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Tyalgum, April 5, 2003
By Phil Ruge
A cool and windy afternoon was on hand for the 47 riders who turned out for the Murwillumbah Cycle Club's monthly handicap race held over the full Tyalgum course on Saturday April 5, 2003.
The 62 kilometres of this race take riders out to Chillingham and then across to Tyalgum before returning to Dulguigan via Bray Park and Boat Harbour. There are two serious climbs on this course at Bald Mountain and Tyalgum Hill as well as numerous smaller hills to test both the riders' legs and resolve!
The riders were divided into seven groups with limit, 4 minutes, 8 minutes, 11 minutes and 14 minutes with chopping block at 22 minutes and the scratch riders off at 26 minutes.
Both the limit and 4 minute groups rode well over the first part of the course but broke up as the serious climbing started after Chillingham on the run up to Bald Mountain. It was here that a group of three riders - Gail Zinn, Ross Alexander and Arie Hendriks - rode away from the other riders. They picked up and passed the remaining limit rider on Tyalgum Hill and then settled in to share the work on the road back towards Bray park.
The 8 minute group had got away to a good start and with plenty of riders willing to share the work had caught all but the front riders by Tyalgum Hill despite the wind. This group also settled in to work together after Tyalgum as they set off in pursuit of the three escapees.
The remaining groups were also riding well but began to stretch out over the demanding climbs of Bald Mountain and Tyalgum Hill. It was on this part of the course that Candice Sullivan went clear and set off alone after the front runners. Meanwhile chopping block and scratch had begun to pick up the stragglers as they set as fast a pace as they could in an effort to reel in any riders in front of them.
The three escapees were still clear coming through Bray Park and with a clear road behind after Boat Harbour had the race in the bag. It was at Boat Harbour that Sullivan finally made contact with the remainder of the earlier groups after some 30 kilometres on her own. Not to be outdone she picked up the pace and rode off again on her own in a valiant attempt to catch the leaders.
However, it was too late as the threesome came into the home straight and lined up for the finish. First across the line was Ross Alexander with Gail Zinn second and Arie Hendriks third. Sullivan arrived only a minute later to claim fourth place. Next home were Colin Ryman, Chris Grey, Craig Hollingdale and Stuart McPherson from the 8 minute group to take the next four places.
These riders were followed shortly thereafter by Rob Lyte and Chris Thompson from the scratch group to pick up ninth and tenth places respectively. Lyte also picked up fastest time for the race at 1 hour 37 minutes for an average speed of 38.5 kilometres per hour.
Next week there is scratch racing over the 55 kilometres of the Upper Crystal Creek course. Start time is 2.00 pm (EST) from Pat Smith Park, Dulguigan. The next Club meeting will be held at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 9 April 2003 at the Tweed Tavern, Murwillumbah. All riders and interested others are welcome to attend.
Results, 62 km handicap
1 Ross Alexander (NRG) 2 Gail Zinn (GoldStars) 3 Arie Hendriks (GoldStars) 4 Candice Sullivan (GoldStars) 5 Colin Ryman (Murwillumbah) 6 Chris Grey (Murwillumbah) 7 Craig Hollingdale (Murwillumbah) 8 Stuart McPherson (Murwillumbah) 9 Rob Lyte (Hinchinbrook) 10 Chris Thompson (Gold Coast) Fatest time: Rob Lyte (Hinchinbrook) 1:37 (38.5 km/h)