In this week’s Bleat;

•  From the Desk of the Handicapper

•  From the Race Committee

•  Racing this Week

•  Race Report

Ian Morton

From the Desk of the Handicapper

CRuMbs out and about

While the locals were battling the Iron Mike on Saturday, other members were further away contesting the NSW Masters Championships in Singleton.

Best result for the club was Brendan Byatt winning the TT in the M6 age group. From memory this is his first gold medal, although he’s been in the top four almost every other year. Owain Tilley got silver in the M8 TT.

In the M6 RR, Chris Short was 12th; in the M8 Brian Peak was 5th, Owain 6th and Bruce McMillan 7th.

In the criterium Bruce got the silver, with Brian in 9th. Well done to all.


Ed Hall C to B
Brenton Clark C to B

Rob Langridge
Club Handicapper

From the Race Committee

This Saturday’s race at Uriarra requires a Race Director, 3 x ETCs, Marchall and Van Driver. Anyone willing to assist, please advise the Race Committee (


Saturday, 10th September – Uriarra Homestead

Reminder: All riders must register on the CRMCC Web site ( by 9/9/2022 8:00 PM prior to the race. There is no registration at the event.

Any requests for Grade changes should be sorted out with the Handicapper prior to registration.

Where: Assemble at Uriarra Rd / Brindabella Rd, T-Junction. From North Canberra slightly faster Coppins crossing & right onto Uriarra Road. From Sth Canberra follow Cotter Road down to bridge crossing, turn right onto Brindabella Road.
When: 1:30 pm.
Race Description:
Uriarra Homestead – Uphill to Short turn before the climb – downhill to top of Uriarra Crossing – back up to Homestead. 3 laps for A-D Grades. 2 Laps others

Race Director:  tba Contact: Email: tba    Ph tba

Marshals: Vacant ETC x 3, Vacant Marshall, Vacant Van Driver.


Iron Mike – 3rd September

The coveted 50 km Iron Mike Handicap race is held annually in memory of ‘Canberra Old Boys Club’ hardman from the early 80s, Mike Paral who died in 1983. The original race format was run as a handicap, which the CRMCC upholds, whereas the AusCycling clubs now run it as a scratch race with 2 laps for 100km in total. It is considered one of Canberra’s cycling Monument races.

Thirty-five riders contested the 2022 Handicap edition with the 1 lap starting off at the Stromlo West car park, descending into the Uriarra Crossing, then climbing up on Uriarra Rd towards the Homestead, past Condor Creek to the end of bitumen, then home to sprint up the Three Sisters. The last time this race was run, was in 2020 when Ben Healy expertly burgled the win for C grade to etch his name into the perpetual club trophy.

With 14 of 35 riders or 40% of the competitors coming from C grade, would we see yet another C grade winner this year?

The conditions were relatively tame to previous years I am told, with partly sunny conditions and strong 25 km/hr ESE winds, creating a headwind for the run home up the Sisters. Riders also faced two active magpies on Uriarra Road.

After the marshals and ETCs setup their respective stations, we waited with cups of tea oblivious to the drama on the road that was unfolding. We were mostly out of touch with the ETCs due to a lack of mobile and radio coverage, with the satellite phone only on standby for emergency use, which fortunately, was never activated.

It is for this reason that I am thankful for contributions from all of the grades race descriptions of El diá menos pensado or the saga of their Least Expected Day. There is nothing more flattering and confronting than your peers writing about and describing your performance on the day!

Elizabeth Lowe and Chris Copeland in F grade kicked it off with 15 mins ahead of Alex Sommariva and Al Bontjer in E grade, and 45 mins ahead of scratch. Al Bontjer writes that “Liz Lowe was still in it when she passed Uriarra homestead on the way home, closely followed by Chris Copeland. Alex was in sight of both leaders. But, that is all I saw of the action.

Eight minutes later, 4 D graders departed, after they were all introduced to the first visitor of the day, Brian Boyd from Tumut. Mick Hanbury described that their “D Grade Captain Mark Taylor set up their ‘Let’s stick together guys‘ strategy, about which many of the C graders were envious.” [RD’s note I love good inter-grade banter!] Mick reports that the highlight on the way out was the magpie hitching a ride and snacking on the back of Anthony! “The 1st C grader had our measure just before the turn and he was quickly followed by 2 more. Working together, we felt we were still in with a chance until the dreaded 3 Sisters where our race began to unravel much like the Broncos, one by one we were picked off“, concludes Mick.

The massive C grade 14 member super band was split into C2 (6 riders) and C1 (8 riders). C2 set off 5 mins after D grade, and 3 mins ahead of C1, “full of bonhomie and camaraderie, but the rolling ground and gusty crosswinds made the planned cohesion difficult to maintain“, reports Gareth. “Somehow the five membered peloton stayed together until the top of the Uriarra climb before a couple of the crew decided to abandon ship. At this point Craig Lindenmayer, Gareth Downey and Rod Welch put the hammer down up the false flat towards the Homestead. Craig and Gareth forged ahead, rolling turns and fiddling with defective race numbers, they managed to keep a reasonable pace until two members of the equally fractured C1 made the catch on the approach to Blue Range Road.

Michael Carr reports that “C1 grade started at a red-hot pace with everyone strung out behind Ed Hall’s wheel. Ed Logue from C1 concurs that Ed Hall was on the front from around 2km in where he drove the group to Uriarra Crossing, after which Hall and Toby McLenaghan combined on the front. Near the top of the crossing, our second visiting racer of the day Brenton Clark went to the front where he and Hall swapped off turns to slowly drive the rest of C1 into Uriarra Road.

