With the 72km Invergowrie Road Race just a week away, it was time for a bit of last-minute leg tuning on Saturday. Three laps of the hilly 15km Long Swamp course certainly tested riders on a day when the weather and the handicapping was just about perfect. Lachie McPhie oversaw proceedings which were well attended given that a number of regular road riders were racing at other events.
On the other side of town around 200 riders were smashing their way around the Pine Forest in the annual UNE 12hr MTB race with some impressive performances from Armidale Cycling Club members including category wins for Angus Apps and Mick Harris in the Male Fours and also for Isabella Hosking in the female Fours. Johnny teamed up with Pete, Ben and James Harris, collectively coming home 4th in the Male Fours which was a lot better than Phil Hess, Hammy and Rob Hale who managed 13th out of 21 teams also in the male fours. It was an eventful ride with Rob crashing more times than Phil changed bikes (which was a lot). RROTY Table-Topping Chris Stace was in a quandry on his MTB and fully intended jumping in the car with his road bike at 2pm to roll off the start line and grab 3 RROTY points before heading back to the Piney. In the end his plan was thwarted but it could come back to bite him later in the year…
Possibly the most impressive roadie ride of the day at the Piney was from Tamworth’s Mick Sherwood who won the Solo Male category by over 10 minutes with an astonishing 14 laps of the 13km course – 180+km and around 2,500m of climbing on a pretty tough course. Much further afield in Townsville, Emily and Harry Wooster both won their respective National Champion title in the XCM National Championships and on Sunday Holly Harris placed 2nd in the Elite Women’s category.
Back to Long Swamp on Saturday, and Jo Wauch got matters underway this time with the company of Tamworth’s Zane Tapp who made the trip to Armidale along with Fletcher Partlin. It was great that they could join us and clearly they were in good form, both fresh from the Junior tour of Sydney last week. Groups then followed at 6, 10 and 13 minutes with a Scratch trio of Dave Munday, Kirky and Swanny wrapping things up at 16 minutes. Apparently Dave wasn’t keen on riding solo having done 150km earlier in the day so Kirky and Swanny magnanimously agreed to sit on his wheel and keep him company. Ben Livings almost joined them as he continued to live up to his reputation for arriving just in time with yet another scrambled start line moment for our Vice President.
After the first lap, Tom Simmonds retired, reportedly due to “bad fish for lunch” – no further information was provided but we wish Tom a speedy recovery from whatever after-affects occurred. Everyone else seemed to be going quite well and the gaps were coming down at exactly the right rate relative to the remaining distance – in other words it was looking good for a final lap showdown. Clint hadn’t done 150km in the morning or eaten any bad fish but still pulled up stumps after 2 laps feeling a little disgruntled at the handicapping. However this was soon reversed as the well organised Tamworth parents produced a cold beer and a comfortable seat from which to watch the final lap.
At the start of the last lap Jo was now riding solo at the front of the race with a chasing group just under 2 minutes behind followed by a bigger group a further 2 and a half minutes back. Scratch were still together but over 5 minutes in arrears and with some work to do.
In the end things got very tight on the run-in to the finish and everything came together on Dump Hill. It looked like Jo might hold off the chasers but Dave Munday timed his effort well to sweep up the final climb and drive home to win by 8s from Alex Thomas and claim fastest time on the day. Ayllie Allen just beat Jo to the line for 3rd and Captain Creagan grabbed the last RROTY bonus points in 5th.
At the top of the Road Racer League, Chris just hangs on to the top place but now by a single point from PC and Alex Thomas and watch out for Dave Munday who’s jumped from 22nd to 4th place courtesy of his win.
Congratulations to Dave Munday on the win and to all Armidale Cycling Club riders on an impressive weekend of competition across the country. We now take a well-earned break from RROTY activities with the Invergowrie Road Race next Sunday although a training ride will depart the usual Dangarsleigh Road start point on Saturday at 2pm for those interested.
|Rider||Place||Handicap||L1 Time||L2 Time||L3 Time||Finish||Elapsed||Avg|
|MUNDAY Dave||01||0:16:00||0:23:30||0:23:48||0:23:29||0:00:00||1:10:47 FT||38.40|
|PARTLIN Fletcher (Tam)||12||0:10:00||0:25:47||0:26:25||0:25:59||0:01:24||1:18:11||34.76|
|TAPP Zane (Tam)||16||0:00:00||0:28:40||0:31:02||0:33:30||0:06:25||1:33:12||29.16|