ACT Veterans Cycling Club

Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  Heat Warning

•  Thank-you: ACTVCC Evaluation Survey

•  First Aid Course

•  From the Desk of the Handicapper

•  COVID-19 Restrictions

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Reports

Ian Morton

Heat Warning

ACT Veterans Cycling ClubVets,The temperature for tomorrow’s Crit Race (1st Dec) is forecast to reach 35 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.

Thank-you: ACTVCC Evaluation Survey

Thank-you to everyone who took the time to complete the ACTVCC Evaluation Survey over the last two weeks. We received 249 responses, which is fantastic.

Our external evaluator Erin is now analysing the survey findings, which will inform one-to-one phone or video interviews over December and January. Erin is interested in talking to members and former members who have a range of experiences with the Vets Club, including newer members, long-term members, members who are also involved in other local cycling clubs, as well as members across different grades or disciplines. Two online focus groups with female members will also be held.

If you are interested in talking to Erin, please contact her on to arrange a time.

First Aid Course

Dear Members,

Would you know what to do if you were first on the scene of a road accident involving a cyclist? Would you know how to help one of your friends if they had a fall during a ride?

The club has been successful in bidding for an ACT Government Grant for road safety. This allows us to offer members First Aid courses free of charge. We estimate our nearly 300 members cycle more than 180,000km on ACT Roads every year. This makes it quite likely one of us will be first on scene at an accident at some time.

A First Aid course would provide you with a nationally recognised qualification, and would equip you to help others in the event of an emergency. It would also help the club to continue to conduct racing in the ACT. The club uses, and will continue to use, an external contractor to provide first aid support to races, however there are times when this service is unavailable. In order for the club to be able to undertake our scheduled race calendar, the club will, from time to time, ask a first aid qualified member to attend a race.

The committee has experience of a course provider in the ACT that has adapted to COVID-19 restrictions by taking the theory components on-line, and adapting the practical elements in line with social distancing requirements. If there’s interest from members, the Committee will organise a group booking with this provider. Please e-mail if you would like to take up this option.

Otherwise, members may register for the first aid course of their choice, provided that:
1) the course provides a recognised Australian first aid qualification;
2) the cost of the course is less than or equal to $200; and
3) members acknowledge and agree to being placed on a list of first aid providers that, from time to time, will be utilised to provide first aid services to club races.

Contact the committee to ensure that your intended course meets the club’s needs. Following completion of the course, contact the Treasurer at to provide a copy of your qualification and organise a reimbursement.

From the Desk of the Handicapper

Allan Bontjer

Last week’s announcement regarding Allan’s accident was very grave, but in the past week he’s made remarkable progress, is out of intensive care and doing quite well.

He’s even walked to the hospital cafe for a coffee.There’s still a long way to go with his rehabilitation–he’s still in pain from the main injury to his ribs and is suffering from pneumonia. More frequent updates will be available on the Vets’ Facebook page.


This weeks handicaps;
– Carmine Spagnoletti C to B
– David Dickson B to A2 road
– Al Raitt B to A2 road

Rob Langridge

COVID-19 Restrictions

There are current alerts in place for people returning to the ACT from South Australia (SA) and conditions for travelers from other states.

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.


Tuesday, 1st December: Stromlo Criterium

Note: We are short a marshall for tomorrow’s event. Could anyone able to assist, please contact the race director.

Reminder: You can pre-register online on the RMS: or pay cash/EFTPOS on the day.

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
A/C 5:50 A 42m+2, C 38m+2
B/D 6:35 B 42m+2, D 38m+2
E/F/G 7:20 28 min + 2 laps

Race Director:  Jason Parkes Contact: Email:    Ph  0401 816 440

Marshals: vacant

Wednesday, 2nd December: 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 – 7.00pm: 2-lap match races;
7.00pm – 7.20pm: Italian pursuit.

Sunday, 6th December: Dairy Flat Road Criterium – Graded

– Sign-on at least 15min before your race in your Crit grade.
– Tea and coffee won’t be available after racing this week.
– Don’t forget Sunday’s race is pre-entry or cash on the day.

Where: Travel toward the airport and drop down onto the northern end of the track west of the second river crossing or, head to Fyshwick then west onto Dairy Road and follow on until you find a gate that delineates the cut off section.
When: 9:00 am.
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number
Race Description:
E/F/G 9:00 30 mins 1 lap
C/D 9:40 40 mins 1 lap
A/B 10:30 50 mins 1 lap

Race Director:  Mark K Taylor Contact: Email:    Ph 0408 884 984

Marshals: Jeremy Gillman-Wells


Stromlo Criterium – 24th November

B+D grade off first, Quite a fast pace set from the start from B grade. Windy conditions helped with break away’s developing right form the start. Trying to keep track wasn’t easy. The end result was Riley Dale taking the win followed by Conan Liu and Heath Chester rounding out the top 3. Great race, was good to watch.

