On Sunday night, friends, fans and family descended upon the mecca that is Armidale City Bowling Club for a star-studded night of celebration following yet another year of incredible achievement for Armidale Cycling Club members.
As always, the volumes of high-carb, high-protein food were savoured by those not in training, although as Kirky tucked into his 47th deep-fried chicken wing, it was obvious the curtain had come down once again on a particularly short season, with nothing added to his own rather sparse trophy cabinet.
Fortunately, the story was a different one for other club members with trophies and awards aplenty. Sam Jenner cleaned up once again with an award for the Division 1 men’s Road Race and Division 1 men’s Time Trial championships. He also found his name once again on the Club Champion Shield, presented to him for the 5th year in succession by Club President Mark Bullen.
In a touching gesture, the current U23 Australian National Road Race Champion made mention of the inspiration and great support he has received from the club and from Jock Bullen in particular before presenting Jock with a Mitchelton Scott Australian National jersey.
While Kirky switched from chicken wings to party pies, the awards kept flowing. Sadly many of the mountain bike fraternity were unable to receive their awards in person as they were racing in Orange at Round 2 of the National XCO Series, however they were honoured in their absence with trophies for Holly Harris (Division 1 women’s Road Race Champion), Jo Wauch (Division 2 women’s Road Race Champion and Division 2 women’s ITT Champion) and Angus Apps (Junior Men’s Road Race Champion).
Probably, the most hard-fought contest in the club calendar is the season-long Road Racer of the Year competition. 2017 was no exception with the battle going down to the wire. The final round started with victory possible for just one of three riders – Chris Stace, Mick Harris or Dave Munday with Alex Thomas not participating in the final round. Ultimately it was Chris who finished on top of the league and was crowned 2017 Road Racer of the Year after 20 rounds of exciting competition. You can remind yourselves of how things unfolded here.
Other trophies went to Phil Thomas (Division 2 men’s ITT Champion), Tom Simmonds (Junior men’s ITT Champion) and Rob Hale (Division 2 men’s Road Race Champion) – much to the disgust of Kirky who was now destroying the last of the spring rolls and eyeing-up the samosas.
Col Maciver, who retired at the end of the 2017 season, was also recognised by the club with a special award in recognition of outstanding achievement throughout his lengthy three-decade racing career with the club.
After hours of celebration and with pockets and waistlines bulging, the crowds drifted slowly home having recognised another year of achievement and success within the club. Congratulations to all award winners and to all club members. 2017 has been a wonderful year for Armidale cycling and we hope 2018 will be an even better one!