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Riverland Cycling Club

Paringa, South Australia, December 11, 2005

MacKirdy sprints to win

Strong winds greeted the 12 Riverland Cycling Club riders on Sunday at Paringa for the Murtho time/distance handicap race. The conditions were the toughest the riders had encountered for some time and suited the stronger riders, with riders graded into either the 50km or 35km distance groups. Peter Weston and Mark Kershaw (C grade) were the first to start, seven minutes in front of a B grade group consisting of Amanda Steele, Lara MacKirdy and Mick Grey. The A grade group included Hamish MacKirdy, Lee Stevens and Josh Steele and started five minutes after the B-graders. The 50km distance was tackled by the A,B and C grade while Bob Pankhurst, John Eshmann, Gordon Lawton, and Angelo Ylia rode the 35 km distance.

Weston and Kershaw worked steadily into the wind, taking short turns to conserve energy but also to not lose too much distance to the pursuing groups. They were unaware that behind them the powerful A grade group had already caught the B graders with only Amanda Steele able to hang on to them into the wind. It was at the 25km turnaround that Weston and Kershaw were caught with Kershaw trying to stay with them but eventually dropped off, unable to sustain the 47km/hr speeds. Amanda Steele soon suffered the same fate leaving Josh Steele, Stevens and MacKirdy to continue their high speed pursuit of Pankhurst, Eshmann, Lawton and Ylia who were on their way back to the finish line. It not often A grade get to ride past the field so early and weren't letting the opportunity of a win slip.

With only kilometres to the finish MacKirdy, Stevens and Josh Steele powered past Bob Pankhurst, who had lost touch with his group, and then the group of Ylia, Lawton and Eshmann to set up a sprint finish. In what is becoming a regular scene in Riverland Cycling Club races, MacKirdy and Stevens were again to battle it out to the line, with MacKirdy continuing his run of excellent form to win from Stevens and Josh Steele (3rd). Ylia soon followed in fourth place just in front of Eshmann and Lawton. Behind them Amanda Steele was rapidly gaining on Pankhurst and at the line couldn't be separated and shared seventh place.

The next road race will be held in Loxton on January 8 next year after the Christmas/New Year break. For further Riverland Cycling Club news and events go to


1 Hamish MacKirdy     
2 Lee Stevens         
3 Josh Steele         
4 Angelo Ylia         
5 John Eshman         
6 Gordon Lawton       
7 Bob Pankhurst       
7 Amanda Steele       
8 Peter Weston        
9 Mark Kershaw        
10 Mick Grey          
11 Lara MacKirdy      

Local results 2004