Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  Allan Bontjer fundraiser

•  From the Desk of the Handicapper

•  From the Desk of the Race Committee

•  COVID-19 Restrictions

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Reports

Ian Morton

Allan Bontjer fundraiser

Recently, club stalwart Allan Bontjer fell in his garden resulting in severe injuries to his chest. At one stage, the situation was grave and the prognosis was grim, but he’s made a remarkable recovery and is now at home recovering. To help him through this difficult period the club will donate all race fees from Tuesday’s race and other financial pledges to Allan.

Anyone who wants to donate extra can ask the person operating the EFT to change the amount or bring extra cash.

Riders can help by racing–yay! If you can’t make it on the night, but want to contribute, enter via RMS anyway. Your money will go into the kitty but you won’t get a DNF.

Allan will attend Tuesday’s criterium races, and he likes nothing better than to see a good sprint. A few club members have donated money for one $30 intermediate sprint prime for each grade.

Prime rules

  • First place wins $30, second gets to bang on their handle bars in disgust after they’ve crossed the line.
  • The primes will be held approximately halfway during each race and at a time when the two grades are at opposite ends of the course.
  • The sprint lap will be announced by the green flag and yet-to-be-determined audible signal.
  • The race will continue on as normal after the sprint, thereby creating the perfect moment for a counter attack.
  • The prime winner must finish the race to claim the prize.There’s no prize money for winning overall.

Please come along and say hello to Allan, race or donate via the RMS if you can’t make it.

From the Desk of the Handicapper


This weeks handicaps;
– Andrew Gatenby B to A

Rob Langridge

From the Desk of the Race Committee

Pre entries

Pre entry for crits assists organisers and saves a rush in the office before race starts. It also means riders details don’t need to be decoded from a mess of scrawls. Riders also save time before race start not having to sign on.

However, pre entry will put you in your assigned grade as per RMS. If you want to race down a grade you need to talk to the handicapper beforehand. If you want to race up, you need to get the race officials to update the race sign on sheets.

Ian McVay

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, 8st December: Stromlo Criterium – Allan Bontjer fundraiser

  • All entry fees from Tuesday’s crit will go towards a fundraising campaign for Allan
  • $30 sprint prime will be held for each grade
  • Allan will be at Stromlo on Tuesday night
  • Pre-entry – even if you are not racing, you can still donate

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
E/F/G 5:50 28 min + 2 laps
A/C 6:25 A 42m+2, C 38m+2
B/D 7:15 B 42m+2, D 38m+2

Race Director:  Simon Junakovic Contact: Email: admin@simeco.com.au    Ph  00413 342 110

Marshals: Paul Morgan

Wednesday, 9th December: Track Racing

This track session will be the last for 2020. There will be drinks and nibbles at the conclusion of the wheel race – all welcome. If anyone wishes to bring a plate it will be appreciated. Track racing will resume in the new year on Wednesday 6 January.

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: Christmas Wheel Race (6-lap handicap).

Sunday, 13th December: Uriarra Crossing

Note: Subject to Road Approvals.

Where: Parking in southern picnic area on western side of Uriarra Crossing Bridge.
When: 9:00 am.
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number
Race Description:
Three Sisters Climb – Start on Western side of Uriarra Crossing and climb three sisters. Finish at crest of third sister.

Race Director:  Jason McAvoy Contact: Email: jmcavoy@jkmt.com.au    Ph 0419 410 618

Marshals: Des Brown


Stromlo Criterium – 1st December

Short version:

It rained beforehand. Some people showed up and raced. Some got dropped and some won. Thanks to the volunteers.

Long version:

With a fierce storm passing through Canberra in the afternoon, it was perhaps inevitable that there was going to be a low turnout for the first two grades scheduled to race on Tuesday night. With 10 riders in each grade and 42 minutes and 2 laps for both, I predicted ACT Vets classic textbook racing for each respective grade i.e there would be a break in A grade that would stick and a bunch finish for C grade.

And that is exactly what transpired – with A grade together for a few laps and before the stronger riders broke away with the usual carnage occurring for the rest. C grade did see Rodney Welch off the front for some time but it finished with the predicted bunch finish.

In A grade, the riders that got away were Gerard Tiffen, Rob McLachlan and Paul Scherl. At one stage the breakaway was whittled down to two with Paul getting dropped. However perseverance on Paul’s part and what appeared to be a mutual agreement between Rob and Gerard saw them ease up towards the end allowing Paul to get back on. Whether the decision to ease up was strategic or a gentleman’s decision, they stayed away from the chasing A grade with 1st place going to Rob, 2nd to Gerard and 3rd to Paul.

C grade had the usual breakaways and there was a solo rider out front for quite some time before eventually being caught by the rest of the grade. C grade largely finished together with 1st going to Lance Purdon, 2nd to Andrew Terricini and rounded off with Rodney Welch in 3rd.

