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Murwillumbah Cycle Club
Bald Mountain, March 22, 2003
Thompson takes two-up sprint
By Phil Ruge
The weather was almost perfect for the 58 riders who had turned out for this week's road race conducted by the Murwillumbah Cycle Club on Saturday 22 March 2003.
The race this week was over the Bald Mountain course. This route covers 55 kilometres and features plenty of hills after Chillingham on the roads up to Bald Mountain and Numinbah respectively to test both the riders' legs and resolve!
A Grade were first away with a good field of 12 riders. As usual they got down to business quickly and set a fast pace on the outward leg of the course. The inevitable attacks began once into the hills led this time by Ashley Bryant. After Numinbah Chris Thompson and Craig Cahill managed to finally break clear and worked well together to establish a small lead. Their efforts paid off when they stayed away until the finish where Thompson out sprinted Cahill to take the win. Third home was Ashley Bryant after another solid ride over this demanding course.
A smaller group of 8 riders started in B Grade and this group also got down to racing quickly. Despite a fast pace and plenty of surging and attacking this bunch were pretty much together coming into the final few kilometres of the race. First across the line was Mark Lafferty with Graeme Harvey second and Paul Howard in third place.
C Grade had the largest field of the day with 23 riders. Although a large bunch sensible riding saw them safely out through Chillingham where the stronger riders lifted the pace as soon as the road went upwards. This split the bunch with a lead group of some 10 riders followed by the remaining riders spread out in various combinations behind them.
The lead group steadily increased their lead on the homeward leg of the course which set the race up for a print finish. The winner after a well contested sprint was Bob Mockridge with Mike McCall second and Stuart Ellick third. The first woman home as part of this group was Diane Monk who had put in a courageous ride following her fall during last week's race.
D Grade had a good field of 11 riders who also set out at a good pace. This group also began to splinter in the hills as the speed and gradient of the road began to take its toll on several of the riders. This left a leading group of 7 riders who kept together over the remainder of the race despite some surging and the odd attack. At the end the speed of Stuart Johnson saw him first across the line closely followed by Bruce Syme and Graham Wood. Gail Zinn was the first woman home as part of this leading group.
In E Grade 4 riders competed over 45 kilometres to Bald Mountain and return. These riders kept together and shared the work to ensure that no one got away. On the finish line 'young' Bill Mustard took the honours with Alan Sultmann in second place.
Racing next week is the first of the John's Cyclesport Cup races for this year. These are held over longer distances of up to 80 kilometres with a $10 race fee. Start time is 3.00 pm DST from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan and all riders are requested to be on time to help ensure the smooth running of these races.
A Grade 55 kilometres 1 Chris Thompson (Gold Coast) 1.27 (38 km/hr) 2 Craig Cahill (CATS) 3 Ashley Bryant (Murwillumbah) B Grade 55 kilometres 1 Mark Lafferty (Brisbane) 1.29 (37.2 km/hr) 2 Graeme Harvey (Murwillumbah) 3 Paul Howard (Murwillumbah) C Grade 55 kilometres 1 Bob Mockridge (CATS) 1.33 (35.6 km/hr) 2 Mike McCall (Murwillumbah) 3 Stuart Ellick (Murwillumbah) First Woman: Diane Monk (GoldStars) D Grade 55 kilometres 1 Stuart Johnson (Murwillumbah) 1.37 (34 km/hr) 2 Bruce Syme (Murwillumbah) 3 Graham Wood (CATS) First Woman: Gail Zinn (GoldStars) E Grade, 45 kilometres 1 Bill Mustard (Murwillumbah) 1.27 (31 km/hr) 2 Alan Sultmann (Murwillumbah)