Memorial Secret Handicap, Dog Trap Rd – 9th May

So who would have believed???? Two road races back to back, not approval or weather impacted and Gunning Two Day event just around the corner.

Well I am glad the race was on Saturday afternoon and not Sunday morning when the weather deteriorated even further. Saturday was windy and relatively cold and getting colder as we cheered on the last rider’s home. Those riders who have mastered riding at 10deg off perpendicular and leaning into the wind can shine out on the day.

The Memorial Trophy is in remembrance of those club members who have passed on to that great ride where the weather is always perfect, the legs are always strong and the breeze is always on your back making the hills flatten out. And you don’t have to get approval to race.

The race (60 riders) got underway a little late while we organised lead and tail cars due to organised marshals failing to turn up on the day. However we started the race with a full complement of assistance, helped by one rider locking his keys in the car along with helmet and other key equipment, one rider breaking a chain before he could throw a leg over the frame and Bruce Jones giving up his ride to be lead car. Probably a good choice on Bruce’s part, considering the weather.

So, all riders in the mass start headed off towards the shorter of the two turns behind the lead car under the red flag. When the flag was dropped the race got underway in earnest. By the time the riders returned past the start point the race had broken up into eleven groups, generally in the grades. Five A graders headed the field and managed to keep the pace on despite the effect of the wind. By the time the first lap was completed riders had settled down into groups working to help each other to make it to the end. Unfortunately several riders were out on their own which was going to make it a long ride with no assistance.

Henry had calculated the expected race times off previous events on Dog Trap Road and after one complete lap the A graders looked to be well in front of the expected finish time or around 1 hour 15 minutes.

In the final sprint for the line we saw three A graders challenge for line honours having just dropped Peter Marshall, with Steve Crispin running out the winner on the road closely followed by Paul Atyeo and Paul Hartley. However Paul Atyeo had a one minute handicap advantage which saw him take the trophy. Most grades were represented in the top ten and handicapping was the winner on the day as we say 19 riders finish within approx. 3 minutes of the eventual winner.

Results on the day; Trophy winner Paul Atyeo (A2 grade), second place to Pauline Thorn (G1 grade) and third place David Stewart-Thompson (C1 grade).

A big thanks to the turn marshals Wayne Shippley & Brendan Byatt, drivers Bruce Jones & David Dickson, Chute marshal Phil Martin, sign on James Meredith the ever present all-rounder and time keeper Henry Beaverstock and Graham Hendrie for being the glue that keeps our races together.

Phill Coulton


Cole Family Trophy – 1st August

The Cole Family Trophy has been a regular event on the vets winter road race calendar for many years. The sponsor of the trophy, Barry Cole aka "the Flea" is one of the founding members of the ACTVCC and although no longer an active competitor, he did race for many years in both club events and some of the classic races in NSW and other states.

The race on Saturday was a normal handicap but it should have been a secret handicap, as evidenced but the inscription on the trophy but such little slipups did not prevent the race from being a success. The forecast of unpleasant weather, cold, windy and possible rain did not do much for the attendance and at the start line there were only 36 riders with all groups except B Grade having small but adequate numbers. Rob Langridge the handicapper, did his best to give all groups a good chance of winning. Limit was a very generous 45 minutes and Bernie Crowe, the only rider in that category, set off into the blustery weather with a look a of grim determination on his face.

It seemed like an age before the scratch group finally got away and by the end of the first full circuit it seemed that either Bernie or someone in the E Grade group (17 min) might be the winner. However it was not to be, persistent hard riding in difficult conditions by the scratchies, Marc Vroomans and Aaron Sedgmen got them to the chequered flag just 20 seconds ahead of Chris Nolan from the C grade (8 min) bunch. Accurate handicapping resulted in at least some riders from all groups reaching the line not too far behind the overall winners. Fastest time was Marc Vroomans at 1:14:33 with Aaron Sedgmen just 1 sec off.

Bernie off limit finished 11th, 2:56 behind the winner. Congratulations to all the place getters including the first three women to finish, Polly Templeton, Kirsty McVay and Liz Lowe who were also recipients of a trophy and medals.

Many thanks to all the helpers on the day, Michael Langdon (lead car) David Gunther (tail car) Jonathan Chowns (south turn) Kevin Hennessy (north turn) Elton Ivers and Bruce Jones (chute) and Henry doing the timing.

Unfortunately the day was marred by a driver stopping at the start / finish to report that he had rounded a corner to be be confronted by a group of riders spread right across the road. Had this occurred during our previous event at Dog Trap Road it might have been witnessed by the policeman in an unmarked car who was checking on our compliance with the rules against which we receive approval to race. Although there is relatively little traffic on Dog Trap Rd and there was a strong cross wind there is no excuse for blatantly disregarding the road rules. I would like to think this will not happen again for the sake of members safety and the future of the club.