Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  Do Not Reply

•  Race Numbers

•  From the Handicapper

•  COVID-19 Restrictions

•  AVCC 2021 Nationals – CANCELLED

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Reports

Ian Morton

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Race Numbers

If you have recently rejoined the club after a period of absence (ie five years or less) your old race number should continue to be used. If you no longer have your race number, please contact membership@actvets.cc to receive a new one.


From the Handicapper

Peter McLennan Gunning Two-Day Tour

Thanks to Ben Davis, Graham Hendrie and all the other volunteers for another great Gunning tour. C grade was very eventful with controversy, loose bottles, stray tool kits, slipping seat posts, mechanicals, cramps, a blow-out and some very challenging racing. The wind mainly blew up and down the course which meant sitting in was easy at times but breaking away would have been very difficult (not that I tried). On day one the majority of the bunch stayed together, as there were enough fresh legs to nullify the attacks, but on day two it was carnage.

Trying to make up for time lost the day before, Ed Logue (cramp-gate) and Carmine Spagnoletti (seat post-gate) relentlessly attacked in the second half of stage two until it was just them duking it out, with a trail of destruction left behind. Ed won in the end, finishing just behind B grade. Time gained on stage two by Ed and Carmine was not enough to counter Luke Healy’s speedy TT, which put him ahead of those who hadn’t had any major time losses to take the GC. The 25-second time gap between Luke and silver medallist Brian Peak was only slightly more than the age gap between the two of them, as Brian is somewhat older having first raced with the club in 1994! Great effort Brian.


From the week before
Seymour Savell-Boss C to B
Adam Strickland D to C

This week;
Criterium grade;
Paul Hollings B to A
Luke Healy C to B
Simon Porombka C to B
James Tonkin D to C
Lance Purdon D to C

Rob Langridge

COVID-19 Restrictions

There are legal requirements in place for people returning to the ACT from Victoria and particular places in New South Wales to self-quarantine.

Members who have been to any of these locations in the past 14 days should be complying with ACT Government quarantine restrictions.

Members should stay home if you have been feeling unwell or showing symptoms of COVID-19 or been in contact with someone who has felt unwell in the past 2 weeks.

AVCC 2021 Nationals – CANCELLED

The National Championships were scheduled to be held in South Australia during January 2021 in conjunction with the Tour Down Under.

Unfortunately, the AVCC have had to cancel the Nationals due to uncertainty arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of state border restrictions, there is no clarity regarding the ability of members to travel to South Australia in January.


Tuesday, 20th October: 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 28m+2, C 25m+2
B/D 6:25 B 28m+2, D 25m+2
E/F/G 6:55 20 min + 2 laps

Race Director: Mark Harris Contact: Email: mharris1960@gmail.com    Ph  0413 131 733

Marshals: Liam O’Dea

Wednesday, 21th October: Track Racing

The Program for Wednesday is;
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Warm-up and free practice;
6.00pm – 6.20pm: 8-lap graded scratch race;
6.20pm – 6.50pm: 2-Lap Handicap;
6.50pm – 7.20pm: Italian Pursuit.

Sunday, 25th October: Corin Time Trial – Uphill

Where: Start of course is at the intersection of Tidbinbilla Rd and the Corin Dam Rd. Finish is approx 12km up the Corin Dam Rd at entry to the old Square Rock car park, near the gate.
When: 9:00 am.
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number
Race Description:
Average 4.1% Climb to Square Rock car park.

Race Director: Peter Young Contact: Email: peteryoung131@gmail.com    Ph 0414 806 934

Marshals: Mike Hayes


SFP Criterium – 13th October

Near perfect conditions accompanied the second week of the Summer Crit Seasons which brought out large numbers of riders in all grades. Notwithstanding an accident involving member Lyndsay Graham in the EFG Grade race who we all hope recovers from his injuries and gets back on the bike as soon as possible, a competitive evening of racing was enjoyed by all.

B & D grades contained the most numbers of riders and as such managed to keep in tight groups for the majority of their races. As mentioned, the E/F/G race included an unfortunate accident which meant the race needed to be finished up about 3/4 of the way through.

A grade was an interesting race with rider Gerard Tiffen, forming a one man break away in the very early laps of the race and managing to maintain and even increase his solo lead right to the end, C Grade broke up into a few distinct bunches about half way through the race and remained that way until its completion. All races were complete by around 7:20PM.