D grade weren’t quite as hasty for a break away to form. A few try’s were made but were gathered up pretty quickly. The win was taken from a good friend of mine and his first race in VETS Tim Ryan, well done Tim and I think C grade this coming week. 2nd place was Frank O’Sullivan and Peter Frew (another good friend of mine) taking out 3rd. Seems all my mates are sand baggers but I did give advise to Tim so my bad also….. Well done to all D graders as it wasn’t easy in that wind I’m sure.

Next up were E+F+G grades. Again the wind played quite a big part in the separation of grades and by the looks of some of the faces out on the track it didn’t appear easy. E grade had a couple of groups formed, the 1st place taker was John Fleming followed by Penelope Anderson and on the tandem Lindy Hou.

F grade I believe separated also but was taken out by Adrian Breed followed by Pat Rooke and Dennis Puniard.

G grade was taken by the solo rider of Bernard Crowe who from the side line just keeps his head down and pedals with no look of pain on his face as everyone else did in the other grades so well done Bernie. I do apologize for the lack of a write up but I was concentrating on all the different groups circulating in different groups on the track wasn’t easy. Well done to all!

Next up was A+C, A grade had quite a few break away’s pretty quickly and split across the entire track mid way through the race which again took quite a lot of concentration to keep track of. Again was a great race to watch and hard in that wind. First place was taken out by Rob McLachlan, If there was an A+ grade that would suit quite well, great effort, 2nd place was taken by Marc Vroomans and 3rd Mark Harris. The end was tricky as both grades and groups were starting to blend together, sorry to the riders if it wasn’t easy to follow signage but again well done to A grade.

C grade followed, in the race brief I was asked how long the race was and I stated 40 minutes + 2 laps and was quite quickly shown my mistake by what felt like the entire field of “its only 35 + 2 laps”, seemed to me they didn’t want to have those extra 5 minutes in that wind? Not sure why? Anyway, from the first lap Carmine Spagnoletti took off and the bunch never saw him again, at one stage he had over half a lap and looked to be doing it quite easy but that wind knocked him around a lot and he started to slow in the later stage of the race but not enough as he stayed away and took the win quite easily followed by Steven Jones and Adam Strickland. Another great race to watch.

Well done to all grades as the Stromlo wind wouldn’t have been easy to race in.

Thanks to my first aider Simon, Marshall Ben Zeller and my 2 extra helpers Mia and Oscar Chamberlain who hopefully learnt something as their Dad Andrew is on duty this week coming and is unable to attend so Mia and Oscar are filling in which is great so be nice to them and stay together in your groups…….. Yeah right

Was a great event and enjoyed myself.

Simon Porombka

Track Racing – 25th November

Wednesday 25 November saw the seventh track racing session for the 2020-21 season. Although Wednesday morning was overcast, the evening produced quite good conditions for racing. It was clear and hot. A stiff breeze created a stronger headwind in the back straight than ideal, but riders took this in their stride. Attendance was the good, 18 riders with equal numbers in A and B grades.

The 8-lap A grade scratch race started at a solid pace that increased as the laps ticked off. The first five laps were unadventurous with Steve Jones, Craig Kentwell, Dominic Rideaux, and Kerry Knowler taking turns at the front. On lap 6, Dominic Rideaux cranked up the pace causing the pack to string out. Martin Graham pursued Dominic and after taking over the lead, slowed the pace as the bell lap approached. This compacted the bunch and put Ben Davis and others in a good position to attack from the high banking. However, Martin Graham was the first to attack and his pace quickly carried him several metres out from the pack. Only Steve Jones was able to pursue and close the gap. Steve quickly had the upper hand and surged past Martin to take the win. Martin held on for second against a fast closing Wayne Benham.

The B Grade scratch race was quite orderly for the first 5 laps with riders swapping the lead lap by lap. James Newhouse raised the pace considerably when he rotated into the lead on lap 6 with Phil Coulton stuck to his wheel. James’s effort caused the bunch to string out with gaps appearing everywhere. James probably attacked too early as the bunch eventually overhauled him as his pace slowed marginally. Ian Drayton, Phil Anderson and Bruce Griffin surged out of the consolidated pack to take the final sprint in that order. James was relegated to fifth place in a hard race.

The evening’s second event was a 2-Lap handicap. The A grade handicap saw Steve Hirsler take off as the rabbit. However, Steve likely overdid the pace on his first lap as he faded in the second. Craig Kentwell, Wayne Benham and Kerry Knowler were well motivated and put in big efforts to take the podium places in that order.

