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Murwillumbah Cycle Club
Upper Crustal Creek, August 3, 2002
C & D Grade put on a show
Report by Phil Ruge
Only 24 riders turned out to contest the weekly road race held on the Upper Crystal Creek course by the Murwillumbah Cycle Club on Saturday 3 August 2002. The smaller numbers were due to many club riders being away on this weekend to compete in open races in both Queensland and New South Wales.
With no A or B Grade riders present the 10 C grade riders were first away and wasted no time in getting down to racing aided by a gusty tail wind. This fast pace continued to Chillingham where the bunch began to splinter on the run into Bald Mountain. A concerted effort by most riders saw them scramble back to the bunch which was basically together again by Bald Mountain.
The race remained this way until Crystal Creek when Sandra Bury and Stan Brims combined well to open up a gap on the rest of the riders. Their efforts kept them clear until Boat Harbour before they were caught. A tough head wind over the remaining kilometres helped to ensure a sprint finish for the race. Mike McCall surprised the other riders when he jumped early and held on to take the win. Second home was Stuart Chambers with Jim Collins third and Shaun Swain fourth.
D Grade had 13 riders with one E Grade rider tagging along for the ride. This race also got off to a quick start with several riders making the most of the tailwind. The bunch was stretched out into Bald Mountain but managed to keep together for the trip into Upper Crystal Creek. It was here that Dennis Brown launched a strong attack and went clear of the bunch. His lead never reached more than several hundred metres despite his efforts and he was caught again after some ten minutes of freedom.
The group kept together after this with any and every attack quickly countered by the bunch. The strong headwind over the last few kilometres ensured no further escapes and the bunch faced an inevitable sprint finish. Despite the strong head wind Tom Allen used his well developed sprint to counter an early charge by Dennis Burger to take first place. He was closely followed by Ken Smith, Phil Ruge and Dennis Brown in that order with Burger crossing the line in fifth spot.
Jackson Wardrop was the one E Grade rider and he did well to complete his course to Chillingham and return in a respectable time given the difficult racing conditions.
Racing next Saturday will be the monthly handicap over the full Tyalgum course. Start time is 2.00 pm from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan.
C Grade 1 Mike McCall (Murwillumbah) 1.37 (34 km/h) 2 Stuart Chambers (Murwillumbah) 3 Jim Collins (Murwillumbah) 4 Shaun Swain (Murwillumbah) D Grade 1 Tom Allen (Murwillumbah) 1.40 (33.1 km/h) 2 Ken Smith (CATS) 3 P. Ruge (Murwillumbah) 4 D. Brown (Murwillumbah) 5 D Burger (Murwillumbah)