Ruggendyke pulls his finger out. Other Armidale riders do well at Inverell.
Cold and windy, windy and cold. 10 riders faced up to the criterium challenge and 8 were found wanting in a blustery showdown of youth vs. experience seldom witnessed outside of centrelink on pension day.
Col Maciver found himself facing off against the younger legs of Chris “boy” Jones, a pumped up Sam Jenner, Dean Bourke and Ice Cold Billy Mara. The Jones Boy and the Jennerator used the first two laps to scare the older riders, used to a more subdued warmup. Col held his nerve, wound them in then dominated the race with lap after lap of punishment for their cheekiness. His efforts were rewarded by being swamped on the line by Chris Jones, Sam Jenner and a hard charging Dean Bourke who will never see C grade again despite his effusive protestations. Sorry Deano, you’re done mate.
C grade would have been a more leisurely, gentlemans race if not for “Evil” Ash Saint and the hard to read Dave Ruggendyke. Mark “Mother” Jones, Adam Bourke, Dave Rubie and Jack Parker lined up in a field that looked pretty evenly matched, given the wind. The pace lifted suddenly on lap two, dropping Jack quickly (after, it must be said, a pretty punishing session with the juniors). The pace steadied, then slowly lifted during the race until the 3 lap finish was called, at which point “Fingers” Ruggendyke attempted a technical escape in the S bend at the bottom of the track. The blustery wind seemed to cut him to pieces, only for “Evil” Ash to take advantage of the confusion during the regroup to stomp down the track like he was being chased by the Evil Dead. Only “Fingers” had the legs to respond and respond he did, reeling in Evil Ash and blowing the field apart in the process. They finished in dribs and drabs, except for Adam Bourke with a spirited sprint at the end that relegated your humble scribe to stone, motherless last.
Thanks to Geoff “Dave” Allen for running the race too - be nicer to see him racing more but apparently house renovations take some kind of priority which I don’t understand.
Jo Waugh took second at the 30km Inverell Ashford Road classic last weekend (well done!).
Chicka Russell took 3rd in the 70km and Harrison Munday took 5th which is an awesome effort.
The rest of the Armidale crew look to have been handicapped out of the race, with local stalwarts relegated down to double digit places. Results here:
The crew that raced at the Grafton team TT are apparently unwilling to talk about it - best to ask Iron Mick Hoult about rust prevention (but you didn’t hear that from me).