The B grade handicap was interesting. Alison Hale rode exceptionally well from limit and no one could come near her. Graeme O’Neill was off a lesser handicap than previously, but somehow managed to stay just clear of the pursuing pack to take second place. The remaining pack was quite close at the finish with Phil Coulton taking a creditable third placing.

The third event for the evening was a graded, 10-lap Snowball. This is, essentially, a points race with escalating sprint points as the race progresses. In A Grade, Martin Graham took the first sprint. Ben Davis than make an enterprising effort, snatching the second sprint win and placing second to Martin Graham in the third sprint. Steve Jones was cagey, timing his efforts for the more valuable, later sprints. However, Martin Graham had the best overall performance garnering points in all five sprints for a race winning total of 11 points. Steve Jones was a close second with 10 points. Third placing, on 6 points, was Dave Mullins.

In the B Grade Snowball, Bruce Griffin took the first sprint. Ian Drayton surged out of the pack for the second sprint and subsequently powered around the track in the lead for the three remaining sprints. In the points wash up, Ian easily took first place with 14 points followed by Mark Canaider (8 points) and Phil Anderson (6 points).

The track session closed with the usual, all-in, Italian pursuit. The teams were large at 9 riders each. This event initially seemed quite close. However, as the race progressed, it became obvious that Team 1 was the stronger team. Both teams rode in exemplary fashion. However, Steve Jones (anchor for Team 1) commenced the final lap with an advantage that Craig Kentwell (anchor for Team 2) had little chance of overcoming. Team 1 took a comfortable win. Both teams enjoyed the challenge.

Results: Firstly, a correction for the B Grade 200m Fly from last week where Bruce Griffin’s second placing was overlooked. The correct results were Ian Drayton (14.56s), Bruce Griffin (15.07s), Ken Birch (15.16s).

Major place getters for Wednesday 25th were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Steve Jones, Martin Graham, Wayne Benham. (B Grade) Ian Drayton, Phil Anderson, Bruce Griffin.
2-lap Handicap: (A Grade) Craig Kentwell, Wayne Benham, Kerry Knowler. (B Grade) Alison Hale, Graeme O’Neill, Phil Coulton.
10-lap Snowball: (A Grade) Martin Graham (11 pts), Steve Jones (10 pts), Dave Mullins (6 pts). (B Grade) Ian Drayton (14 pts), Mark Canaider (8 pts), Phil Anderson (6 pts).
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 1 (Steve Jones, Dominique Rideaux, Kerry Knowler, Ken Birch, James Newhouse, Phil Anderson, Graeme O’Neill).

Season Point Score Update:
Phil Anderson (97), Phil Coulton (91), Steve Jones (90), Ian Drayton (88), John Paul De Sousa (87), Ken Birch (86), Bruce Griffin (77), James Newhouse (73). Ben Robey (61), Alison Hale (61).

Graeme O’Neill

Old Federal Highway Graded Scratch – 29th November

Warm and windy conditions greeted the 40 odd starters at the weekends Old Federal Highway, Tulip Farm scratch race. Four bunches set off eagerly, with no significant breaks or splits on the first lap. The combination of the wind and Washing Machine Hill proved to be decisive on the second and third laps for the combined A/B and to a certain extent for C and D. E and F were also combined over their two lap race. E grade largely stayed together with the F graders trailing. At the finish E grade had a small bunch sprint with Russell Marston taking the win, Alex Sommariva second and Penelope Anderson third. Chris Copeland came home as the sole finishing F grader.

A/B were racing well together with the odd rider trailing off due to the wind. Christophe Barberet and Al Raitt broke clear on the last lap and engaged in a sprint finish, with the remainder of the A/B combination trailing behind. Christophe was first for A grade, with Rowan McMurray second. Al Raitt, who hung in there with Christophe took first in B grade, with David Dickson second, Mark Harris third.

C grade likewise largely stayed together for the 3 laps and in the sprint finish, Andrew Matz took the win in a close sprint with David Stewart-Thomson second and Michael Hanbury third. Finally, a similar situation unfolded in D grade with a split in the bunch and a sprint finish. Lance Purdon took the win, Alain Arbaut a close second and Craig Coleman third.

Congrats also to the two new riders who experienced their first Vets road race – well done on your participation and staying out of trouble.

Thanks to the core club members who made the race happen – especially Graham Hendrie, Ian McVay and Ian Morton. Thanks also to the marshals – Rainer Wilton, Michael Payne, Bernard Crowe and Peter Jovanovic.

Marc Vroomans