With the low turnout in the first two grades I was hopeful that this would be the precedent for the night and make my job easy. Unfortunately everyone showed up for B and D grades! Racing in both these grades at first appeared predictable with the usual suspects in B grade trying their luck with a breakaway. However for once it worked and while the initial break of 3 riders saw two of them absorbed back into B grade the last remaining rider Andrew Getenby managed to stay off the front of B grade for the last 20 minutes of the race. Andrew Getenby went on to win the B grade race quite convincingly with a bunch finish for 2nd place going to Conan Liu and 3rd to Ben McDuff.

D grade largely stayed together for most of the race and it was noted that Terry Moore was putting a significant amount of work into being on the front various times throughout the race. I admit to thinking that all that effort would amount to nothing at the end with all those guys sitting on her wheel no doubt leaving Terry in their dust as they went for the final lap and finish. However around the last five minutes of the race, her “other half” Mark Harris predicated that ‘she was going to get this’ and he was right! The ‘T MOORE’ train steamed home with her taking first place, followed by the ever ‘wiley’ Mark Taylor for second.

The last grades off for the night were E, F and G grade. G grade was a fait accompli with Bernie Crowe the only rider and as a result winning G grade. E and F grades although small in numbers were interesting to watch. For quite some time I was unsure if Adrian Breen from F grade was off the front or had been dropped as he just seemed to be “chugging” along. Turns out he chugged along to the finish and the win! E grade stayed together with Leanne Tennant narrowing taking the win from Phil Anderson.

Thanks to all the volunteers in particular Alain Albaut who volunteered and stepped up to marshal duties (and directing me) at the last moment. It was also a good reminder to me as to how much work now goes on behind the scenes for these races. Last time I directed a criterium at Stromlo for Vets it was a much more relaxed affair. You opened up the shed, pulled out a table, put out the sign on sheets and people signed themselves up and you trusted them to pay the race fee. Bigger numbers racing means more volunteers and work behind the scenes. Thanks to those ever present volunteers.

Jason Parkes

Track Racing – 2nd December

Wednesday 2 December was the eighth track racing session for the 2020-21 season. The evening was cloudy but warm. There was the usual headwind in the back straight. However, overall, conditions were good for racing. Attendance was good with 17 riders, 9 in A grade and 8 in B grades.

The 8-lap A grade scratch race started at an easy pace with Ben Robey and Ben Davis taking the initial turns. On lap 3 Kerry Knowler rolled into the lead and upped the pace. She was followed by Steve Jones who further increased the pace so that the pack began to string out. Wayne Benham pursued Steve, who then slowed, allowing the pack to consolidate. After a turn by Warwick Wilson, Dave Mullins attacked on lap 6 with John Paul De Sousa and Martin Graham in pursuit. By lap 7 the pack had again consolidated. Martin Graham attacked into the bell lap and it took a few moments for John Paul De Sousa, Steve Jones and the remaining pack to respond. Martin ripped around the lap for victory. John Paul De Sousa got close to Martin at the finish but had to settle for second place with Steve Jones trailing in for third spot.

The B Grade scratch race was quite orderly for the first 5 laps with riders swapping the lead lap by lap. Bruce Griffin took a turn as lead on lap 6 followed by Graeme O’Neill. Bruce cunningly attacked when a conventional lead changeover was expected. He gained a considerable break before a struggling Graeme O’Neill pulled over to allow the following bunch to pursue. The pace was solid for the final laps. Ian Drayton, Phil Anderson and James Newhouse were relentless in pursuit and eventually took the lead and the placings in that order. Bruce Griffin’s enterprise went unrewarded as he trailed in at 7th place.

The evening’s second event was a series of paired, 2-lap, match races. These were interesting to watch with a number of close contests. However, there was little tactical diversity, with the majority of contests ending in a long, 1 to 1.3 lap sprint. A-grade winners were Martin Graham, Ben Davis, Wayne Benham and Steve Jones. B-grade winners were Ian Drayton, James Newhouse, Phil Anderson and Alison Hale.

The track session closed with the usual, all-in, Italian pursuit. The teams were 7 riders each. The event was somewhat chaotic. The initial laps were closely contested. However, by mid race Team 2 had 4 riders and Team 1 had 3 riders. No one could work out quite how this occurred, so it made the result somewhat speculative. In the event, Team 1 were awarded the win as they completed the race first. The race was unusual, to say the least. Fortunately, the event was taken with good humour all round.

Major place getters for Wednesday were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Martin Graham, John Paul De Sousa, Steve Jones. (B Grade) Ian Drayton, Phil Anderson, James Newhouse.
2-lap Paired Match Races: (A Grade Winners) Martin Graham, Ben Davis, Wayne Benham, Steve Jones. (B Grade Winners) Ian Drayton, James Newhouse, Phil Anderson, Alison Hale.
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 1 (Dave Mullins, Ben Davis, Wayne Benham, Ian Drayton, Ken Birch, Phil Anderson, Graeme O’Neill).

