In the Bleat this week;
• From the Desk of the Handicapper
• Canberra Events
• COVID-19 Restrictions
• Racing this Week
• Race Reports
From the Desk of the Handicapper
Vets Out and About
Two weekends ago, club members converged on the velodrome in Sydney and well done to Peta Brill in taking out the points and scratch race for the NSW masters’ track champs.
Last weekend, Vets gathered at Wagga Wagga for the Tolland handicaps. The course is very flat with only one hill (not that I could make it over) and consists of 15km laps so the race ends with a bunch of about 60 riders while everyone else has already dropped out. Terry Moore riding off limit was caught up in chaos of the KOM sprint and then joined our bunch for a while. Two punctures ended Bruce Goodspeed’s day early. Mark Harris and Rainer Wilton were in the mad charge for the line and fortunately missed the mass pile up with 300m to go. Ben Morrison in the Quon jersey negotiated the chaos to be 9th overall.
The Sunday race was a lap less for 75km. I decided to go to the Wagga Wagga art gallery but Michael Payne and Marc Vroomans came up for the day. Marc was 14th overall, which was another great result among a string of strong performances this season. Michael and Mark Harris were back in the rampaging bunch while Bruce was just behind.
No handicap changes this week.
The Fathering Project
The Fathering Project – The ‘Big Push’ Charity Ride April 30 2021 Sydney to Canberra
Run over 3 days and covering 280kms, the Big Push is a fun-filled cycling event that brings fathers, father figures (and family members) together with one goal: celebrating their most important role – being a dad. Further details available from the web site https://thefatheringproject.org/event/the-big-push-charity-ride-2020/.
Rotary Rides Canberra – Five Peaks Challenge
There are 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.
RACING THIS WEEK:
Tuesday, 9th March: Stromlo Criterium
Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
B/D 5:50 B 30m+2, D 25m+2
E/F/G 6:25 E/F/G 22 m + 2
A/C 6:55 A 30m+2, C 25m+2
Race Director: Christophe Barberet Contact: Email: email@example.com Ph 0402 688 452
Marshals: Dale Dummett
Wednesday, 10th March: 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: 200m fly (Time Trial).
6.50pm – 7.10pm: 4-lap handicap.
7.10pm – 7.30pm: Italian pursuit.
Note: Thanks to a generous donation from Robert Langridge, the club now has a spare track bike for temporary loan to anyone who wishes to give track racing a go. If you are interested, bring your own pedals, tyre pump and tools to set saddle height etc. Users will be responsible for checking the bike and ensuring it is safely set up for racing. Come early if you wish to take up this option.
Sunday, 14th February: Old Federal Highway Handicap
Note: This race is still subject to race approvals being finalised. Please check the RMS and Bleat for confirmation.
Sorry, there was an error in the date for this weekend’s race;
Sunday, 14th March: Old Federal Highway Handicap
Note: This race is still subject to race approvals being finalised. Please check the RMS and Bleat for confirmation.
Where: Turn left off new Federal Hwy (dual carriageway) after Bywong Rd. The intersection is signposted to Gundaroo and approx 9 km after Sutton Rd overpass. Park in gravel pit on corner of next intersection about 100 m in from highway.
When: 9:00 am.
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number
Gravel Pit – Tulip Farm
All Grades 3 Laps
Race Director: Ian Morton Contact: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph 0411112007
Marshals: James Tonkin, Stjepan Hirsler, Stuart Roesler, Al Raitt TBC
SFP Criterium – 2nd March
With perfect early autumn weather the weeks criterium racing got under way with E, F and G grades. First out of the blocks was E grade with a field of six. Over the first half of the race six became five and then four. This was how it stayed until the last lap with Linda Stahls finishing the strongest to claim 1st place from Mick Donaldson 2nd and Chris Reis 3rd.
The eight riders from F grade rolled away next and from the start Adrian Breen acted as the locomotive at the front for the first three or four laps. A few riders slipped away off the back as the remaining five riders kept formation until the final straight. In the closest finish of the night Mike Hayes pipped Robert Millar by the tread on his tyre. Crossing the line in third no doubt due to all the early work was Adrian Breen.
G grade provided an individual pursuit feel to the evening with Gai Monahan and Bernard Crowe showing that not everyone sits in the bunch all night. Both riders stayed out of trouble from the passing bunches with Gai pocketing the win and Bernard second.
