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Mildura-Coomealla Cycling Club Road Race Championship
Gol Gol NSW, March 28, 2004
By Peter Winton
With tired legs and aching lower backs, Mildura’s wounded, riding veterans trudged out to Gol Gol for the 60km scratch race to decide the Summer champion winner in 2 of the Club’s 3 grades. Good sense prevailed to bring the race distance back from the 72kms as amended mid season. On a day with a rising northerly wind (very well and good for those on the Murray to Moyne, enjoy the bus ride home !).
Fair dinkum, I couldn’t take enough nuerofen to reduce the inflammation in my lower spine. I just can’t handle those tight technical circuits, and I can’t keep on paying the chiropractors mortgage. Something’s gotta change.
Three separate races were decided upon due to the closeness of riders on the points table. Mark Busch, Kev Tankard, Rob McNally and Damon Stefani made up the A grade event and away they went 5 minutes ahead of C grade. Rob Akkermans, Peter Doody (at it again boys) Jeff Mitchell and Club coach and handicapper, Barry Pollock. Another 5 minutes of soul searching and race planning and the killer Bees were off.
Richard Hale, Jack Lokan, Steve Fenwick (fresh legs!), Scott Giles, Arthur Anderson, Ian Beruldsen, Dion Bassi-Anstee, Brendan Liddle and Peter Winton.
Kev Tankard was the first to seek solace of the roadside, not to rest but to take up jogging. Tell you, these triathletes! Next to crumble was Lokan and Winton in the B grade bunch. Anderson and Beruldsen had laid down the gauntlet to whoever was interested. Hale wasn’t going to let Bassi-Anstee go anywhere without the De Rosa right on the Curlwaa teenagers hammer. This left it up to the “smokies” in Fenwick and Giles to mask their true intentions for as long as they could.
Pretty soon it was on, about lap 3 of a 5 lap race. Giles had rounded up the breakaways of Anderson and Beruldsen and then proceeded to put the squeeze on the bunch. This dropped Bassi-Anstee and his shadow. Whilst observing from the sidelines, eating some sugary sultana grapes fresh from the grapevines, the C grade duo crossed the line for the bell lap. Doody and Akkermans almost locked together. The A graders also were still showing signs of bonding.
With a good long view to the last turn from the finish line it was the strung out A grade group with Stefani well in front of McNally across the line with Busch tailed off a further 100 metres.
Akkernans and Doody rounded the same turn several minutes later and the resting crowd marvelled at how far out the sprint occurred. Up the leg sapping rise they came, frothing and bubbling, neck and handle bar, was it Doody or was it Akkermans in front. Doody, no, Akkermans, no Doody, no Akkermans, Akkermans, Akkermans, too strong in the end for the wee Irishman. What a great contest by the two riders.
The killer Bees were yet to come. Just where was Hale and Bassi-Anstee? Had they regrouped, not likely in this wind and warm temperature. Round the corner they arrived, up the hill all together. Where’s Giles, where’s Liddle? Beruldsen is in there, so is Fenwick. It’s Giles on the outside, Liddle in the centre, Fenwick appears from somewhere and he’s out clear. 30 metres to go and it’s Fenwick being hunted by Giles and Beruldsen. Fenwick sits up, looks over his shoulder, what’s he doing, rolling a smoke? How easy did Steve Fenwick do that?
Two great finishes in one day. But wait, where’s Hale and Bassi-Anstee? More minutes pass by, finally they are in vision. Up the punishing little rise they grind, gee my coke tastes good, nice and cold, and my back is no longer aching, bet they would swap if they could. Here they are, and Richard Hale sticks to his tired guns while young Dion acknowledges his cleverer opponent with a hand clap across the line in recognition for his challengers effort on the day. It’s all decided.
Elevations to come for a number of riders for sure.
Now to get that “monkey” off my lower back !
Next club event is the opening winter season race on April 17 at Riverside. 1:30pm start. Presentations of the “Summer Season” trophies etc., to be held afterwards at Robyn Doyle’s residence. Check with the notice board at Bikes & Trikes closer to the day for further details.
Summer season jersey winners
A Grade 1 Mark Busch B grade 1 Richard “king of the crits” Hale C grade 1 Rob Akkermans
Local results 2004