|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
Results and Reports for July 6-12, 2002
Promoters wishing to submit results should send them to cyclingnews
Murwillumbah Cycle Club Handicap
July 6, 2002
Racing still tough despite smaller turn-out
By Phil Ruge
There were a smaller number of riders on hand for the monthly handicap race held on Saturday 6 July 2002 by the Murwillumbah Cycle Club.
This month's course was 'out and back' Tyalgum, a distance of some 55 kilometres to Chillingham and over Bald Mountain to the top of Tyalgum (Dump) Hill before returning back the same way to the finish at Dulguigan. Although shorter than the full Tyalgum circuit this one has the challenge of three reasonable climbs close together over the middle part of the course to help sort things out for the riders.
The 38 starters were sorted into 6 groups for the race. The limit riders were followed by groups at 4, 10 and 15 minutes with chopping block at 23 minutes and the scratch bunch at 27 minutes.
All groups found the going tough into a gusty westerly wind on the outward leg of the race. Both the limit riders and the next group had broken up by Chillingham with the stronger riders going clear. Mike McCall, Fred Mason and Phil Ruge from the 4 minute group began to pick up the limit riders between Bald Mountain and Tyalgum Hill. By the time they reached the top of Bald Mountain for the second time only Gary Wardrop from the limit group was still head of them.
Fred Mason was unlucky to have a puncture at this point and was forced to drop back. Phil Ruge pressed on to rejoin Mike McCall and together they worked steadily to reel in Gary Wardrop by Chillingham. From here on they worked hard to try and keep clear of the chasing riders.
Behind them Sandra Bury and John Anderson from the 15 minute group got away on Bald Mountain and began to pick up the front markers one by one on the way back to Chillingham and beyond. They kept the pace high to try and bring back the front runners and only Fred Mason was able to stay with them as they charged towards home.
Meanwhile the trio out front were back onto the flat country when McCall and Ruge attacked and dropped Wardrop with some 5 kilometres left to go. These 2 riders managed to just keep clear of the Anderson group until the finish were McCall jumped ahead over the last few hundred metres to take a well deserved win. Just as Phil Ruge crossed the line the next riders were into the home straight where Fred Mason used his great sprint to take third place just ahead of Anderson with Sandra Bury fifth after a very strong ride.
Gary Wardrop was sixth across the line after a great ride also. Both the chopping block and scratch bunches were unlucky to be denied the spoils again despite their hard work when finished a few minutes later. Fastest time went to Brad Payne from the scratch bunch taking just 1 hour and 24 minutes to complete the course!
A separate race was also held for E Grade with 7 starters. Their course was 45 kilometres to Bald Mountain and return, still a difficult race given the strong wind. This group also broke up on the way to Chillingham with Melanie King getting clear of the other riders by Bald Mountain. Melanie rode strongly to maintain her lead to the finish with Stan James second and Eric Hall in third spot.
Racing next week is over the 55 kilometre Crystal Creek course. Start time is 2.00 pm from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan.
1 Mike McCall (Murwillumbah) 1.40 (33km/h) 2 Phil Ruge (Murwillumbah) 3 Fred Mason (CATS) 4 John Anderson (Murwillumbah) 5 Sandra Bury (Murwillumbah) 2nd Female Rider: Diane Monk (GoldStars) Fastest Time Brad Payne (CATS) 1.24 (39.3km/h)