David Witham

Track Racing – 14th October

Wednesday’s track racing session was the first for the 2020-21 season. Conditions were good for racing. It was warm with a fresh breeze creating a headwind in the back straight. Attendance was encouraging with 20 riders, 12 in A grade and 8 in B grade.

The 8-lap A grade scratch race started in an orderly fashion with Hamish Anderson, Dougal Torrance, Steve Jones, and John Paul DeSousa rotating into the lead over the first four laps. Dougal Torrance put in an attack on Lap 5 with Dave Mullens pursuing. They managed a modest gap over the field before being caught on Lap 6. Shortly after this, Kerry Knowler took the lead and upped the pace a notch. Warwick Wilson attacked but only gained about 10 metres on the bunch before being closed down. As the bunch barrelled into the bell lap, Alex Millet attacked from high on the banking. Alec poured on the pace and soon had Steve Jones and Dougal Torrance in pursuit with the bunch stringing out under the pressure. Alec crossed the line for a good win ahead of Steve Jones and Dougal Torrance. The win was a good swansong for Alec, who will soon be departing to WA and will be a loss to the Vets track racing scene.

In the B Grade scratch race, the first four laps were at a steady, comfortable pace. On lap 5 the pace increased considerably. However, the bunch stuck together rotating lead riders in an orderly fashion. Phil Anderson and Bruce Griffin took off with about 1.5 laps to go. The pack began to stream out as back riders accelerated to close down gaps. With three quarters of a lap to go, the bunch was starting to consolidate before a final attack which saw Phil Anderson take a narrow win from Bruce Griffin. Phil Coulton followed with a creditable third place finish.

The evening’s second event was a 1-lap time trial from a standing start. This is a flat chat event where a high initial acceleration is critical. On average, times were slightly down on last year, likely due to the headwind in the back straight remaining quite fresh. Hamish Anderson set the A grade benchmark at 27.35 seconds which was better than his time last year. The second and third best times were very close to each other with Alex Millett on 28.90 seconds and Steve Jones on 29.20 seconds. Six A grade riders rode under 30 seconds, which was quite impressive, given the conditions.

Steve Hirsler rode just outside 30 seconds (30.07s) to set the best time for B grade. This was an impressive time for B grade. Bruce Griffin (31.50s) and Ken Birch (31.65s) took second and third placing with very good efforts. Six B grade riders were under 32.5 seconds, which was a good overall performance.

The track session closed with an all-in, Italian pursuit with 9 riders per team. This was a great race with teams swapping the lead as racing progressed and a very close finish. Team 1 had a somewhat chaotic start as the lead rider did not hear the start whistle. The situation was rescued by Phil Coulton who started off the team and soon restored order to their paceline. The misstep gave Team 2 an initial advantage which they held over six laps by flawless riding. Dave Mullens put in a great turn for Team 1 on lap seven, wiping out the team’s deficit and providing a small lead that was consolidated by Steve Jones on the next lap. Rowan McMurray and Alec Millet closed out the event for Teams 1 and 2 respectively. Alec rode a blistering final lap but could not quite overcome Team 1’s lead. Rowan held a solid pace to take the win by around 4 metres in a close fought event.

Major place getters were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Alec Millet, Steve Jones, Dougal Torrance. (B Grade) Phil Anderson, Bruce Griffin, Phil Coulton.
1-Lap Standing Start Time trial: (A Grade) Hamish Anderson (27.35s), Alec Millett (28.90s), Steve Jones (29.20s). (B Grade) Steve Hirsler (30.07s), Bruce Griffin (31.50s), Ken Birch (31.65s).
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 1 (Steve Jones, Dave Mullens, Tony Beasley, Warwick Wilson, John Paul De Sousa, Rowan McMurray, Phil Coulton, Graeme O’Neill, James Newhouse).

Season Point Score Update:
Alec Millett (17), Steve Jones (17), Bruce Griffin (16), Phil Coulton (15), Hamish Anderson (14), Dougal Torrance, Phil Anderson, Steve Hirsler (13), James Newhouse (12), John Paul De Sousa (11).

Graeme O’Neill

Gunning 2 Day – 17/18th October

Day 1

The gunning two-day event is steeped in tradition, in stories of victory and missed opportunities. Of magpies, brown snakes, echidnas and flocks of sheep. In howling winds, rain and crumbling roads, riders of all abilities battled it out to claim victory in their grades. The names of Hall, Gardiner, Dunn and Gilbert were feared bushrangers of the area in the 1860’s. Over the weekend, names like Hollings, Healy & Brown were the names most feared in the area for their ability to strike.

