ACT Veterans Cycling Club

Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  From the Desk of the President

•  From the Desk of the Handicapper

•  Canberra Events

•  COVID-19 Restrictions

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Reports

Ian Morton

From the Desk of the President

Working Bee – Painting the interior of the club’s new shipping container

The Committee recently purchased a 40ft shipping container to store the van, club signage and other race paraphernalia. It is located at Stromlo.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

It is dark and gloomy inside – so we would like to organise a working bee to brighten up the internal walls.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

We are seeking 6-8 people to help out at 9:30am, Sunday 21 March at Stromlo (noting that the Sunday race has been cancelled due to race approvals not being provided).

We estimate it will take approximately 2 hours of work. We can’t pay you but can reward you with a burger at the Handlebar afterwards!

No prior experience is required, and the Committee will organise the paint and supplies. There is currently no power to the location.

If you can help us out, please contact me at

From the Desk of the Handicapper

Vets Out and About

Congratulations to Peta Brill who won the criterium stage and was second overall in the women’s Division 2 Bathurst Cycling Classic, which Cycling NSW erroneously described as the first stage race to be held in NSW since 2013. It’s wonderful that it has achieved this milestone but of course, it was oblivious to the fact that the Vets have held a stage race at Gunning every year since the 90s.


Crit Handicap changes;
– Joel Rahman B to A
– Eoin Rothery D to C
– Kevin Newhouse D to C
– Des Brown E to D

Rob Langridge

Canberra Events

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

Rotary Rides Canberra – Five Peaks Challenge

ACT Veterans Cycling Club
ACT Veterans Cycling Club

COVID-19 Restrictions

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.


Tuesday, 16th March: 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 7:00 E/F/G 20 m + 2

Race Director:  Mathew Corby Contact: Email:    Ph  0431 477 536

Marshals: Mijo (Michael) Spoljaric

Wednesday, 17th 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: 1-lap screamer (standing start TT).
6.50pm – 7.10pm: 2-lap handicap (time permitting).
7.10pm – 7.30pm: Italian pursuit.

Sunday, 21st March: Race Cancelled

Due to the new conditions being imposed by the Yass Council to conduct racing and the roadworks being undertaken, the Dog Trap Road event this weekend has been cancelled.


SFP Criterium – 9th March

Firstly a big thank you to committee members Ian and Kirsti McVay for looking after all the race admin and registration, and to Dale Dummett for marshalling the race, helping with all the set up, race timing and finish line placings, this freed me to concentrate on having as safe and fair a race as possible. And off course thank you to the First Aid Officer Simon Whitehead who thankfully wasn’t “required” on the night.

Fine and windy conditions saw a good turnout, with plenty of breakaways and chases to keep things interesting. No kangaroos, ducks or snakes to report for once, only a couple of pee wees “obsessive compulsive” with the finishing line area.

First saw B (24) and D (26) set off. A total of 50 riders on the track.

In B grade Simon Junakovic went for a solo escape from the first lap, you would think he knows better than that!, but who am I to say that! That certainly set the standard for the night. Simon was replaced at the front by Ben Zeller and Dale Riley. They too lasted a couple of laps and were replaced by another attacking duo Darren Blackhurst and Mark Vardy. Two laps seemed to be the limit for the breakaways though and the bunch soon regrouped. Just within 10′ to go Dale and Darren went again only to be eventually caught and make way to a bunch sprint convincingly won by Joel Rahman, with Lance Purdon and Dale Riley backing up for the podium places.

D grade was also a race paced by many breakaway. Kevin Newhouse and Mark Taylor got the jump ahead of the bunch for about 4 laps before gruppo compacto then with about 10′ left in the race David Hennessy and John Ross did a one lapper ahead of the rest, John decided to wait for the pack and left David alone at the front. Not for long though, that was very tempting for some so Eoin Rothery and Mark Taylor joined him. It looked like it could go to the end, big commitment from both the escapees and the chasing pack…it all came back together for the sprint finish won by Eoin Rothery ahead of Kevin Newhouse and Frank O’Sullivan.

Then we moved to E (8), F (4) and G (3) grades.

E grade was a war of attrition with people slowly drifting off the back due to the consistent pace imposed at the front. With under 10′ left in the race the front group was reduced to 5 riders with Chris Reis taking a flyer. it stayed as such until the final sprint. The race was won by Chris Reis ahead of Des Brown and Cat Riley.

F grade was a compact well disciplined group all the way to the finish, the sprint to the line was fierce and won by Ken Birch, with Robert Miller in second place and Ross Heazlewood on the last step of the podium.

G grade was sorted very early with both Gai Monahan and Mijo Spoljaric riding away from everyones favorite, Mr Bernard Crowe. Bernard kept them honest, but 2 is often better than 1 and both Gai (1st) and Mijo (2nd) stayed away to the finish line with Bernard claiming 3rd position not far behind.

The evening closed off with A (14) and C (18) grades:

C grade went off with a bang, 3 riders escaping in the first lap (Adam Strickland, Ben Neal and James Tonkin). The bunch was chasing hard and managed to bring them back after 4 laps. This early onslaught took its toll and it took a little while before anyone else had recovered enough to attack. That was Adam and James again escaping but just for one lap this time. The pace was too high for any other substantial attack to succeed and it all came to a bunch sprint. The closest sprint of the night with riders drag racing all across the finish straight… it was a photo finish with Adam Strickland winning ahead of James Tonkin and Scott Rea.

