As the road racing calendar draws to a close, warm spring weather greeted the 31 riders turning up for the Club Championship Road Race. A different format this year had riders grouped into their respective age categories (Division 1 under 50, Division 2 50+), with a mass start for each of the 2 groups 5 minutes apart with both Men and Women setting off together. Everyone had 3 laps of racing on the tough Long Swamp course to look forward to!
First off the line was the D1 group, with 15 men, and a quintet of women comprising the Hosking sisters Katherine & Isabella, Olive Tutt, Jacquie King, and Jane Simmonds. Given the 45km race distance most riders expected a gentle rollout; however Mick Hoult had other ideas and set a searing pace from the gun that had riders gasping for breath and desperately scrambling for wheels. Any thoughts of a reprieve after the turn were quick dashed as Tom Simmonds lit up the front group with a devastating attack up Imbota which left riders scattered all over the hill. When the dust settled at the top of the climb a lead group of 4 riders emerged comprising Tom, Mick Harris, Houlty, and Paul Williams whose hammies are currently in peak form. A trio of chasing riders were always going to struggle against such a strong quartet, but with Pete Harris cranking a big gear, plus Andy Robb & Clint Bourke chipping in with strong turns this wouldn’t be the last we’ld see of this group.
By the end of the first lap the D1 Mens lead groups remained the same with a 40 second gap between the front 2 groups. With the next riders coming through a further 40+ seconds adrift they wisely regrouped to form a stronger chasing packs with Jason Simmonds, Pete Hosking, Bryn, Phil Hess working together, with Mitch Jones, Chris Stace, Alex Thomas, and Hayden Freeman a further 2 minutes back. Meanwhile in the D1 Womens the Hosking sisters were riding well together, with Olive, Jacqui & Jane riding solo a little further back.
Meanwhile 5 minutes later the D2 group of 11 riders set off, with a more civilised rollout for all concerned, and Jo Wauch the sole female representative. Some strong & steady riding with consistent work by riders at the front saw a sizeable group stay together for the turn. The Imbota climb put riders under pressure as the pace warmed up and thinned out the groups on the road, but riders in the front group continued to work well together. By the end of the first lap 7 riders formed the lead group, with Rob Hale & Dave Munday driving from the front, along with Swanny, Billy Mara, Rob Tindale, Jonny, and Lachie for company. Behind them Captain Creagan was marshalling a trio with Den Bourke & Wilko all working well together. Jo Wauch was riding solo further back, maintaining a solid pace to lead the D2 women in style!
As the second lap unfolded tired legs started to kick in, and by the end of the lap Mick Harris and Hammy and shelled Houlty and Tom out of the lead D1 group, who were now riding solo off the back. Meanwhile the chasing trio were being driven along by Pete Harris, and made the turn 45 seconds back on Houlty, and a further 2 minutes back on Tom…would they be able to make the catch on the final lap? A further 2mins back were the now trio of Jason, Hessy, Pete Hosking, as the 2nd climb of Dump hill was one too many for Bryn’s liking. The end of lap 2 also had Katherine Hosking now taking the lead solo in womens D1, having earlier dropped her sibling Isabella who came through for the last lap in second place.
In mens D2 the second lap saw Rob Hale & Dave break free from the lead group, taking the turn into the final lap with a lead of 45 seconds over a reduced chase group, with Billy deciding that an ice-cold beer was in order after 2 laps of racing.
The last lap had riders on their limit, and despite Hammy’s best efforts Mick Harris finally broke free on the last climb of Imbota to solo away and take a well deserved win, as well as the title of Armidale Road Race Club Champion. Well done Mick on another stand-out performance! After his best club ride of the year, Hammy came across the line next to take an excellent second place. This just left the final spot on the podium up for grabs, and a battle royale was unfolding amongst the remaining contenders. As the last lap progressed Pete’s trio first reeled in a cramping Houlty, and then Tom, before Pete launched a final devastating attack up Dump hill to take out 3rd place, with Tom holding on for 4th, Andy 5th, and Clint 6th which surely cements his place in A grade for the foreseeable future!
Katherine Hosking kept up a strong pace on the last lap to come home as the first women and take out the D1 womens title. Well done Katherine on an terrific ride. Sibling Isabella came home second, with Jacqui coming in 3rd for the final spot on the womens podium. At this point a special mention needs to go to Olive, who had mechanical issues at the beginning of the race, but battled through adversity to complete all 3 laps, showing real spirit & determination to complete the race. Well done Olive, a real example to all of us! A similar congratulations also goes to Jacqui and Jane who also rode strong solo efforts to complete the race, a sterling effort on such a demanding course.
