalate as the race progresses, making the later sprints higher scoring. The points wash up for the event was interesting, with Wayne Benham and Tony Beasley tied for first on 7 points, John Paul De Sousa second on 3 points and James Newhouse and Phil Coulton tied on 2 points for third place.

The final event, an Italian pursuit, started with 4 riders per team. Phil Coulton made a great start for Team 2, gaining around 2 metres. Team 2 refused to surrender that lead during the remainder of the event. Both teams rode flawlessly. However, Wayne Benham closed it out for Team 2 with a gap around the initial 2 metres gain.

Major place getters for the session were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Wayne Benham, Dougal Torrance, Warwick Wilson. (B Grade) Tony Beasley, Bruce Griffin, James Newhouse. 2-Lap Handicap (A &B Grades): Phil Coulton, Graeme O’Neill, Ross Scutts. 6-Lap Snowball: (A&B Grades), Wayne Benham and Tony Beasley (7 pts), John Paul De Sousa (3 pts), James Newhouse and Phil Coulton (2 pts). Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 2 (Wayne Benham, Warwick Wilson, Tony Beasley, Phil Coulton).

Final Omnium Championship Points:
Graeme O’Neill (14), John Paul De Sousa (13), Phil Coulton (13), James Newhouse (11), Steve Hirsler (8), Ken Birch (8), Ben Davis (7), Rowan McMurray (7), Ross Scutts (6), Warwick Wilson (5), Ian Drayton (5) Dougal Torrance (4), Hamish Anderson (3).

Final Track Championship Points:
Tony Beasley (197), Ross Scutts (192), John Paul De Sousa (173), James Newhouse (170), Ken Birch (156), Phil Coulton (147), Dougal Torrance (140), Hamish Anderson (139), Martin Graham (137), Warwick Wilson (136), Graeme O’Neill (107).

Graeme O’Neill

Uriarra Roubaix – 22nd March

Sunday 22 March started with sunshine, mild temps, no wind and a brilliant course. Starting at crn Mtn Creek Rd and Uriarra Rd, heading to the first turnaround at Uriarra Xing, back to the start intersection before turning right onto Mtn Creek road for 3km of gravel to the Swamp Creek turnaround, then back to the start intersection again.

At 8:50 there were a handful of riders assembled which left the officials speculating if it was the tough Roubaix-style course, coronavirus or both that were keeping the numbers down. Then Team Tiffen rolled in, nearly doubling the number of starters, and we had a proper race to run.

But with the numbers still a little low, it was decided to switch the race from a scratch to a handicap at the start line. Question was, how much handicap? Our handicapper sprang into action, phones came out to check previous course times, lots of longhand maths happened, before he had an answer:

D: 20min head-start, 3 laps
E: 15min head-start, but they only had to do 2 laps
C: 15min head start, 3 laps
B: 8min head-start, 3 laps
A: 3 laps

This last-minute change caused a bit of confusion at the start line, but all grades got away just fine.

When the E bunch returned to the start intersection from the Uriarra Xing turnaround in a mere 17 minutes, the seeds of doubt were sown if the other grades had any chance of catching E. It looked like Russell, Ian and Rosemary knew this as the sight of A still sitting on the start line as they came through the intersection seemed to spur them on as they charged onto the gravel of Mtn Ck Rd! When they returned, Russell and Ian were on their own, Rosemary not far behind.

A grade also returned from the Mtn Ck Road intersection in one piece and flew through the start/finish with some polite comments indicating they were concerned that catching E would be impossible.

Once all grades hit the dirt, it seemed that an “every man/woman for themselves!” climate descended and that was the last time we saw the bunches together.

Getting towards the end, JP de Sousa (C) came through the start intersection a minute ahead of Russell and Ian from E grade. Less than a minute later Crispin came through with Ian Preston (C) not far behind. A couple of minutes later we saw A-graders Trevor Rix, Gerrard Tiffen and Paul Scherl come through. At this stage it was fairly certain to be a victory for E-grade, as they only had half a lap to go, while the others had a full lap and a half remaining.

And so it was, a sprint finish for E grade, won by one second by Russell Marston from Ian Morton. Rosemary Robinson third.

Steve Crispin chased down a shattered-looking John Paul de Sousa to claim forth at the line. Gerrard Tiffen and Trevor Rix finished close together in sixth and seventh.

Thanks to our officials Elizabeth Lowe, Wayne Donchi, Robert Brunato, Howard Moffatt and of course Graham Hendrie for a great Sunday morning’s racing.

Robin Mules
Race Referee