That left us with the A grade race. Straight away last week winner, Mark Terracini went on a solo move. The pace was not fully on, with a bit of cat and mouse play between the bunch and Terra. Then after 10′ it all erupted! Michael Pain started the hostilities in the bunch, Jeremy GW counter attacked and Terra was reeled in… or was he? No he was just close enough for Paul Scherl to jump across with both men leaving the bunch behind, it was too tempting for some and Jimmy Carroll jumped solo in hot pursuit of the duo, that was a very powerful long effort that Jimmy gave us, he eventually caught them and the 3 riders started to work together to increase the gap. The Tiffens boys were on the back foot for a second or two, but Gerard brutalised his bike for a lap and breached the gap to the front group on his own. Phew, that was a pretty entertaining few laps. From that point on the race was a hard slog with the 4 breakaway riders working well as a team and increasing their lead with constant hard pace. The bunch had to settle to fight out for 5th place. It came to a final lap sprint. Jimmy went hard early from the top corner, that must have been brutal and only Tiff and Terra could eventually catch him but not before the exit of Collarbone corner, Tiff counter attacked straight away for the win. Jimmy did not give up and nearly caught back Tiff before the finish, with Terra claiming the last podium spot.

Christophe Barberet

Track Racing – 10th March

Weather for the season’s 18th track racing session was hot with just a slight wind. The wind increased a little as racing progressed. However, overall, conditions were ideal for racing. The attendance in B grade has been trending up. An encouraging 12 B grade riders signed on for the session with a healthy female contingent of 4 riders. A grade had a reasonable roll up with 6 riders. The track session was the concluding session for the track championship point scoring.

The 8-lap, A grade, scratch race started at an easy pace with Craig Kentwell leading out. It did not take long for the action to commence. On lap 2 Steve Jones rolled to the front and soon Tristan Dimmock put in a savage attack from near the front. Tristan was having a first ride with the track group and is clearly a strong rider. He soon established a 20m gap and strung out the pursuing bunch. Tristan kept increasing his lead lap by lap. Steve Jones pursued doggedly and, initially, looked like he would catch Tristan. However, as he could not gain Tristan’s wheel quickly, he eventually tired and had to concede the lead. Eventually Tristan cruised home for the win with a 70m margin over Steve Jones with Rowan McMurray in third place.

The 8-lap B grade scratch race began with Tony Beasley leading out. The pace was surging up and down as Ian Drayton, Phil Coulton, Ken Birch and James Newhouse swapped into the lead. On lap 5 Mark Canadier rolled to the front and put in another surge. Lap 6 commenced with two pacelines and riders hammering towards the finish. The bunch was soon splayed up the banking in several pacelines. However, despite the furious pace, the riding remained disciplined and safe. Ultimately Ian Drayton surged around the bunch with Tony Beasley, Alison Hale, Elizabeth Lowe and Tara Dickens in hot pursuit. Ian Drayton contested a close sprint with Tony Beasley and emerged the winner. Tony took second place. Mark Canaider put in a big finish sprint to outrun the remaining bunch for third place.

The evening’s second event was a 200 Fly, a timed sprint over 200m from a flying start. It is difficult to get this event just right. All-out sprint power and flying start technique are the keys to the event. A-grade times were very competitive with the first three being Tristan Dimmock (13.17s), Steve Jones (13.42s) and Kerry Knowler (14.29s). B-grade times were also quite competitive with the first three being Ian Drayton (14.20s), Phil Coulton (14.59s) and Ken Birch (14.84s). The fastest rider (Tristan Dimmock) averaged 56.6 km/hr over the timed section.

It was intended to run a 4-lap handicap as the evening’s third event. However, as the light was fading, it was necessary to drop this event and close the session with the usual, all-in, Italian pursuit. The pursuit had large teams (8 riders). Unusually, the event was pure chaos. Both teams made good starts but the errors soon commenced. Team 1 surrendered the event when their paceline split severely, leaving Elizabeth Lowe exposed and soon exhausted. The team tried to patch things up with an improvised paceline but the damage was done and they no longer figured in the race. Team 2 was only marginally better with several less severe splits in the paceline. However, their win was made easy by the chaos in Team 1. Fortunately, riders accepted the troubles with good nature and still enjoyed the racing. However, the event did highlight the importance of disciplined team work in pursuits.

Major place getters for Wednesday were as follows:
8-Lap Scratch: (A Grade) Tristan Dimock, Steve Jones, Rowan McMurray. (B Grade) Ian Drayton, Tony Beasley, Mark Canaider.
200m Fly (TT): (A Grade) Tristan Dimmock (13.17s), Steve Jones (13.42s), Kerry Knowler (14.29s). (B Grade) Ian Drayton (14.20s), Phil Coulton (14.59s), Ken Birch (14.84s).
Combined Italian Pursuit: Winner Team 2 (Triston Dimmock, Rowan McMurray, Steve Hirsler, Phil Coulton, Mark Canaider, James Newhouse, Taryn Dickens, Alison Hale).

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).

Final Season Point Scores (Track Championship):
Steve Jones (278), Ian Drayton (264), James Newhouse (248), Phil Anderson (236), John Paul De Sousa (226), Ken Birch (203), Alison Hale (197), Phil Coulton (190), Tony Beasley (172), Wayne Benham (168), Craig Kentwell (160), Bruce Griffin (141).

Graeme O’Neill