Saturday morning saw a cool gentle breeze rolling over the hills of Gunning. With some overnight rain and the sun peeking through the clouds, conditions were close to perfect for the start of the 100km road race for A,B,C & D. Bernie Crowe was first away with A grade in pursuit. Could A grade match the power of Bernie on the Cullerin climb? Gerard Tiffen took the intermediate sprint points just ahead of Brendan Byatt. Coming into view for the completion of the first lap, Team Tiffen had splintered the group into a lead group of 4 riders with a 5 min gap to another 3 riders. Had they gone out too hard too early was the talk of the town as they turned, threw water bottles and collected new ones.

On the final lap, it was to be a 3 man show with team Tiffen piling the pain onto Paul Hollings who didn’t crack over the final lap. The sprint finish at Gunning is one of the toughest. With a very long finishing straight into an uphill drag, timing is everything. Go too early, and the legs will quickly turn into bricks as the hill just keeps on going. For A grade Gerard Tiffen was able to punch out the watts and win the sprint ahead of Paul Hollings and Jeremy Gillman-Wells in a time of 2hrs 34mins.

Meanwhile a big group of 17 x B graders were not too far behind. With several early attacks nullified, B were content to roll along, enjoy the scenery and battle it out at the intermediate sprints and finish line. By now the wind had picked up and was rumbling in from the north west giving the riders a slight tail wind on the return leg. And the sprint finish for B was super impressive with 15 riders all bunched together, straining every last bit of energy out of their legs. On the line, you could have thrown a blanket over 10 or so riders with Bruce Goodspeed narrowly edging out Peter Zygadio and Rowan Walker.

C Grade started with 16 riders and mostly stayed together over the opening lap. But controversy ensued with an attack inside the neutral turn point with several riders getting dropped as a result. Just like the neutral feeding zones in the Tour De France, they are neutral for a reason which is to make it safe for riders to take on extra water and turn safely. The rest of the road race for C grade was uneventful with 9 riders staying together. On the finish line Andrew Osborne took line honors ahead of Rodney Welch and the ever present Stephen Schwenke.

In D grade it was all tea and scones at the turn point. By now the weather was turning feral. Rain was starting to fall and the wind was switching around to a Southerly. The return leg into a strong head wind was going to be the real tester. It was at this point that Des Brown decided that the best way to beat the wind and rain was to make it back to the car before the weather closed in. By the finish line, Des had opened up a huge 2 min time gap on Tony Beasley and a 6 min gap on Sally Thompson. It was the sort of performance that would generally warrant a trip to the toilets with a glass jar. But alas as we didn’t have a port-a-loo at the ready, we just had to take Des’s word for it that he has been training hard and this was the result of many km’s in his legs.

E grade started with 9 riders and with them doing 1 lap (50km’s), it was going to be fast and furious. David Gunther stopped on the Cullerin range to take some scenic photos which ruled him out of contention for overall honors. But on the line again, it was a hard fought sprint with Rico Fitch, Alex Sommariva and Lance Purdon all battling it out up the final drag. Rico 1st with Alex and Lance 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Day 2

Sunday delivered the goods again in terms of wind and slightly overcast conditions. The wind was blowing from the southwest which made the outbound leg from Breadalbane to Gunning difficult but the return leg super fun with a strong tail wind.

Half the A graders decided that hill climb championships or a good Sunday morning sleep in were the better options as we ended up with only 3 A graders. Full credit to Damien Lonergan who on the Saturday was a DNF due to a flat tyre, but still decided to come out and ride with A grade on the Sunday.

In A grade, Paul Hollings had an almost unassailable lead of 8mins over Brendan Byatt. Would this be enough? or was Brendan going to attack early and claw back some of that time? At the intermediate spring all 3 riders were bang on the line with Damien just edging out Brendan with Paul marking the group. The return leg from Gunning to Breadalbane was super quick. With a strong tail wind, they covered the 50kms in a very quick 1hr 16 mins and on the line it was Brendan Byatt who managed to out sprint Paul Hollings and Damien on the line.

B grade again was together for the entire 50kms. Again they made it very difficult for the multiple sets of eyes on the line to see who won in the sprint. After deliberation, Mark Harris re-discovered his sprinting legs and took out the sprint just ahead of Peter Zygadio and Tim Brown.

