Fed up with the seemingly never ending Armidale winter, a number of riders headed for the coast for the Coffs Harbour road carnival on 28-29 August.
There were some excellent performances, particularly from Mick Hoult who helped Pete McDonald win the A grade road race and finished an excellent fourth place himself, and from Brent Weston who rode well in B grade.
The weekend began with a criterium on the Saturday held on a pancake flat 1.1km circuit, with hot mix roads which must have been 20 metres wide. There was so much room that even a B-double which came onto the course and parked during one race didn’t affect the riders at all!
Chicka Russell started proceedings for Armidale with second place and a prime in D grade. Nick Myhill kept things going with third place in C grade, just pipped on the line after taking the lead two corners from the finish.
But the ride of day 1 went to Brent Weston who was the only Armidale competitor in a strong B grade field. After getting into an early break and working hard for a number of laps, the pack inevitably closed the gap, at which point a second and this time ultimately successful attack was launched. Brent tried hard to close the gap but wasn’t getting any help from the other riders, and eventually finished in the main bunch.
In the A grade road race on day 2, Pete McDonald continually attacked eventually causing the field to split with a group of five riders in the lead, including Mick who then worked hard to make the break stick. Pete then attacked again on the decisive Mt Brown climb 3km from the finish and rode away to take the win. Mick wasn’t far away in fourth place and was justifiably very pleased with his efforts.
Brent backed up well from day 1 to record a very impressive fifth place in B grade, with John Scott-Hamilton in eleventh. As with the criterium, the race was controlled by large groups from both Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie.
In C grade, Bill Mara, Roger Munday, Nick Myhill, and Phil Thomas helped Andrew Swan to second place, while in D grade Chicka stayed with the bunch until Mt Brown where he ran into a slight gravity problem.
All in all it was a very good weekend away, and a welcome relief to ride in summer gear for a change. Our thanks to the Coffs Harbour club who put on a very good event.