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Murwillumbah Cycle Club
Tyalgum, September 7, 2002
by Phil Ruge
This route is some 57 kilometres long and takes in Bald Mountain and Tyalgum (Dump) Hill on the outward leg of the course with a return climb of Bald Mountain thrown in for good measure on the homeward run. The "out and back" route also makes for some interesting racing for as the various groups of riders pass each other they can then judge their efforts based on the time gaps they have to make up to catch the front runners.
A total of 37 riders were divided into 6 groups for the race. These were limit, 6 minutes, 14 minutes, 21 minutes, 24 minutes and 28 minutes for the scratch group.
A brief storm just before the start dampened the roads and made for cautious going over the early part of the course but luckily for the riders the major climbs remained dry. The limit riders worked well together and were still clear at the top of Bald Mountain. The 6 minute group had also worked well out to this point but the steep climb split the bunch with 4 riders going clear. This group caught most of the limit riders on Tyalgum Hill and with a gap of several minutes over the next group set sail for home.
Behind them all of the remaining groups had set a quick pace out to Bald Mountain but again this climb proved to be a stumbling block for many riders with all groups splitting up over this part of the course. A small group of 3 riders from the 14 minute group, Peter Haywood, Peter Larsen and Craig Morley, were also clear by Tyalgum Hill and set off in pursuit of the other riders.
By Chillingham the 6 minute group's lead was down to just 2 minutes on the 3 chasers. Sensing the danger Wayne McIvor, Gary Wardrop and Phil Ruge picked up their pace but to no avail as the chasers caught them several kilometres later at Crystal Creek. Not to be outdone they joined the faster riders and worked with them in an attempt to stay clear of the remainder of the field.
The pace of this larger group proved too much for Gary Wardrop who drifted off the back before Boat Harbour. The remaining riders kept going and despite some determined chasing by the other groups still had a lead of several minutes coming into the home straight. The sprint for the line saw Craig Morley take a well deserved win with Wayne McIvor a close second ahead of Phil Ruge third, Peter Larsen fourth and Ken Smith in fifth place. Fastest time went to Ashley Bryant with the 57 kilometres covered in 1 hour 28 minutes for an average speed of 38.8 km/hr.
A total of 8 riders contested a separate E Grade scratch race over 45 kilometres to Bald Mountain and return. The difficult conditions helped to keep the bunch together over the first part of the course but by Bald Mountain 4 riders including Melanie King, Stan James and Eric and Lee Hall had broken away. These riders combined well together to stay away until the finish where Stan James used his experience to good effect to take the win ahead of Melanie King with Eric Hall third and Lee Hall in fourth place.
There will be scratch races next week over the 55 kilometre Upper Crystal Creek course. Start time is 2.00 pm from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan.
Monthly Handicap 57 Kms   1 Craig Morley (CATS) 1.38.00 2 Wayne McIvor (GoldStars) 3 Phil Ruge (Murwillumbah) 4 Peter Larsen (Murwillumbah) 5 Ken Smith (CATS)   Fastest Time   1 Ashley Bryant (Murwillumbah) 1.28.00   E Grade 45 Kms   1 Stan James (CATS) 1.30.00 2 Melanie King (Murwillumbah) 3 Eric Hall (GoldStars) 4 Lee Hall (GoldStars)