We passed several C2 riders before the C1 six slowly disintegrated with McLenaghan, Ian Preston and myself off the back before the initial rise past the Homestead. Dave Dickson was off not long after before Clark pulled clear of Hall where they continued to roll further ahead and were never seen in C grade again” concludes ex-sports-journalist Ed Logue.

Meanwhile, Gareth from C2 says “there was a bit of tit for tat and swapping of positions on the remainder of the climb to the end of the bitumen before C1’s advance party jumped ahead. Craig clung on for grim death until just before the turn around, but eventually the elastic snapped. Brenton and Ed Hall made a break for home leaving the chasers to mop up the rest of D and E grade.

Ed Logue from C1 reports that “Preston, McLenaghan and myself rejoined near the top of the climb before Condor Creek, rode together to end of the bitumen and on the descent, saw the top B and A2 riders as a group and a minute or two later the A1 steam train. The A2/B train of Hollings, Vroomans, Welsh, Irwin and Davies swept past us just after the Homestead, where we jumped on as freeloading passengers. McLenaghan then Preston were out the back on the Uriarra TT section as the group approached the Crossing.

Back to the rolling moss, where “Gareth used his superior descending physics to first catch and then gap Craig on the return to the Homestead before ITTing along the Uriarra ridge line to the foot of the Three Sisters where he almost caught the, soon to be, race leaders, Clark and Hall at the start of the climb. Sister One was kind and the gap closed significantly, but family sticks together and Sister Two took her spiteful revenge on the big fella before Number Three proved a sibling too far and Gareth fell back at a rate of knots. The rolling hills were tough terrain and the headwind suited no one but the buzzards and goshawks surveying the paddocks in search of prey. As the sole survivor from C2, Gareth pushed on into the increasingly cruel conditions hoping to hold off the inevitable chase. Just when it looked like a podium was secured A2’s Paul Hollings made the catch with about 2km to go. The superior rider surged ahead before the final mini descents played into the stoutly built rouleurs hands bringing the finish to a one on one sprint. Gareth managed to make the jump at the right time and held off the fast finishing Paul for 3rd on the line.

[Up ahead, the Race Director and marshals witnessed visiting C1 racer Brenton Clark surging ahead to cross the line first, followed Ed Hall C1, then Gareth Downey C2 and Paul Hollings A2 (the 2018 Trophy winner). As Brenton was a visitor on race day, the trophy gets awarded to Ed Hall, with medals to Gareth and Paul. Please contact us to receive these if you have not already done so.]

Ed Logue describes the carnage ahead: “over the crossing, once you made the right turn to begin the climb the field was visible as all grades made their way up the Three Sisters. Preston caught me by the First Sister and we rode together up the Second and Third ugly sisters. Halfway up the Third Sister The Imperial Forces of the A1 fleet (Crispin, Dimmock and Lekhac) were on hyperdrive as they passed us.

The 2020 Iron Mike champion Ben Healy writes that “B grade started at a cracking pace until the Crossing. From there the casualties were quick. First, Bruce Goodfellow had a gear mechanical, then Peter Young and Ben Healy were blown away by the pace by the time the Homestead was reached. All 3 were forced to ride solo for the duration, while Michael Davies, Paul Welsh and Marc Vroomans powered on as a group. A2 riders Jason Irwin and Paul Hollings caught the B grade stragglers well before the turn around, and the A1 pace line had done the same by the time we hit the Homestead on the way back. “Finally, let’s hear what Steve Crispin has to report from A grade:
A Grade started hot with a tailwind to the crossing. It’s interesting what happens when putting out 130% of FTP downhill with a tailwind. Once we hit the climb, we measured our efforts to balance our team’s strengths. Climbs were comparatively steady to keep our numbers advantage to the final run to the crossing before the Sisters started. We passed our first rider on their way back just before the bridge at Condor, and knew we were up against it. We climbed steadily again, descended hard and got over Blue Range return with a full compliment. This saw us smash 30s turns averaging 54kmh from the bottom of blue range to the crossing before all hell broke loose on the Sisters. Dan, Tristan and I broke away with our domestiques used for the day and we pushed the climbs. The sisters were done in 6 minutes into a headwind averaging 365w. From there, it was a TT of two, with Tristan putting in a sacrificial lead out 4km from the finish. Once released, I had the responsibility of finishing off the hard work of A1. I passed a couple, but could only get within 10 seconds of 4th and 5th place finishers Paul and Gareth. Fun race with great company. No horses were spared.

Race Director’s concluding notes.
A lot of planning goes into these races, and I counted some 62 signal messages, 24 emails, and countless phone calls between committee members that were made to prepare for this race. It is appropriate that we acknowledge the behind-the-scenes efforts of ex-President Dougal Torrance (liaison for ACT Roads approvals), current Vice-president David Parker, Kirsti and Ian McVay, Chris Short, Rob Langridge, and other committee members. We also thank Graham Lindsay, Darren Blackhurst, and Howard Moffat for their ETC expertise, David Buckley for collecting and driving the van and ensuring all the signs and equipment were loaded, Cat Riley for her pro-marshalling assistance and time-keeping, and for her delicious chocolate cupcakes, and Simon Whitehead for First Aid. Thank you to all clubbies and visitors for making this yet another annual event to remember.

Conan Liu