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Murwillumbah CC club championships
Bald Mountain, August 17, 2002
Bryant and Bury take club titles
The Murwillumbah Cycle Club's annual Road Racing Championships were held on Saturday 17 August 2002 over the demanding Bald Mountain course.
This route covers 55 kilometres and goes out through Chillingham to the bottom of Bald Mountain before turning across country to Numinbah and then back to the finish at Dulguigan. There are plenty of hills on this course to help sort the riders out and these were not made any easier this afternoon by the gusty winds which more often than not seemed to be a headwind!
Racing was conducted over 4 grades with a separate event for women riders. The 2 women riders set out together but Sandra Bury quickly established a lead which was never threatened despite the difficult conditions. At the finish it was Sandra first with Melanie King putting in a good ride over this course for second place.
A Grade sported a good field of 10 riders who set out at a brisk pace. It wasn't long before the attacks started and as soon as one was countered another was underway. This pattern continued for much of the race but each time the bunch would come back together as no one was going to be left behind! This saw the bunch together over the final few kilometres and despite some last minute surges a sprint finish ensued with Ashley Bryant taking the win. Second home was Dave Costanzo followed by Rob Lyte, John Kane and Paul Matthews.
A smaller number of riders contested the B Grade race. This group were settling into their rhythm when John Perry fell on the damp road at Boat Harbour and was unable to rejoin the race. The pace gradually picked up after this but the bunch stayed together until Jeff Collier launched a stinging attack on the way into Numinbah and split the field. Only Graeme Harvey was able to get across to Collier and these two riders worked well to stay clear of the chasers over the final 25 kilometres to the finish. At the end it was a neck and neck battle with both riders hitting the line together! The final placings remain to be determined but third spot went to Steve Gibbs who was the first of the chasing riders to finish.
C Grade had the largest field of the afternoon and wasted no time in getting down to racing. Both John Anderson and Gerrard Robards attacked in the hills after Chillingham which broke up the bunch. Stuart Ellick bridged the gap to these riders with a further 3 riders including Noel Kerger and Mike McCall chasing hard a short way behind. Despite a determined chase the front runners were not to be caught and on the line Stuart Ellick used his strength and experience to take first with Anderson second, Robards third and then Kerger and McCall picking up the other placings.
D Grade had a small field of 7 riders. This group rode steadily but once past Chillingham Phil Ruge opened up a gap on the hills which was finally closed down some 8 kilometres later. The pace picked up again on the hills to Numinbah and this time a group of 4 riders including Frank Schirmer, Tom Allen, Dennis Burger and Ruge broke away from the other riders. Despite further attacks this foursome were still together at the end where a well timed sprint saw Frank Schirmer take first place with Allen second, Ruge third, Burger fourth and Jim Higgins in fifth spot.
Racing next week is back to the usual scratch race format with Bald Mountain again the featured course. Start time is 2.00 pm from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan.
Women 1 Sandra Bury 2 Melanie King A Grade 1 Ashley Bryant 1.28.00 (37.5 km/hr) 2 Dave Costanzo 3 Rob Lyte 4 John Kane 5 Paul Matthews B Grade 1 Graeme Harvey 1.30.00 (36.6 km/hr) 1 Jeff Collier 3 Steve Gibbs C Grade 1 Stuart Ellick 1.34.00 (35 km/hr) 2 John Anderson 3 Gerrard Robards 4 Noel Kerger 5 Mike McCall D Grade 1 Frank Schirmer 1.42.00 (32.4 km/hr) 2 Tom Allen 3 Phil Ruge 4 Dennis Burger 5 Jim Higgins