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Riverland Cycling Club

Loveday, South Australia, March 5 & 7, 2006

MacKirdy, Stevens and Anderson hit top form

The two races programmed this week in Riverland cycling saw three riders win both the road race on Sunday morning and criterium on Tuesday night in their respective grades. Hamish MacKirdy (A-grade), Chris Stevens (B-grade) and Michael Anderson (C-grade) showed top form to win both races against their fellow competitors.

Sunday's road race at Loveday had riders welcomed by warm but good riding conditions for the graded scatch event. MacKirdy proved too strong for Lee Stevens in the A-grade race pulling away over the last 50m to secure a win. MacKirdy and Stevens rode well together producing an average of 38km/hr for the 5 laps. The B-grade race saw Chris Stevens continue his winning way on the Loveday course by beating Mick Grey (2nd), Lara MacKirdy (3rd) and Ben Vagnarelli (4th) to the line. It was Chris Stevens' second consecutive win on the Loveday course. In C-grade, the group of five had to deal with the pace set by Amanda Steele. Steele was by far the strongest rider in the group, doing a lot of work at the front and setting the pace.

Being the strongest rider didn't get her the win as Michael Anderson came out of her draft to sprint for the win. Anderson crossed the line first, closely followed by Simon Woods who started his sprint too soon and couldn't catch the winner. Steele finished third and will have to reassess her tactics when she is the strongest in the bunch so that she doesn't have do all the work and have nothing left in the legs over the final kilometre. The D-grade race produced a first time winner in Louise Nitschke. Nitschke has only recently joined the club and narrowly won from Bob Pankhurst in a sprint to the line. Gordon Lawton pipped Angelo Ylia on the line to take third place.

Criterium racing on Tuesday night saw club members produce some fantastic racing. Close sprints, surges and attacks were the order of the night as the large groups call for riders to become more tactical. In A-grade, Hamish MacKirdy completed his second win of the week by proving too strong for Lee Stevens down the final straight. Nigel Willoughby (3rd) and Angus Boase (4th) followed soon after. The smoothness and strength of MacKirdy's sprinting is what most members aspire too. The B-grade race saw a large sprint to finish line. Ben Vagnarelli lead the sprint out but was quickly overtaken by Mark Kershaw.

Kershaw got to within 30m of a win but Chris Stevens powered past on the right to take a well deserved win. Chris Stevens works the group extremely hard over the course of the 40 minute race. A fantastic sprint took place further back between Matthew Benson and Greg Hatcher with Benson finally succeeding and took third place, with Hatcher having to settle for fourth. Michael Anderson and Simon Woods battled it out again in C-grade with no change in placings from Sunday's road race. Anderson crossed the line first with Woods close behind in second. Bob Pankhurst and Peter Weston finished soon after in third and fourth respectively. A larger than normal D-grade race was the result of three new riders attending the race. Being new though didn't stop them from taking the top three places. Clare Trelibs won from Liam McDonald (2nd) and Marcus Whitting (3rd).


March 5 road race
A Grade
1 Hamish MacKirdy       
2 Lee Stevens           
B Grade
1 Chris Stevens         
2 Mick Gray             
3 Lara MacKirdy         
4 Ben Vagnarelli        
C Grade
1 Michael Anderson      
2 Simon Woods           
3 Amanda Steele         
4 Peter Weston          
5 John Eshman           
D Grade
1 Louise Nitschke       
2 Bob Pankhurst         
3 Gordon Lawton         
4 Angelo Ylia           
March 7 criterium
A Grade
1 Hamish MacKirdy       
2 Lee Stevens           
3 Nigel Willoughby      
4 Angus Boase           
B Grade
1 Chris Stevens       20 pts
2 Mark Kershaw        13
3 Matthew Benson      11
4 Greg Hatcher        10
5 Amanda Steele        9
6 Ben Vagnarelli       7
7 Mick Gray            7
8 Lara MacKirdy        7
C Grade
1 Michael Anderson     6 pts
2 Simon Woods          5
3 Bob Pankhurst        5
4 Peter Weston         5
5 Ruth Strout          4
6 John Eshman          4
D Grade
1 Clare Trelibs        2 pts
2 Liam McDonald        2
3 Marcus Whitting      1
4 Gordon Lawton        1
5 Angelo Ylia          1

Local results 2006