Masters, In this week’s Bleat;

• CRMCC – Out and About

Race Forever – International Womens Day Club Championship Criterium

• From the Desk of the Handicapper

• From the Race Committee

• Racing this Week

• Race Reports

“You cannot breach the gap between opportunism and ability” — Phil Liggett

Michael Langdon

From the Desk of the Handicapper:



Rob Langridge – Handicapper

From the Race Committee

Gunning road race is delayed to later in the year…expected around October 2023 (= more training time).


Tuesday, 14 March: Stromlo Club Championship Criterium (part II)

Note: Registration required by 14 March 2023 3:50pm.
Any requests for Grade changes should be sorted out with the Handicapper prior to registration.
Late entries may be considered in exceptional circumstances. Please email

Race Director: Alan Bontjer Contact: Ph: 0422 808 035
Marshals: Kerrie Muir
Medals: will be presented at the end of each race…

Thursday, 16 March – 6pm: Narrabundah Track Racing

The Program for Thursday is as follows:
5.30pm – 6.00pm:  Warm-up and free practice.
6.00pm – 6.20pm:  8-lap graded scratch race.
6.20pm – 6.50pm:  200m fly.
6.50pm – 7.10pm:  4-lap Handicap.
7.10pm– 7.30pm:  Italian Pursuit.

Graeme O’Neill – Race Director

Sunday 19th March – 9am, Uriarra Homestead

Grades A, B, C, D – three laps and Grades E, F, G two laps of Uriarra Homestead – top of Uriarra Crossing – Condor Creek – Homestead. (Cutoff: 18/03/2023 8:00 PM)
Directions: 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.


CRMCC Criterium Club Championships – 7 March 23

Welcome all to the ultimate showcase of speed, stamina and sheer determination, Week 1 of Capital Region Masters Club Championships. For months our skilled ladies and mature gentlemen (55+) have been preparing themselves for the pursuit of glory on our legendary SFP course and to battle it out for the coveted title of grand champion.

With a strong northerly greeting the contenders, racing was going to be tough. First off were the silverbacks the M8’s to M11’s. Setting off first were the M8’s and all M9-M11’s grouped together to prevent turning the race into a TT. With the M’s setting a solid pace Mick Donaldson quickly become the first casualty but battled on as a proud soloist to finish in style. Even though the M9’s started behind the M8’s, the paring of Alex Sommariva & Bruce McMillan came out firing and soon caught and then joined the remaining M8’s. While the adrenaline pumped and the wheels continued to spin for the entire 30 mins it came down a sprint for all four age groups as follows:

M8’s – 1st Eoin Rothery, 2nd Dale Kleeman, 3rd Tony Beasley

M9’s – 1st Alex Sommariva, 2nd Bruce McMillan

M10’s –1st Mijo Spoljaric, 2nd Dennis Puniard

M11’s – 1st Lindsay Graham

Race 2 was a star studded affair and an awe-inspiring display of athleticism by our club ladies and cycling titans. Their head-to-head battle was of epic proportion and worthy of a TV coverage. Having stayed together for most of the race, Terry “the destroyer” Moore decided enough was enough driving not once but several times up the hill and into the wind to try and break up the pack. For Theresa McLachlan, I’m going to award the VB hard earner award. Theresa even with her heart being ripped out of her chest dug in deep. She allowed (not by choice) for Terry to have her fun up the hills, but using the wind to her advantage plus a lot of cheering from Kerry, Theresa re-joined the pack several times…..well until her heart rate hit 200+. The red hot pace by being set by Terry also got the better of both Poupee Lam and Sue Powell. With 2 laps to go it was anyone’s race between Terry, Peta Brill and Alison Hale, on the bell lap and a cheeky wink to the sidelines we knew an epic finish was going to entail and Peta didn’t let us down. Peta won, Terry was second and Alison third. Breaking this down across the five age groups the results were:

