A small but high quality group of Armidale riders headed down to Tamworth on Sunday 28 February for an inter club criterium.
The day got off to an inauspicious start when Mick Hoult locked his keys in his car, along with his bike and everything needed to race. Fortunately Dean Bourke saved the day with a short length of wire, showing hitherto unrevealed skills.
That little incident behind us, the racing got underway with the Juniors first up. Sam Jenner and Adam Bourke lined up against a field of half a dozen or so Tamworth riders, and the pace was on from the start. Both boys were looking comfortable, although Adam tailed off towards the end of the race. Given that this was his first time racing at this level it was a very creditable performance which will stand him in good stead for the future. Sam rode a very smart race and ended up winning with his trademark sprint.
Next up were Dave Jenner and Dean Bourke in a big C grade field. They also looked very comfortable, with Dave riding fourth wheel for the whole race until the last lap, when he powered his way to the front to take the win. Dean also rode very well to finish in third place.
The pressure was now on Lachie McPhie and Andrew Swan in B grade, and Lachie rose to the occasion admirably. The race stayed together until the last two laps when Graham Lewis of Tamworth attacked and built up a handy lead. Lachie set off in pursuit, and going into the last lap was holding onto third place. Mark Jarvis and Rick Maher were able to chase him down in the final lap, but Lachie was still able to hang on for fourth place.
In the final race of the day, Mick Hoult took on a very fast A grade field. Although appearing to struggle at times with some vicious attacks from younger legs, he got stronger the further the race went on. In the end he finished 5th against some quality opposition.
All up we acquitted ourselves well and had a very enjoyable day of racing, with the Tamworth club hosting a good event.
In a rather funny conclusion to the day, Dean showed that his extensive skill set doesn’t extend to navigation, when he turned right instead of left and headed halfway to Gunnedah before realising it wasn’t the way home.