In then mens D2, Dave broke away on the run for home to take out the title and cap another outstanding year of racing. Congratulations Dave! Pushing him all the way was Rob Hale, who came home to take 2nd place. As in the mens D1, the last spot on the podium for D2 was hotly contested, with the Eagle soaring up Dump hill to take out 3rd place in a sprint with Swanny & Lachie who came 4th & 5th respectively. The last title to be decided was Womens D2, and in spite of some hot competition from herself who pushed her all the way to the line, Jo Wauch took out the title!
Well done to all our champions, to all riders for a competitive race, and to all club riders for another great year of road racing. A final special mention also needs to go to Col MacIvor who has done an outstanding and selfless job running our races this year, and we owe Col a huge debt of thanks for his efforts. Many thanks also to Bob Murison for helping out with the signs.
Next weekend we switch to gravel racing on Dangarsleigh – more details to follow shortly on an exciting format where riders bikes will form part of the starting handicap!
|RIDER||GRADE||PLACE||Lap 1||Lap 2||Lap 3||FINISH TIME||AVG KPH||KM|
|HARRIS Michael||Mens D1||1||0:22:30||0:22:52||0:22:47||1:08:09||40.15||45.6|
|WILLIAMS Paul||Mens D1||2||0:22:30||0:22:52||0:24:00||1:09:22||39.44||45.6|
|HARRIS Peter||Mens D1||3||0:23:10||0:24:35||0:24:11||1:11:56||38.04||45.6|
|SIMMONDS Tom||Mens D1||4||0:22:30||0:23:20||0:26:22||1:12:12||37.89||45.6|
|ROBB Andy||Mens D1||5||0:23:10||0:24:35||0:24:37||1:12:22||37.81||45.6|
|BOURKE Clint||Mens D1||6||0:23:10||0:24:35||0:24:38||1:12:23||37.80||45.6|
|HOULT Mick||Mens D1||7||0:22:30||0:24:30||0:28:43||1:15:43||36.13||45.6|
|SIMMONDS Jason||Mens D1||8||0:23:50||0:26:24||0:26:04||1:16:18||35.86||45.6|
|HOSKING Pete||Mens D1||9||0:23:50||0:26:24||0:26:05||1:16:19||35.85||45.6|
|HESS Phil||Mens D1||10||0:24:16||0:25:58||0:26:19||1:16:33||35.74||45.6|
|GRIFFITHS Bryn||Mens D1||11||0:24:16||0:26:29||0:28:58||1:19:43||34.32||45.6|
|FREEMAN Hayden||Mens D1||12||0:26:51||0:27:22||0:26:07||1:20:20||34.06||45.6|
|STACE Chris||Mens D1||13||0:26:51||0:27:22||0:26:07||1:20:20||34.06||45.6|
|JONES Mitchell||Mens D1||14||0:26:51||0:27:22||0:26:59||1:21:12||33.69||45.6|
|THOMAS Alex||Mens D1||15||0:26:51||0:27:22||0:27:58||1:22:11||33.29||45.6|
|HOSKING Katherine||Womens D1||1||0:28:30||0:29:00||0:29:43||1:27:13||33.28||45.6|
|HOSKING Isabella||Womens D1||2||0:28:30||0:30:55||0:28:22||1:27:47||33.05||45.6|
|KING Jacqui||Womens D1||3||0:31:00||0:32:56||0:34:09||1:38:05||30.37||45.6|
|TUTT Olive||Womens D1||4||0:29:25||0:39:51||0:34:34||1:43:50||26.35||45.6|
|SIMMONDS Jane||Womens D1||5||0:34:35||0:35:25||0:36:10||1:46:10||25.77||45.6|
|MUNDAY Dave||Mens D2||1||0:24:12||0:24:41||0:24:31||1:13:24||37.28||45.6|
|HALE Rob||Mens D2||2||0:24:12||0:24:41||0:25:14||1:14:07||36.91||45.6|
|SCOTT-HAMILTON John||Mens D2||3||0:24:12||0:25:28||0:25:30||1:15:10||36.40||45.6|
|SWAN Andrew||Mens D2||4||0:24:12||0:25:28||0:25:31||1:15:11||36.39||45.6|
|MCPHIE Lachie||Mens D2||5||0:24:12||0:25:28||0:25:32||1:15:12||36.38||45.6|
|TINDALE Rob||Mens D2||6||0:24:12||0:25:28||0:25:37||1:15:17||36.34||45.6|
|WILKINSON Richard||Mens D2||7||0:25:50||0:28:35||0:27:47||1:22:12||33.28||45.6|
|CREAGAN Peter||Mens D2||8||0:25:50||0:28:35||0:28:16||1:22:41||33.09||45.6|
|BOURKE Dene||Mens D2||9||0:25:50||0:28:35||0:28:49||1:23:14||32.87||45.6|
|MARA Billy||Mens D2||DNF||0:24:12||0:28:48||45.6|
|WAUCH Jo||Womens D2||1||0:28:45||0:29:51||0:30:37||1:29:13||30.67||45.6|