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Mildura-Coomealla Cycling Club

Fletchers Lake circuit - Dareton, NSW, April 23, 2005

By Peter Winton

Mildura-Coomealla Cycling Club conducted it's third race for the 2005 Bicycle Superstore winter series at the Fletchers Lake circuit on Saturday. Commencing at the Coomealla Club Motel, this circuit travels across the Fletchers Lake lunette to the Pooncarie road, turns back towards Wentworth, through Curlwaa and back to Dareton, a distance of 53 kilometres.

Under the watchful eye of a pair of Adelaide cycling marshals, Tom Athorn used his limit handicap of 32 minutes well, keeping the remainder of the 17 rider field at bay with the assistance of Damon Watson (second place), with Athorn's winning time being 1 hour and 44 minutes. Watson tired at Wentworth and finished a further three minutes back.

Athorn's generous time handicap, granted by Club Handicapper Ralph Morrish, was even more advantageous given the absence of quite a number of the Club's elite riders. Their absence reduced the capacity of the chasing groups to successfully reduce the distance margin, and consequently the winner finished approximately 10 minutes in front of the fastest rider of the day. No doubt the 'coaching' provided by club president Peter Mulhearn during the race was another advantage.

The backmarkers for Saturday's race were Richard Hale, Ian Beruldsen, Peter Doody, Rob Akkermans and Dion Bassi-Anstee. Notably, Akkermans and Doody went head-to-head only a summer season or two back in C grade, both having rocketed up the ranks in the ensuing period.

Enjoying two minutes reprieve from this group in 'chopping block' were Adrian Lloyd, Sean Gallagher, Jack Lokan, Cam Crothers (last weeks winner) and Arthur Anderson. Gallagher showed his cycling strength by leading the chasing pack during the last few kilometres and out-riding any challengers from within the ranks to finish third overall. Second limit, a further two minutes out, was Greg Scott, Jeff Mitchell, Brendan Liddle, Kev Gregory and Peter Winton. This group were captured by the 'chopping block' at the Pooncarie turn and from here the combined bunches were able to hold off the weary scratch markers.

Fastest time of 1 hour, 22 minutes was awarded to Rob Akkermans in a sprint to the line with Dion Bassi-Anstee.

Cameron Crothers took out the honour of clairvoyant of the day when he accurately predicted his finishing place (lantern rouge) after being the yellow jersey holder the previous week, a clear example of 'chocolates to boiled lollies' in the short space of a week. Adrian Lloyd 'earned' his release from an undeserved scratch posting the week before and clearly the effects of that physical trauma were still being felt as he battled to keep pace with the relentless driving of Arthur Anderson. The 'Doc' never appears to have an off day, and immediately after the race he scampered off home to fulfil his rostered duties. Any rider wanting to test their capacities need do no more than swap turns with this gentleman at race pace, if you survive you can consider yourself worthy of being a true 'chopping block' rider.

Next Saturday the Club will conduct an eight lap race of the Merbein cemetery circuit, 64 kilometres in total, under handicap conditions, with a start time of 1:30pm. All riders to nominate with Ralph Morrish by Thursday.


1 Thomas Athorn        
2 D Watson                       
3 S Gallagher                    
4 J Mitchell                     
5 G Scott                        
6 A Lloyd                        
7 P Winton                       
8 J Lokan                        
9 B Liddle                       
10 A Anderson                    
11 K Gregory                     
12 R Akkermans (fastest)   
13 D Bassi-Anstee                
14 P Doody                       
15 I Beruldsen                   
16 R Hale                        
17 C Crothers                    

Local results 2004