ACT Veterans Cycling Club

Hello Vets,

In the Bleat this week;

•  From the Desk of the President

•  Canberra Events

•  COVID-19 Restrictions

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Reports

Ian Morton

From the Desk of the President

Shipping Container

Thanks to John McMaster the container is now level. And thanks to Darren Blackhurst we’ve got most to the interior painted.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

Dangerous Overtaking

There have been a number of complaints from lower grades of a dangerous situation that arises when being overtaken by higher grades.

As shown in the below diagram, there is a tendency in some situations, particularly on corners, for the lead riders of the overtaking bunch, once they have passed the lower grade to move across onto the racing line of the lower grade.

The remaining members of the overtaking bunch then tend to follow the racing line that the leaders have taken, resulting in the lower grade being cut-off.

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

To avoid this situation, the Lead Riders of the overtaking bunch are requested to remain on the opposite side of the Track Centre Line until the whole bunch has had the opportunity to pass (even if this means sacrificing some tactical advantage).

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

Your assistance in following this practice will help make racing safer for all competitors.

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, 30th March: Stromlo Criterium

Where: Stromlo Forest Park
Sign on: 15 mins before scheduled start time wearing your registered number.
Race Description:
B/D 20m+2 @5:50
E/F/G 20m+2 @6:15
A/C 20m+2 @6:40

Race Director:  Rico Fitch Contact: Email:    Ph  0422 893 517

Marshals: Gary Waldron

Wednesday, 31st March: No Track Racing

Track racing has concluded for the 20/21 season.

Sunday, 4th March: No Road Race

Road Racing has concluded for the 20/21 season.


SFP Criterium – 23rd March

Crit racing was cancelled due to the wet weather.

Track RacingSeason 20/21

The 2020-21 Track Racing Season concluded on Wednesday 24 March with a team race, trophy presentation and drinks to celebrate a very successful season. The 2020-21 track season was a welcome change from the previous season which was heavily disrupted by the combination of bushfire smoke, rain and Covid-19. Only two sessions were disrupted in 20-21, both by rain. We were fortunate that the presentation event went ahead in fine weather after a week of flooding rains.

A total of 37 riders participated in one or more of the 20-21 track racing sessions. Since the transfer of our track program to the Bundadome venue in 2014, a total of 76 riders from the club have participated in Track racing. This season’s attendance was up on last year, with 12 – 20 riders being the norm. The A grade attendance trailed off a little towards the end of the season. However, B grade went from strength to strength with up to 12 riders racing in the recent sessions. Judging by the expressions of appreciation from riders, the enjoyment level from racing was as high as ever.

There were 18 evening track sessions with around 65 races over the season. The season provided a variety of race formats including scratch races, handicaps, pursuits, match races, points races, sprints and time trials. All races contributed to an overall Track Championship. This year Steve Jones took out the Track Championship. It has been good to see several riders in contention for the championship in recent years. Steve is a most deserving winner as he has been a regular trackie for many years and is likely the strongest sprinter from the regular track group. It was good to see B grade riders well up in the Championship point scores. Ian Drayton took out second place in the Track Championship with James Newhouse taking third place. Both of these riders had strong seasons. Ian was the benchmark rider in B Grade and James was a track stalwart and regular podium finisher in B grade.

The track season was almost injury free. Graeme O’Neill had a fall when his pedal clipped the high banking at slow speed. Ben Davis lost concentration during one of the warm-ups and clipped a wheel. Ben’s accident caused him more trauma than expected. However, both accidents were relatively minor with no lasting injury. In the last eight years, we have had only five minor accidents at track. Despite the speed, close quarters racing and lack of brakes, track racing is consistently the safest race discipline offered by the club.

The standard of riding was high and most of the regular riders improved considerably over the season. As usual, it was difficult to select the most improved rider because most riders improved their performance markedly over the season. However, this season’s award for most improved rider went to Alison Hale from B grade. Alison started as one of the back markers in B grade and progressed over the season to be one of the front runners.

The track season included a handicap Wheel Race just prior to Christmas, with the trophy taken by Ben Davis. Towards the end of the season, we ran a four-event Omnium Championship. The results for this event are decided by “the algorithm” which attempts to equalise the chances of all track participants, regardless of grading. This year Ben Davis took out the Omnium Championship, capping off a very successful season for Ben.

20-21 Track Medal Winners:

ACT Veterans Cycling Club

(L to R: Alison Hale: Most Improved Rider, Ben Davis, Xmas Wheel Race winner & Omnium Champion, Steve Jones: Overall Track Champion, James Newhouse & Ian Drayton: Bronze & Silver medallists for the Track Championship).

This summary would not be complete without acknowledging and thanking all the parties who contributed to the track season. This includes the club committee who book the venue, support the track racing discipline and publish results, Simon from Sports Medicine, all those who assisted in myriad ways over the season and, finally, the riders who invariably displayed the best competitive spirit and camaraderie.

Graeme O’Neill

Track Season Results

Christmas Wheel Race Results (1st – 5th):
Ben Davis, Warwick Wilson, Ben Robey, Wayne Benham, Ian Drayton

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 20/21 Track Championship Point Scores:
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).

Most Improved Rider:
Alison Hale

Uriarra Roubaix – 28th March

Heavy fog and single digit temperatures greeted 24 starters at the annual Uriarra Roubaix, conditions not unlike springtime in Northern France.

The atmosphere was tense and the riders contemplated the racing ahead whilst closely examining the equipment choices of their competitors.

As the sun broke through and the temperatures rose, the A graders rolled off first for 3 laps of the challenging course ahead. A number of regular heavy hitters promised a tough day out.

B graders were next featuring the return to racing of Charles Nichol. 7 riders battled out for C grade and 2 hardy E graders set out for a leisurely 2 laps.

Perfect conditions and not a breath of wind prevailed for rest of the day. As the A graders rolled through for their first lap Nathan Spillane, Gerard Tiffen, Paul Scherl, Jeremy Gillman-Wells and Steve Crispin were setting a solid pace at the front.

B grade was starting to split, C grade was much more social and our 2 E graders were hardly breaking a sweat.

As the day wore on, the gravel was taking its toll. DNF’s told stories of wombats, snakes and potholes big enough to have their own Strava segment.

As A headed into the last lap, Jeremy, Steve, Gerard and Paul were inseparable. With Gerard eventually pulling away to take the win from Paul and Jeremy. It was the Charles Nicol of old who took the B grade win followed by Bruce Goodfellow and Grant Shaw.

C grade was taken out by John Paul De Susa with Peter Balint and Kevin Wells Rounding out the podium. Our E graders were all smiles as they crossed the line together, with Alex Sommariva perhaps just edging out Simon Milnes in the final lunge for the line.

Thanks to Ashley Carruthers, Robert Langridge, Russell Marston and Paul Welsh for assistance today – together of course with Graham Hendrie and Simon Whitehead.

Andrew Chamberlain