W1’s – 1st Poupee Lam

W3’s – 1st Theresa McLachlan

W5’s – 1st Peta Brill, 2nd Alison Hale

W6’s – 1st Sue Powell

W7’s – 1st Terry Moore

Finally Race 3 and the steeds, the M6 and M7’s were champing at the bit to get going. 16 riders toed the line (7 – M6’s and 9 M7’s) and were set them off in two waves. Immediately it was on like DONKEY KONG and the three musketeers from the M6’s as I like to call them wanted to break the hearts and souls of every other rider on the course and they certainly did. (Steve Crispin please note I’m racing you next week so please be kind to me unlike the musketeers). The first M6 ;/ was Timothy Moore after a long 3 minutes and 2 laps in. On Lap 3, Michael Whyte blew up followed by the smiling Tony Sheehan on lap 4. Now everyone knows there was a fourth musketeers and last night was no different. Wayne Benham normally a C grader was taking it to the three musketeers matching their speed, agility and tactics for much of the race until he also fell away in the dying stages. As a Queenslander, Wayne gets my XXXX Gold award this week. Focusing again on the machines known as the three musketeers (Darren Blackhurst, Conan Liu and Christopher Short) it was still anyone’s race. Darren did much of the damage at the beginning followed by Conan in the middle but it was Christopher that did all the damage in the back end. He destroyed the blossoming bromance and took the M6 win, 2nd Conan Liu and 3rd Darren Blackhurst.

M6’s – 1st Christopher Short, 2nd Conan Liu and 3rd Darren Blackhurst

The M7’s was a race of two halves. During the first half the 3 eventual champions let the M7 minnows do all the work and David Johnson was screwed over from the start. All the M7’s allowed Dave to lead from the front for the first 8 minutes until a kind hearted Greg Mitchell decided to offer Dave a short reprieve. Precisely at the 15 min mark and with the wind to his back Ian “I’m going to chew your legs off” Preston made one of this signature attacks. Having FOMO, both Mark Harris and Michael Foulds joined in and quickly reeled Ian in leaving the remainder of the M7’s praying for a Bradbury or mob of roos to slow these blokes down. With ~6 laps to go, Mark Harris simply got bored and decided to vesper both Michael and Ian by chasing down the M6’s and to his credit he did catch them. After losing touch with Mark both Michael and Ian slowed their pace quite considerably offering hope to the remaining pack. In reality, they were just playing with the rest of M7 and on the bell lap said Hasta la Vista and they rode off into the sunset (yes it was getting dark) to claim 2nd and 3rd respectively behind Mark who was now already doing a shoey. A special mention should also be made to Brian Chung who tried to spice the main bunch up with half a lap to go to complete Week 1 and an exhilarating competition.

M7’s – 1st Mark Harris, 2nd Michael Foulds and 3rd Ian Preston

Well done to all the competitors, spectators, club members, roos, dogs, ducks and the brown snake named Steve that made this year’s competition one to remember. And a special mention to our ever-charismatic medic Simon Whitehead, the best marshal a director could have Kerri Kerrie Muir and Chloe and Declan who I roped in to help with timing and the all-important ringing of the bell. Thanks All.

Michael HanburyRace Director

Track Racing – Thursday 9 March

Thursday 9 March provided very good conditions for track racing.  The temperature was moderate to warm.  Initially, a brisk headwind impeded progress in the back straight.  However, as expected, the wind moderated as the evening progressed.  Attendance (14 riders) was encouraging and provided a good evening’s racing.

A Grade Scratch (8 laps)

Martin Graham led off the A grade scratch at a brisk pace, handing off to Ben Davis at 3/4 lap.  Ben was economising on energy and soon handed the lead to Tim Jolly.  Tim did a lap at steady pace before handing off to Conan Liu.  In usual form, Conan immediately kicked up the pace and soon had the bunch strung out and split into 3 groups.  The pack held on desperately until Conan gave up his lead to Craig Kentwell.  Gavin Stephens, John Paul De Sousa and Wayne Benham followed with turns on the front of a consolidated pack.  Wayne Benham raised the pace through lap 6, giving a good lead out for Martin Graham to put in an attack on lap 7.  Martin gained about 10 metres on the bunch.  However, this week Tim Jolly reacted early, hunting down Martin and dragging Conan Liu out for the pursuit.  Martin, Tim and Conan competed over the final lap with Tim taking the win from Conan and Martin holding on for a comfortable third place.

B Grade Scratch (8 laps)

B Grade had 6 riders in the race – the pace was noted as economical with riders taking one lap turns to build the pace.  James Newhouse stayed high on the track to cover Ali Hale’s inevitable attack.  It didn’t happen this week.  However, team Amore member Sarah Stephens rode a technically excellent race off the front and kept both Ali Hale and James Newhouse on her hip, pushing them up the track as she overtook Ian Drayton, thus delaying any Hale / Newhouse attack.  Sarah powered ahead to take the win, Ali Hale 2nd and James Newhouse 3rd.

