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Murwillumbah Cycle Club
Nobbys Creek, September 21, 2002
A race of attrition
By Phil Ruge
This week's road race conducted by the Murwillumbah Cycle Club was held over the Nobbys Creek course on Saturday 21 September 2002.
A warm afternoon with gusty easterly winds only added to the demands of this particular course which features plenty of short steep climbs and rough narrow roads. The route travels out to Bald Mountain before returning to Chillingham and then into Nobbys Creek before finishing at Dulguigan. Stamina and tactics are important to ensure a good finish for races on this course!
Both A and B Grades combined to give 10 starters for their race. The pace was on from the start to make the most of a tailwind on this part of the course. This continued out to Bald Mountain and back to Chillingham where Jeff Collier, Dean Heathcote and Brad Connor managed to slip off the front of the bunch.
The trio were still clear going into Nobbys Creek but Chris Selden sensed that time was running out for the race and rode across to the leaders before they left the hills behind them. This larger group were never threatened on the run to the finish where Chris Selden won the sprint from Heathcote and Collier with Brad Connor picking up fourth place.
C Grade had a good field of 11 riders. They also set out at a fast pace which did not let up for most of the race. Despite the speed and a series of attacks in Nobbys Creek this bunch remained relatively intact until the end. This meant a sprint finish where the 'Master of Speed' Stuart Ellick was once again first home followed by Michael Chamberlain, Walter Perron, Stan Brims and Sean Swain. The first female rider was Diane Monk who is riding very well at this level of racing.
D Grade had the largest field of the day with 15 riders. This race also got off to a quick start led by Tom Allen and several other riders but settled somewhat once into the hills. The early action saw several riders off the back by Bald Mountain and this number grew on the way back. By the time Nobbys Creek was reached there were only 7 riders left in contention.
Much jostling on the climbs in Nobbys Creek saw the bunch reduced to just 5 riders. This smaller group worked well into the head wind back on the flats but with only 2 kilometres to go Gail Zinn rode off the front to establish a slender lead. Despite some chasing by the other riders Gail stayed away to take the win after a strong ride. Second home in the following sprint was Frank Schirmer with Phil Ruge third, Richard Anderson fourth and Gary Wardrop in fifth place.
The 5 riders in E Grade faced 45 kilometres to Bald Mountain and return. This group kept together over the course and in a reversal of fortunes this week Lee Hall had the strongest legs at the end to take the win ahead of Kevin LeRoy and then Eric Hall.
In other news Kevin LeRoy competed in the recent Coffs Harbour Masters Games where he took the gold medal in the Division 8 road race. At the Grafton to Inverell Classic this weekend over 228 kilometres Ian Walker and Rob Lyte were sixth and seventh respectively in B Grade whilst Brendan Egan took fourth place in C Grade. Congratulations to all these riders!
Racing next week is on the Bald Mountain course. Start time will be 2pm from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan. Enquiries to Phil Ruge on 0412823103.
A/B Grade (Combined), 55 km 1 Chris Selden (GoldStars) 1.28 (37.5 km/h) 2 Dean Heathcote (Gold Coast) 3 Jeff Collier (Murwillumbah) 4 Brad Connor (Gold Coast) C Grade, 55 km 1 Stuart Ellick (Murwillumbah) 1.33 (35.5 km/h) 2 Michael Chamberlain (Gold Coast) 3 Walter Perron (Gold Coast) 4 Stan Brims (CATS) 5 Sean Swain (Murwillumbah) D Grade, 55 km 1 Gail Zinn (GoldStars) 1.40 (32.9 km/h) 2 Frank Schirmer (Murwillumbah) 3 Phil Ruge (Murwillumbah) 4 Richard Anderson (Murwillumbah) 5 Gary Wardrop (GoldStars) E Grade, 45 km 1 Lee Hall (GoldStars) 1.30 (30.0 km/h) 2 Kevin LeRoy (Murwillumbah) 3 Eric Hall (GoldStars)