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Murwillumbah Cycle Club
August 10, 2002
Limit riders on their limit
A smaller field of 41 riders turned out to contest the monthly handicap race conducted by the Murwillumbah Cycle Club on Saturday 10 August 2002. A warm afternoon and blustery winds meant that the race around the full Tyalgum course was never going to be easy and for most of the riders it proved to be a hard afternoon at the office!
The full Tyalgum course covers 62 kilometres of mainly flat to undulating roads. It takes the riders to Chillingham and across the two major climbs of Bald Mountain and Tyalgum (Dump) Hill to Tyalgum. The course then travels back under the shadow of Mount Warning to Bray Park and out to Boat Harbour before turning back to finish at Dulguigan.
The 35 riders in the handicap event were divided into 5 groups of limit, 5 minutes, 11 minutes, 17 minutes (chopping block) and 24 minutes (scratch). Both limit and the 5 minute groups got away to a quick start with the help of a slight tail wind at this point in the course. The limit bunch kept together until Chillingham but began to break up on the run up to Bald Mountain. The 5 minute group had worked well together and began to pick up the limit riders after Chillingham.
By Tyalgum the 5 minute group had caught all but two of the limit riders and set off down the valley after them. They continued to work well together and picked up 1 of the limit riders before being joined by Gerrard Robards from the 11 minute group. Robards had broken away on Bald Mountain and rode alone to catch this group some 10 kilometres later. Once together these riders picked up the remaining limit rider a short time later and followed Robards towards Bray Park.
Meanwhile the faster groups had worked well together until the hills where the fast pace began to take its toll on riders from each of these groups. Mike McCall from the 11 minute group dropped his chain on Bald Mountain and was left to find his own way home. By Tyalgum Steve Gibbs from chopping block was feeling the pressure but John Anderson slipped back and helped to pace Gibbs back to his group. Despite their efforts and fast pace the front markers were still away at this point in the race and looked like remaining so!
At Bray Park the front group split with Robards, Ken Smith and Phil Ruge opening a small gap on the other riders. Robards kept riding strongly to keep this trio in front and their lead had increased to several hundred metres by Boat Harbour. Lindsay Crisp led the chasing riders but despite a concerted effort just couldnŐt bridge the gap. Robards and company battled on into the headwind and managed to just stay clear until the finish.
First across the line was Ken Smith from limit followed by Robards and then Phil Ruge from the 5 minute group. Next to finish were Geoff Allars and Stan Brims from the 11 minute group who had broken away from their bunch over the final kilometres of the race. Fastest time went to Mark Laspina from scratch with a time of 1.36 for the race.
A separate race was held for 6 E Grade riders over 45 kilometres to Bald Mountain and return. Despite the difficult conditions Lee Hall rode strongly to claim first place ahead of Kevin LeRoy
Racing next week will be the Club Championships over the Bald Mountain course. This event is for club members only and will start at 2.00 pm from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan. The next Club meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 14 August at the Tweed Tavern, Murwillumbah.
Results, 62 km handicap
1 Ken Smith (Gold Coast) 1.53 (32.9 km/h) 2 Gerrard Robards (Murwillumbah) 3 Phil Ruge (Murwillumbah) 4 Geoff Allars (CATS) 5 Stan Brims (CATS) Fastest time - Mark Laspina (Gold Coast) 1:36 (38.7 km/h)