Armidale Cycling Club had its most successful Mt Yarrowyck Road Race carnival to date, with wins in all three races to Peter Creagan in the 100km race, Jo Benham in the 40km, and Adam Bourke in the 20km. Mick Hoult rode exceptionally well to record fastest time in the 100km, as did Sam Jenner who had fastest time in the 20km race.
In the main race Peter started off go with fellow Armidale riders Chicka Russell, Wilfried Keller, and Bob Murison, along with Dave Fensham’elms and Leon Little of Inverell. Almost dropped on the first hill, Pete and Chicka steadily worked their way into the race, and by the turn around in Bundarra the four Armidale riders had maintained a big lead on the chasing groups.
The 10 minute group featuring Lachie McPhie, Cody Burton, Phil Thomas and Andrew Swan was riding well on the trip out, and despite losing Phil to a puncture, caught the 5 minute group shortly after the turnaround. Although reinforced, only a couple of riders continued to work, and they made little impression on the leaders from there on.
Mick Hoult was riding exceptionally well with Moree riders Nick Woods and Jack Roohan in the 25 minute group, and they gradually swept up the riders in front of them, picking up all bar Pete and Chicka 15km from the finish as the hills became longer and steeper.
Starting off scratch, Pete McDonald faced a tough challenge riding solo, made even more difficult when he realised he’d forgotten to bring any food. After 60km he hit the wall and was out of the race for fastest time (had Dave McMillan not eaten all the snakes in the sweep vehicle it might have been a different story!).
Meanwhile at the head of the race Peter and Chicka were pressing on with what turned out to be the winning lead. Peter rode away on the last hill to cross the finish line for an excellent win by a minute over Chicka in second place. The chasing group which was gradually whittled down over the last tough kilometers came in a minute later, with Mitch Carrington of Tamworth grabbing third place. Mick Hoult and Nick Woods filled the minor placings in fourth and fifth.
Mick’s time of 2:25:43 was a fantastic effort, albeit with strong assistance from Nick Woods and Jack Roohan. This race has been the major goal for Mick and the result is a just reward for all his hard work. And as a bonus he didn’t even lock his keys in the car.
The 40km race was also very competitive, with Jo Benham showing her excellent climbing ability to spring out of the go group in the final stages of the race, winning ahead of Molly Lorimer and Gary Turner of Gunnedah. Alex Johns (Inverell), Cody Miller (Inverell) and Gil Burgess (Armidale) rode very well off block and were the fastest group, with Alex winning fastest time in 1:06:35.
In the 20km race Adam Bourke came in first ahead of another Armidale rider Freya Weston. Freya turned out to be the most successful member of the Weston family who all supported the race. In third place was Matt Carrington of Tamworth, while Sam Jenner off scratch won fastest time in 36:23.
Thanks go to all those who helped in organising a very successful day and to all riders competing, particularly those from other clubs who made the trip. As has been the case for a number of years the weather was perfect, but being so close to Bingara that’s to be expected.