The second tranche of racing started with 22 A graders and it was on from the first corner. A five rider break of Steve Crispin, Matthew Corby, Jeremy Gillman-Wells, Mark Terracini and “peu tard” Christophe Barberet broke away from the biggest field of the night. The break was working together and maintained a steady distance from the bunch for the first half of the race. The second half of the race saw more excitement and attempts to get away from the main bunch which saw the gap to the breakaway shrink to 20 seconds. With two laps to go Steve Crispin attacked the breakaway and held off his former partners for a lap then it was back to the five out in front together. The last lap saw the main bunch drag itself almost to the break by the last bend and ensure a frantic last few hundred meters of racing. With the field spread along the home straight Mark Terracini was first just ahead of Steve Crispin and Matthew Corby. The break all made it home meters before the field streamed across the line in ones and twos. An out of contract Conan Lui bringing home the second half of the race to show any director’s sportive watching there is a season or two of crits in the old legs still.
Giving away the length of the straight as a start the 16 strong C grade was off next. The bunch was stretched out several times on the climb up the back straight but was always able to regroup down the finishing straight to keep mostly together all race. The eternal question of weather the passing bunch goes by on the inside or the outside was tested several times during the race and the pinch point often the right hand bend at the end of the main straight. The race pace went up in the last few laps and a few riders at times forced the bunch into single file but no real split eventuated. At the line it was gold to Dale Kleeman, silver to James Tonkin and bronze to Gillian Lugg.
With the long shadows slowly becoming fading light the breeze picked up, the temperature dropped and B grade started racing. Plenty of riders were keen to test the bunch’s resolve and every time up the back straight it was single file with small openings appearing. More often than not it was the young at heart ( and lungs ) David McCook closing the gaps. A break of two did form with Joel Rahman and Gerry Walsh looking to keep the sprinters at bay. The bunch moved up a gear to bring it all back together. The final bunch sprint endured despite late efforts and Joel Rahman busy at the front. In the it was Gerry Walsh 1st, Joel Rahman 2nd and Ed logue 3rd. With a sixth sense the handicapper was present David McCook slid back through the field to finish 16th.
The jovial mood of the D grade riders watching the earlier races was soon lowered as the evening breeze, along with the faces huffed and puffed. The plan seemed to be safety in numbers with only Josh Quinlan going of script for the main part of the race. In the dimming light and two laps to go Frank O’Sullivan moved up the road with the all in pursuit. Next on the bell lap Iain Johnstone to give the solo victory a try. Turning back the clock Al Bontjer made the race his by sprinting home on the outside with more than a bike length to spare. Coming in behind in second place was Kevin Newhouse and Rico Fitch third. There must have been some frustration with the lead out teams as the pre-race favourites Don de Smet and Bruce Griffin rolling in at the back of the field ruing what might have been.
Track Racing – 3rd March
Weather for the season’s 17th track racing session was warm with rain threatening towards the end of the session. The wind was slight. Overall, conditions were very good for racing. Attendance held up again in B grade with 10 riders. A grade had a reasonably healthy roll up with 7 riders.
The 8-lap, A grade, scratch race started at tempo pace with Steve Jones leading out. Over the first four laps, lead out turns by Craig Kentwell, John Paul De Sousa and Steve Hirsler kept the pace steady. Ben Davis rolled into the lead at the end of lap 4 and on lap 5 cranked up the pace causing a split in the bunch. Rowan McMurray pursued and hauled all but two riders back into a lead pack. This situation remained until the start of the bell lap. Craig Kentwell was well positioned high on the banking entering the bell lap and looked good for a surprise attack. However, the lead bunch anticipated the move and a furious one lap sprint commenced. Steve Jones was the strongest sprinter taking a good win from Wayne Benham and Rowan McMurray in that order.
The 8-lap B grade scratch race began with Graeme O’Neill pulling out of a cleat, fortunately as back marker. The paceline was not disturbed and Graeme re-joined the race after a lap out. Ian Drayton took the initial lead out. The pace increased to a steady tempo after a front turn by Alison Hale. This pace stayed steady until lap 5 when Phil Coulton rolled to the front and upped the pace to a suicidal level. The pace could have shattered the bunch. However, all riders dug deep and managed to hang on until the pace dropped to a more tolerable level. Tony Beasley led out with two laps to go. However, Ian Drayton and James Newhouse were well positioned for a final attack. With one lap to go, Ian Drayton surged past the leaders using the high banking to sling shot him into a fast sprint for the win. James Newhouse pursued hard for second place with Tony Beasley managing to hang on for third.
