PORT MACQUARIE 17th and 18th May 2008.
Seven Armidale cycling club members and families headed to Port Macquarie for the NSW Masters and Criterium Championships which was held 15 kilometres south of Port Macquarie on long and short courses which provided good racing conditions. The road race is held on an old section of the Pacific Highway and although is not totally closed to traffic it provides a safe and ideal venue for road racing. The criterium track is specially built with some serious bends and was not attempted by the writer.
Nick Myhill and Rob Tindale rode in the Masters 3 category in a field of 32 riders on the Long Course. Nick started strong and stayed with the front riders for the first part of the race but decided it was not for him. After an anxious start Rob rode extremely well finding the competition at this level to be very strong, and finished the race having to do some laps on his own which is always very hard.
Ole Mikkelsen rode strongly in the Masters 4 category on the Long Course in a field of 40. The field took off fast and continued that way to the finish. Ole looked like he was enjoying his racing and was very competitive for the duration of the race.
Peter Wilkinson (Wilko) made a serious start in the Masters 5 category on the Long Course with a field of 38 riders and our own Bill Mara. Unfortunately Bill was overcome by a mystery virus and pulled out in the first lap. Wilko however stayed with 3 strong riders and was in 4th position for the KOM on the first two lap’s just missing out on gaining points. Wilko finished the race strongly with leading riders in a very competitive field.
Andrew Kirk had to ride with a field of 36 riders in the masters 2 category. Andrew also found the riding very tough, stayed with a bunch and finished strongly. He gained valuable experience competing in such a strong race.
I can say that I personally had an enjoyable race in the masters 7 category on the Short Course in a field of 20 riders and after being dropped early along with a number of others continued the race and worked with the group. The leaders of the category 8 group overtook us and no matter how many times we attacked we were caught on the KOM hill and overtaken by them. When the commissaire threatened to pull our group out if we continued to ‘interfere’ with them, we had no alternative but to ride steadily behind and we were told not to think about sprinting for a finish, which suited our group who finished together.
Congratulations’ to the Port Macquarie Cycle Club, Commissaries, Judges Volunteers and Cycling NSW for a well run and enjoyable Masters Championships.
For results check the NSW website.