Due to Armidale’s strong representation in the Walcha Mountain Festival Road Bike Challenge only a select group of 7 participated in the Crit at the TEC. Backing up from Walcha earlier in the day, Swanny organised the race and with varying levels of experience present decided that Ray Phillips should lead the charge to be followed 1 lap later by a larger group of Chris Jones, John Scott-Hamilton, Brendon Cole and David Cooke. Half a lap behind the group of 4 Swanny and Mick Hoult made up the field.
Swanny’s great initial organisation lasted for about 3 laps and from there it was on!
Having completed all of the Development Squad’s races David soon retired and sat with yours truly to provide some great commentary on the race as it unfolded. A most notable point was how quiet it was with the reason for this being either: 1) not many riders there, or 2) Kirky not being there. Together we agreed that the latter was probably the bigger contributor.
The group of 4 down to 3 soon became 2 with Brendon dropping off to then ride solo for the remainder of the race. Next the back group of 2 became 1 with Houlty suffering a flat. Swanny then made some astute tactical moves cutting off the hill section of the lap at least twice before joining Dr John (this was how he signed the race sheet), Chris and, a little later, a flat repaired Houlty to race on together.
This group of 4 continued together to the 30 minute call and then fought it out over the final 2 laps with Chris crossing the line ahead of Dr John closely followed by Houlty and Swanny. Well done too to Brendon and Ray who both completed the 30 minutes + 2 (or nearly anyway) and many thanks to Dave for your track side company.
- Chris Jones
- John Scott-Hamilton
- Mick Hoult
- Andrew Swan
- Brendon Cole + Ray Phillips
- David Cooke
Thank you to Alex Thomas for running the race and providing the above story. Great to see Chris Jones back in the mix and also to see the continued sledging of Kirky even in the absence of your regular contributor.
Footnote: For those not present on Sunday, the ‘call of the Kirk’ could again be heard echoing through the beautiful Walcha countryside, this time for an extended 6-hour period during the Walcha Mountain Festival Mountain Bike Challenge. A separate story coming soon on that one…