Armidale Cycling Club held their annual club championship series on Saturday the 25th of September, reverting to a single day, three event fixture to determine the clubs strongest rider. The three events were a five kilometre time trial, 30 kilometre road race and a criterium held at the driver training centre. A $10 entry fee was donated to the LifeCyclist charity for the Sydney Childrens Hospital.
Andrew Kirk emerged victorious after winning the time trial, unleashing a devastating climbing attack on the last hill of the 30 kilometre road race and finishing a close second to John Scott-Hamilton in the criterium in a thrilling sprint finish. Kirk has been riding strongly all year with several good results leading up to the championships.
The women’s club championship was won by Jo Benham who was pushed all the way by runner up Ayllie Allen, with Karlee McMillan and Jackie Weston also competing strongly.
Roger Munday was the winner of B grade after riding a time trial that would have won A grade and winning the road race. Dave Jenner won the Criterium, but Brent Weston rode consistently all day to claim the runner up position.
In C grade 13 year old Sam Jenner demonstrated the improvement he has made this year by winning all three races to take the overall. Wilfried Keller finished on equal points with Dean Bourke, but finished as runner up after having the edge in the time trial.
The afternoon started with Roger Munday unveiling a time trial bike that was possibly illegal in all UCI sanctioned events and several foreign countries on technology grounds. After some discussion and a good bit of drooling, it was decided to allow Roger to run this bike as he was lining up for B grade. This was a mistake.
An orderly queue of competitors were flagged of at 30 second intervals only to be interrupted by Roger at first breaking the speed limit and then causing a small sonic boom on the outward leg, only to have to awkwardly negotiate the turnaround before firing back up the hill in a whirring blur to take fastest time of the day and blitz B grade, A grade, the entire Garmin-Slipstream squad and at least one of the laws of thermodynamics.
The A grade road race turned into a spectacular double feature, with Andrew Kirk “winning” the turnaround by mistake, having to double back and re-join the bunch on their second leg, then winning the race properly. He insisted that he had planned this all along.
The criteriums featured several brave attacks, with Andrew Swan in A grade attempting a 4 lap breakaway that had Ken McDonald scrambling instantly to mark him into last place before the race had even finished. Nick Myhill looked to be dominating B grade for several laps, only to have the field swamp him, chew him up and spit him out the back. C grade included a lot of inexperienced legs but all the crits were orderly and incident free, a great credit to the riders.
Special thanks goes to Ken McDonald and Peter Wilkinson for running a beautifully organised event.