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Results and Reports for APril 6-7, 2002
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Murwillumbah Cycle Club Handicap Race
April 6, 2002
A smaller field of some 40 riders turned out for the Murwillumbah Cycle Club's monthly handicap race over the full Tyalgum course on Saturday 6 April 2002.
The full course covers 62 kilometres and takes riders out to Chillingham and then across to Tyalgum before returning back through Bray Park and Boat Harbour to Dulguigan. This is one of the more demanding circuits used by the club and features both the steep climb up Bald Mountain followed by the long climb of Dump Hill before reaching Tyalgum for the first half of the race. Tired legs then have to face the remaining 30 kilometres of undulating roads (and often head winds) in order to get back to the finish line.
The riders were handicapped into six groups with the limit riders followed by groups at 6, 11, 17, 22 and 26 minutes respectively. A strong southerly wind would ensure a tough race and the scratch bunch were feeling fairly comfortable with these conditions and time marks!
Each group set off as best they could but each began to break up once the serious climbing started beyond Chillingham after some 20 kilometres of racing. In the limit group Sharon McDowell went clear on the bald Mountain climb whilst in the next group Georgie Harwood and Phil Ruge did the same thing. These two riders picked up Jim Higgins on Dump Hill and then settled in to swap turn for turn on the road in from Tyalgum.
The following groups also split up over the climbs with the scratch bunch setting out to catch the earlier riders at a fast pace. Only the stronger riders from each group managed to stay with this bunch as it gathered momentum on the long road back towards Bray Park with the slower riders being left to find their own way home.
Up front Harwood and Ruge had finally caught Sharon McDowell who had been doing it tough on her own for some 15 kilometres to this point. These three riders combined well to still be clear of the chasing pack through Bray Park and on towards Boat Harbour.
However they were caught just before the Boat Harbour bridge although some determined riding saw them jump onto the faster group. Once past the bridge the pace went up over the remaining few climbs which saw several riders off the back of the pack. The only incident of the afternoon happened just before Kynnunboom when John Anderson pulled his foot out of his pedal and had a heavy fall. Fortunately he was not seriously injured and the other riders were able to avoid him.
This left a smaller group to fight out the finish with Ashley Bryant first home closely followed by Paul Matthews, Ian Walker, Jeff Collier, Tony Sunderland and Rob Lyte in that order. Ashely Bryant also took fastest time for the race at 1 hour 32 minutes. The first woman to finish was Georgie Harwood with Sandra Bury second and Sharon McDowell in third place.
Racing next week is over the Upper Crystal Creek course with a 2:00 pm EST start from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan. The next club meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 17 April 2002 at the Tweed Tavern, Murwillumbah.
Results - 62km
Men 1 Ashley Bryant (Murwillumbah) 1.32.25 (40.32 km/hr) 2 Paul Matthews (Murwillumbah) 3 Ian Walker (Murwillumbah) 4 Jeff Collier (Murwillumbah) 5 Tony Sunderland (Murwillumbah) 6 Rob Lyte (Murwillumbah) Women 1 Georgie Harwood (Armidale) 2 Sandra Bury (Murwillumbah) 3 Sharon McDowell (CATS)