2-Lap Handicap

The 2-lap handicap was the final race in a 4 event, Omnium championship.  It was run all in, with 14 riders from A and B grades.  There was plenty riding on this race.  Up to 5 points were available, giving several riders a chance to take out the Omnium championship.

The A grade (scratch) riders were given an extra second start on their handicaps, as B grade had previously dominated the short handicaps.  Despite this, the event unfolded with great rides by B graders Sarah Stephens, James Newhouse and Phil Coulton.  Phil bolted out of the blocks from near limit and almost managed to hold off the entire bunch.  Only Sarah Stephens and James Newhouse were able to chase Phil down.  Sarah took out the handicap with a terrific pursuit and James Newhouse had an excellent ride to snaffle second place.  James has been ultra-competitive in the short handicaps.  This placing gave him a well-deserved win in the Omnium Championship.  The standard of riding in this race was exemplary, with very disciplined behaviour as the bunch consolidated approaching the finish line.

8-Lap Snowball

The Race Director combined all grades for this race.  Points were awarded for sprints on laps 7, 5, 3 and 1 lap to go.  A complicating factor was that B grade were given a half lap head start on the A grade riders.  Thus, A grade riders needed to catch and pass B grade prior to winning any points.  Final sprint points were awarded using an escalating points system as the race progressed.

Lap 7 – sprint 1: B grade riders Ali Hale 1st and Ian Drayton 2nd got the points
Lap 5 – sprint 2: B grade riders were still in the points with Ali Hale once again 1st, Sarah Stephens 2nd and James Newhouse 3rd

At lap 4 the A graders caught the B graders and from here Martin Graham took control and rode a fast and clinical race, winning the next two sprints from the front!

Lap 3 – sprint 3: Martin Graham 1st, Tim Jolly 2nd, Conan Lui 3rd, James Newhouse 4th
Lap 1 – bell lap sprint: Martin Graham 1st, Tim Jolly 2nd, Conan Lui 3rd, Ali Hale 4th, James Newhouse 5th

Overall results:  1st Martin Graham (9pts), 2nd Tim Jolly & Alison Hale (7pts), 3rd Conan Liu (5pts).

Michael Langdon’s commentary on the 8-lap Snowball here.

Italian Pursuit

There were two team of six riders for this week’s Italian Pursuit.  Initially, the race unfolded in very promising fashion with both teams putting in good early laps and Team 2 gaining a slender lead.  The race remained close as the final laps unfolded.  However, Gavin Stephens (team 1) had an unfortunate mishap, touching a pedal as he slowed on the steep banking and falling down the track.  Gavin had abrasions, but was not badly injured, as the fall was from slow speed.  After Gavin’s fall, team 1 slowed to check on him and he immediately received attention from Simon Whitehead, the track’s first aider.  The commissaire decided that the race would be neutralised and all riders given equal points for their season points score.  We wish Gavin a speedy recovery from his injuries.

Major Placings:

8-Lap Scratch: (A1 Grade) Tim Jolly, Conan Liu, Martin Graham.  (A2 Grade) Craig Kentwell, Gavin Stephens, Ben Davis. (B Grade) Sarah Stephens, Alison Hale, James Newhouse.

2-Lap Handicap: (A&B Grades) Sarah Stephens, James Newhouse, Phil Coulton, Gavin Stephens, Alison Hale.

8-Lap Snowball: (A&B Grades) Martin Graham (9pts), Tim Jolly, Alison Hale (7pts), Conan Liu (5pts), James Newhouse (3pts), Sarah Stephens (2pts), Ian Drayton (1pt).

Combined Italian Pursuit:  Team 1/2 draw (neutralised).

Final Omnium Points Score:

James Newhouse (18), Conan Liu (15), Tim Jolly, Phil Coulton (13), Graeme O’Neill (11), Gavin Stephens (10), Craig Kentwell, John Paul De Sousa, Wayne Benham, Martin Graham, Sarah Stephens (8).

The CRMCC Omnium Track Shield for season 22/23 is awarded to James Newhouse.

Season Point Score:

Tim Jolly (366), James Newhouse (321), Conan Liu (274), Alison Hale (274), Craig Kentwell (242), John Paul De Sousa (207), Wayne Benham (169), Steve Jones (148), Ed Garnett (134), Gavin Stephens (128), Warwick Wilson (127), Ian Drayton (126), Graeme O’Neill (125), Hamish Anderson (103), Martin Graham (102), Phil Coulton (101).

Graeme O’Neill & Michael Langdon