Season Point Score Update:
Phil Anderson (116), Ian Drayton (108), Phil Coulton (103), Steve Jones (103), John Paul De Sousa (102), Ken Birch (99), James Newhouse (89), Bruce Griffin (85), Alison Hale (76), Ben Robey (72).

Graeme O’Neill

Dairy Flat Graded Points Race – 6th December

Warm and windy last week. Cool and VERY windy this week at Diary Flat Road and the nor-westerly made it for blustery conditions with gusts up to 45km/h and echelons for those grades with enough riders to make that happen. Marshals and racers were out early to help give the track a final clear up with lots of small and medium sized branches and sticks being blown over the road all morning. (And a big thank you to Race Director Mark Taylor and other volunteers who spent time clearing the road from debris on Saturday).

Generally the conditions were tricky, both from a meteorological point of view and the general public who occasionally strayed onto the road as walkers, runners and general cyclists. Careful bike handling made it a safe day.

The late decision was made to make it a graded points race and the combatants were extremely enthusiastic about waiting for the Director’s sprint lap siren to sound. Some used it as an opportunity to steal a march to the first turn near the wetlands and then try to stay out front for the downwind leg. For others it was more like track racing, waiting for the final bend into the cross-headwind with the line in sight before launching the sprint.

E/F/G grades set off first for 30mins +1. It was a 2 man battle in E grade with Phil making the early moves and Chris dangling a little at the turns. Phil took the first prime and max 3 points and then settled in for the last couple of laps with Chris mostly on the front. This played into the crafty race tactics of Phil perfectly to took the bell lap, max points and the race overall. F grade saw Pat in solid form and she easily worked Dennis over at the turns. Spectators enjoyed the interesting tactic of Dennis deploying the bright yellow spinnaker sail jacket at the 3/4 open position which did not aid his downwind progress and seemed to hinder the upwind momentum however there’s no doubt he enjoyed the day out and the extra watts generated – free training right there. Pat took both primes and the easy win by a large margin after they mostly stayed together during the race. #669 in Gai Monahan TTed her way to a solo victory with both primes and the win in G grade.

Next up was C/D with 4 riders in each grade and the wind had picked up with some strong gusts affecting play on the homeward leg. Mostly headwind and then a strong cross in the final 400m of the lap which put the race line in the gutter. 40 mins + 1 lap and random primes had the bunches on their toes and with larger groups than the lower grades, there was a noticeable step up in pace. Darren seemed to be making the early moves in C Grade, attacking strongly out of the turns and making the followers work hard with the line strung out. He spent a fair amount of time on the front to no avail and missed the podium. Rob enjoyed the downwind legs, not missing a pedal stroke as he waved for the camera. Andrew was looking strong but it was Lance who managed to collect the most points and had a clear gap for the sprint on the final lap to take the overall win, Andrew 2nd and Rob in 3rd. In D grade it was #282 in Russell who took the first prime in an all out bunch sprint effort and he went clear with 3 points, then Ian just edging out Peter for the remaining points. Alex was biding his time. They all stayed together fairly well throughout the race – max points and the win going to club stalwart Ian Morton, followed by Alex 2nd and then Peter for 3rd.

In arguably the most blustery conditions of the morning, A & B then lined up for 50+1. In A grade Rainer managed to dislodge B grade after 2 laps and then soloed to victory taking all primes in emphatic TT style and max double points for the win on the bell lap. Daylight didn’t even show up for second so there was plenty of time for a considered, yet modest, fist pump.

The real action happened in B grade with 11 rouleurs turning up for battle. With David’s recent road promotion to A grade, he was always going to be a protagonist. Club president Seymour also a man to mark on the punchy hot dog circuit filled with the Director’s primes …a nd Bruce ever consistent in the sprints. It was strung out early with no gentlemanly warm up laps and the “yeah, nah” boys causing almost as much havoc stringing out the bunch as the wind. The peloton splintered on about lap 4 and Dave Dickson took the first and second primes with some crafty positioning after the down wind turn and protecting the legs until absolutely required. After the split, the echelons formed with Daniel, Al, Bruce, Luke and Seymour off the front with David. Seymour was dropped with about 10 to go and then they were down to 4 with only 5 minutes to go. Late attacks from Al, Dave and Bruce helped Daniel to yo-yo off the remaining group at every turn until he was also dropped. It really felt like we hadn’t seen Luke all day and it was only his third race for the year…but as it turns out, that’s how you win! Don’t put your nose in the wind unless you absolutely have to and consistency paid off – Dave possibly paying the price for those early primes vs double points for the win. 1st to Luke, 2nd David and Bruce in 3rd.

All-in-all, a great day out.

Photos on Facebook.

Mark K Taylor – Race Referee
Race report courtesy Jeremy Gillman-Wells

Sprint Points

ACT Veterans Cycling Club