C grade started the 50kms road race with 12 riders and there were a front group intent on inflicting pain. Ed Logue decided that sprinting is easier when there is only one other to sprint against and won in a time of 1hr 18 just ahead of Carmine Spagnoletti. Both times would have beaten all of the B graders! 3rd place in the 50km road race went to Brian Peak.

D grade trembled at the prospect of having to contain the Des Brown Phenomenon. Was he going to have an off day and give up some of his time or would the entire D grade have to combine to combat his tactical prowess? The result was a mass sprint finish, this time with Tony Beasley exacting some revenge with a narrow win over Alain Arbaut and Sally Thompson in 3rd.

E grade were together at the intermediate sprint, but something must have happened on the return climb over the Cullerin range as a group of 3 riders managed to sneak away. At the finish line it was Rico Fitch 20 odd seconds ahead of Terry Moore with Lance Purdon in 3rd. This group had over a 1 min gap on the chase group of E.

Coming into the crowning glory event the 5km Individual Time Trial, there was pleas for the Time Trial to start 5kms up the road with the finish to be in Breadalbane. But what fun would a Time Trial be with a roaring tail wind? Race Director’s like to ensure you get your entry fee’s worth by racing into a head wind as much as possible!

Heading into the TT, it was super close in several grades. Paul Hollings barring a mechanical had the A grade event sown up. But B & C were closer affairs with 13 riders in B within 40 seconds of overall victory. With a strong head wind, anything could happen!

In A grade, Paul Hollings blitzed the 5kms in a time of 8mins 8 seconds
B grade it was Rowan Walker who covered the 5km in 8min 32 secs edging out Tim Brown 10 seconds back and Bean Healy a further 4 seconds adrift.
C Grade it was Andrew Osborne in a time of 8min 33 secs with Luke Healy 2nd and JP De Sousa in 3rd.
In D grade, Michael Reppion showed a clean pair of heels to win in a time of 9.27 ahead of Sally Thompson in 9.47 and Tony Beasley in 10.03
E grade it was the Lance Purdon show breaking the 10min barrier in a time of 9.52 ahead of Rico in 10.13 and Terry Moore in 11.01

As we gathered around the Breadalbane community Hall awaiting the final results, the tension in the room was electric. Rumours swirled that the time gaps were very very close. Graham Hendrie was copying and pasting Excel and cross computing numbers like John Nash from “A Beautiful Mind” to get the results in order. A hush of silence fell over the crowd:

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

A Grade- Paul Hollings 1st Overall, ahead of Brendan Byatt

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

B Grade- Rowan Walker had moved from 6th place overall before the TT to claim victory just 7 seconds ahead of Tim Brown with Ben Healy just 17 seconds behind Rowan. The split between 3rd and 4th place came down to 4/100th of a second! Incredible racing.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

C Grade- Luke Healy overcame a final TT deficit to claim overall victory just 25 seconds ahead of Brian Peak. Ed Logue, oh so close just 4 second behind in 3rd place.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

D Grade- Des Brown protected his time buffer from Day 1 to win with Anthony Beasley 1.45 behind and Sally Thompson 5.45 behind.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

E Grade- Again close racing with Rico hanging on by 27 seconds over Lance Purdon in 2nd and Terry Moore taking 3rd place.

Incredibly close racing in many grades and well done to all riders!

My special thanks goes to Graham Hendrie who as always never fails with the van duties, time keeping and everything else.
Simon the sports med who ensures that medical help is at the ready in case we ever need it. Thankfully we didn’t need it over the weekend.
Jan Koehler who was a marshal on both days helping to capture rider numbers in the finish chute
The McVay’s in Ian & Kristi who do so much behind the scenes in making Gunning a great event.

My Saturday marshals in Dougal who captured the intermediate sprint points, Ben Carmody who drove the lead car, Brian Vernon who assisted on the finish line, Michael Hanbury who drove the trail car and Greg Mitchell who managed to safely control I think the 1 or 2 cars that passed through Breadalbane at the far turn point My Sunday marshals, Seymour who drove the lead car, Paul “Stitches” Robey who drove the trail car, Ben Robey who controlled the turn point at Gunning, Kevin Newhouse who controlled the short turn point in Breadalbane and helped at the finish line afterwards and Filipe Lopes Reis who got a white knuckle ride in my Audi as we took off to capture the intermediate sprint primes.

Ben Davis
Race Referee