Dallas delivers a sprint finish
WITH 10 Grafton Cycle Club members competing in the Cunningham Classic, numbers were down for the club race at the weekend but it did not lower the excitement of the event.
With 18 riders taking part, the format was graded Scratch races with A and B Grade cyclists combining.
Dallas Parker proved too strong in the sprint to win the A Grade event from Erron Hennessy and Matt White.
Hennessey and Mark Gilmore had launched numerous attacks throughout the ride but were unable to maintain their advantage.
Gilmore was off the front for about six kilometres but the bunch always had him in sight and was able to reel him in towards the finish.
In the B Grade event, Bruce Phelps finessed the win ahead of Nigel Blake and Greg Allen.
Greg Coombes won the C Grade event from Greg Robertson and Brady Ingram.
“Greg did what he had to do, no more, to win the race from the hard workers in the bunch,” said one rider who did not wish to be named.
However, the handicapper considered it a noteworthy ride from Coombes.
Competitors in the combined D and E Grade event had a “Fabian standoff” with an undertaking not to sprint but Michael Harding, who hadn't read the book, claimed the points comfortably in D Grade while Craig MacKenzie took the honours in E Grade.
Meanwhile, in the 96km Cunningham Classic at Gatton, Grafton rider Dion Wilkes finished third in a bunch sprint in the Masters A division.
Jye Reardon finished third in Elite C Grade, having escaped with a half dozen other riders on the climb over the range.
But his elation at hanging on in a frantic finish where courage was as necessary as strong legs, was short-lived as a fall on the finish line took some of the gloss off the result.
Lou Rotunno produced a brave showing in Masters D Grade to be the first woman home while the other Grafton riders finished in or near their respective bunches as they continued to prepare for the Grafton to Inverell event to be staged on October 23.