The weekend of 27-28 June saw big fields take part in the annual Coonabarabran – Gunnedah and Gunnedah – Tamworth state races on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
169 riders started in the Coonabarabran – Gunnedah handicap with Geoff Straub and Mitch Sozou the only Armidale riders. By all accounts Mitch rode well to finish with his group, although they didn’t catch the race leaders.
Straub got fastest time but was unfortunately disqualified for riding with a race radio.
More than 200 entered the Gunnedah – Tamworth scratch races the next day, with Straub in A grade, Mitch Bullen in B, Peter Wilkinson in D, and Andrew Swan in E.
The best performer was Mitch Bullen, who was second after launching his sprint a bit too early on the slight uphill finish. Straub finished just out of the money in 6th place. Wilko and Swan had good races finishing with their bunches but didn’t contest the sprints.
There was a strong contingent of women riders in E grade, who were always at the front of the race and often driving the pace. They were prominent at the finish, filling second, third and fifth places.
F grade was marred by an accident in which three riders had to be taken to Tamworth hospital by helicopter.