The evening’s second event was an all-in, 2-lap handicap that concluded the four race Omnium Championship for 20-21. Ben Davis held the championship lead going into this event and needed only to finish in the points to cement his lead. Several other riders were in contention for the Omnium. However, they needed to win with Ben being out of the points to take the championship. The handicap highlight was a great performance by Phil Coulton and Ken Birch. Though these two riders established an early lead, it seemed certain that they would be run down over the two laps. However, they rode on pure guts and were determined to make it as hard as possible for the pursuers. They held their lead to the line and crossed it just ahead of a hard charging bunch with Phil taking first place and Ken taking second ahead of Ian Drayton in third place. Importantly, Ben Davis crossed in fourth place earning two more points to take out the 20-21 Omnium Championship.
The evenings third events were graded snowball points races. These races are like a conventional points races, except that the sprint points awarded escalate (snowball) as the event progresses. The A grade snowball was dominated by Steve Jones who took out the two intermediate sprints and final sprint to gain the maximum (12) points. The final points wash up saw Rowan McMurray with second placing (8 points). Third placing was a tie between Craig Kentwell and John Paul De Sousa (5 points). The B grade race was taken out by Ian Drayton (10 points) with Tony Beasley second (8 points). Three riders (James Newhouse, Alison Hale and Phil Coulton) tied for third place on 4 points.
The track session closed with the usual, all-in, Italian pursuit. This event had teams of 5 riders. Both teams made good starts and rode without error. On paper, Team 2 looked slightly stronger. However, the result was, again, more emphatic than expected. After establishing a small lead in the first half of the race, James Newhouse, John Paul De Sousa and Rowan McMurray powered through the latter section of the race and provided Team 2 with an easy win.
Major place getters for Wednesday were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Steve Jones, Wayne Benham, Rowan McMurray. (B Grade) Ian Drayton, James Newhouse, Tony Beasley.
2-Lap Handicap: (A Grade) Phil Coulton, Ken Birch, Ian Drayton.
12-Lap Snowball: (A Grade) Steve Jones (12 points), Rowan McMurray (8 points), Craig Kentwell and John Paul De Sousa (5 points) (B grade) Ian Drayton (10 points), Tony Beasley (8 points), James Newhouse, Alison Hale and Phil Coulton (4 points).
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 2 (John Paul De Sousa, Rowan McMurray, Tony Beasley, Phil Coulton, James Newhouse).
Final Omnium Championship Points:
Ben Davis (16), Phil Coulton (13), Ken Birch (11), Steve Jones, Phil Anderson (10), Alison Hale, John Paul De Sousa, Tony Beasley (9), Bruce Griffin, James Newhouse (7), Rowan McMurray, Colin Calderwood (6).
Season Point Score Update:
Steve Jones (262), Ian Drayton (249), James Newhouse (235), Phil Anderson (228), John Paul De Sousa (226), Ken Birch (192), Alison Hale (187), Phil Coulton (176), Wayne Benham (168), Tony Beasley (159), Craig Kentwell (148), Bruce Griffin (141), Ben Davis (136).
Vets Elders Age Standard Time Trial – Tharwa to Apollo Road – 28th February
A beautiful day at Tharwa, light winds, with 18 riders taking on the short but hard 17.65km time trial over Mt Tennant to Apollo Rd and back. The ride took on average about 35 minutes, but there were some tired looking racers at the finish.
In the Women’s Division Linda Stals was 3rd in 39:15, Tania Launder 2nd in 34:50 and handicap and line honours went to Emma Padovan who completed the course in 31:49 or 57 seconds over age standard. Emma’s average speed was 33.3 kph on a hilly course.
In the men Owain Tilley was 3rd in 30:41, David Dickson 2nd in 30:01 and Gerard Tiffen got the line honours and best handicap result with at time of 25:58 which is 3:13 under age standard for Gerard. A nice effort and an average speed of 40.8kph.
Thanks to marshals Henry Thomson and Callum Henshaw who did a great job and made my job easy. Also to Graham Hendrie and Ian McVay who do heaps to keep the races happening.