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Results and Reports for April 13-14, 2002
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Murwillumbah Cycle Club
APril 13, 2002
Persistent southerly winds and occasional showers of rain featured again on Saturday 13 April 2002 for the Murwillumbah Cycle Club's weekly road race.
The course this Saturday was Upper Crystal Creek, a 55 kilometre route which takes the riders out through Chillingham to the foot of Bald Mountain before returning via Upper Crystal Creek to Dulguigan. This is one of the easier courses on the Club's program and a good field of over 50 riders were on hand for these mass start races.
Despite the weather conditions the A Grade bunch wasted no time in getting down to business. They must have sensed rain in the air as their pace quickened and the inevitable attacks began within the first few kilometres of racing. One after another different riders in the group would try to jump away but each time a concerted effort by the other riders brought them back again. Even a heavy shower of rain at Chillingham on the return journey couldn't split this group! This brought the race down to a fast sprint finish which saw Steve Storer first across the line with last week's winner Ashley Bryant in second place. Craig Reston had put in a good ride to take third spot with Luke Downes in fourth place.
The B Grade race followed a similar format with a fast pace and multiple attacks the order of the day. This stretched the elastic at times but with determined chasing and no serious climbs on the afternoon's agenda the bunch remained basically intact. This group also got wet at Chillingham but they were dry again by the time the finishing straight came into view and the sprinters began to show their stuff! First home in a fast finish was Daniel Bennett who just edged out a rapidly improving Scott McConnell with Graham Harvey third and Steve Gibbs in fourth place.
C Grade also set off at a fast pace with the first of many surges and attacks happening before Boat Harbour was reached on the outward leg of the race. The seemingly constant attacks and relentless pace saw a few riders drop off the group over the first half of the race. The only fall of the afternoon happened to a rider in this group during the rain at Chillingham but he was up and on his way again very quickly without any obvious injuries. This group worked well together and with the assistance of John Anderson's repeated attacks maintained their fast pace through to the finish. In the end a wily Wilf Hubac was first with Stuart Ellick second and Alan Devine, Stan Brims and Frank Schirmer finishing in that order.
The smaller D Grade bunch also set to at a quick pace with several riders working well together to keep it that way. Sharon McDowell was again conspicuous at the business end of the race ably assisted by a number of local riders. The speed combined with the climb into Bald Mountain reduced the group somewhat but those left were determined to keep it together despite the rain and a number of attacks on the homeward leg of the race. First home (his first win!) was Dennis Brown closely followed by Tom Allen. Sharon McDowell showed great spirit to finish third after clinging to Tom's wheel over the last few kilometres! This trio were followed by Phil Ruge and John White who picked up the minor placings.
Racing next week is over the tough Nobbys Creek course with a 2.00pm start from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan.
A Grade - 55 km 1 Steve Storer (GoldStars) 1.25.00 (38.8 km/h) 2 Ashley Bryant (Murwillumbah) 3 Craig Reston (Murwillumbah) 4 Luke Downes (Murwillumbah) B Grade - 55 km 1 Daniel Bennett (Gold Coast) 1.28.00 (37.5 km/h) 2 Scott McConnell (Murwillumbah) 3 Graham Harvey (Murwillumbah) 4 Steve Gibbs (Murwillumbah) C Grade - 55 km 1 Wilf Hubac (GoldStars) 1.31.00 (36.3 km/h) 2 Stuart Ellick (Murwillumbah) 3 Alan Devine (CATS) 4 Stan Brims (CATS) 5 Frank Shirmer (Murwillumbah) D Grade - 55 km 1 Dennis Brown (Murwillumbah) 1.38.00 (33.6 km/h) 2 Tom Allen (Murwillumbah) 3 Sharon McDowell (CATS) 4 Phil Ruge (Murwillumbah) 5 John White (Murwillumbah)