Riders and supporters came in numbers to the Armidale TEC today from Inverell, Tamworth and Armidale for the first of two back-to-back weekends of criterium racing.
First up was a timed teams pursuit race where a team of four riders from each club were timed over 3 laps of the 1.2km circuit from a standing start, with the team time being that of the third rider over the line. Armidale went first with a great mixed young team of David Cook, Hugh Munday, Holly Harris and of course Sam Jenner who’d already done about 500km of riding in the morning. The teenagers punched out a time of 4m:54s for the 3.6km distance averaging just over 44kph.
Inverell then followed, looking and sounding very fast but just missing out on Armidale’s time by 3s meaning it was all down to Tamworth who tore around and recorded an impressive 4m:52s to win by 2s and bag the $200 prize.
With only one rider nominating for C-Grade, next up was a combined B/C Grade race of 18 riders which ran for 25mins plus 3 laps. This was a fast and well contested race which really got going mid-way through when Tamworth attacked on the hill and split the large bunch in two. Although they then regrouped, this set the tone for the rest of a race that would eventually come down to a sprint won by Armidale local John Scott-Hamilton from Warren Clark of Tamworth with Armidale’s Phil Hess claiming third.
The A-Grade race boasted strong representation from all three clubs in the lineup of 14 starters. Things went relatively steadily to start with but then the pace started to ramp up and there were a few short sharp attacks that resulted in some quicker laps including a mid-race 1m:37s that caused some fragmentation. A few efforts back in the field pulled things together briefly but the tone had been set and before long a 5-strong break had formed with Sam Jenner (Arm), Sam Spokes (Tam), Peter Horwood (Inv), Mick Sherwood (Tam) and David Cook (Arm) pulling away from the rest of the field. With 3 laps remaining these five riders had 30s on the chasers so started to look from within for the winning move. At the start of the last lap Mick Sherwood launched a bold move off the front and David Cook gave chase but they quickly regrouped and it came down to a long-range sprint down the home straight. Sam Spokes winning comfortably by two bike lengths from Sam Jenner with Peter Horwood and David Cook in close attendance.
Congratulations to the winners Sam Spokes, John Scott-Hamilton and the Tamworth Pursuit team. Special thanks to Wilf, Wilko and Bullo for running the races, to Tamworth and Inverell riders and supporters who traveled to the event and to all riders for a competitive and enjoyable afternoon of racing. Next week Tamworth are playing host with racing starting at 9am sharp. Watch their website and FB pages for further details.
|4th||Darren "Chuck" Taylor||Tamworth|