Armidale riders took out the major prizes in the Club’s road race carnival held on Sunday 4 May between Mount Yarrowick and Bundarra.
Wilfried Keller was a popular winner of the main race of the day, a 100km handicap. Well known for his willingness to attack at all costs (he has been known to attack A grade while riding in B grade!), Wilfried worked strongly with his group to maintain a lead over the chasers until the final few kilometres, when he was able to ride away for the win.
After the race, Wilfried explained that this was his first major win in fifteen years with the Club, and paid tribute to the efforts of the other riders in his group, Greg Warburton (Coffs Harbour), Kath Murray (Gunnedah), and Bob Murison (Armidale).
Geoff Straub of Armidale continued his good form, recording the fastest time of the day with 2:24:54, an average speed of around 40kmh over a very challenging course.
Greg Warburton came in second, with Kath Murray third, also taking out the prize for first female. Derich Hazel from Inverell was fourth.
In the second race, a 40km handicap, Pat Corcoran from Inverell was the surprise packet of the day, leading from start to finish to win by more than 3 minutes. Heath Cox made it a 1-2 finish for Inverell, while Jack Hickey from Gunnedah was third, and posted the fastest time of 1:02:45.
First female home was Alison Corcoran from Inverell.
Mitch Sozou in 6th place was the best placed Armidale rider, after Reece O’Hara punctured with 10km to go, and Pat Ainsworth was unable to finish after a slight mishap at the turn around.
The final race of the day was a 20km junior handicap. Gunnedah girls, Molly Lorimer and Katie Anderson finished first and second from Kirk Burton of Armidale. Kirk’s brother Cody recorded fastest time with 37:57.
Emily Allom showed great sportsmanship in this race, slowing down to help two struggling riders. It was also good to see Ray Phillips and Pat McMillan racing again after their recent close inspection of the tarmac.
The carnival was well supported by riders from Inverell, Gunnedah, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour and Grafton, and would not have been possible without the efforts of those individuals who organised and ran the races and provided catering (the pumpkin soup went down a treat yet again!).
Our thanks also to Richardson’s Mitre 10 and Armidale SES for their efforts in ensuring the safety of the riders.