24 compete in summer series
TWENTY-FOUR riders lined up for race 19 of the Grafton Cycle Club summer series.
Off Go at +13.30 minutes was the ever-courageous Hayden Mitchell.
Two newcomers followed Hayden, six minutes back, in the form of Zac Mackenzie and Lockie O’Reilley. Lockie has had two previous races while for Zac this was number one.
With a six-minute deficit to Hayden and only three minutes ahead of a big chasing pack of Narelle Tilse, Andrew Weatherstone, Ian Lavery, Rhonda Thew, David Brown, Craig Mackenzie and Ros Donohue, the new boys would have to give it all they had to stay away.
Another two-and-a-half minutes back, off +2.00, were Michael Harding, Mal Tilse, Jon Harrison, yellow jersey Brady Ingram, father, Jon Ingram and Simon King.
Lockie Oberg, Greg Coombes and Jason Green comprised the Chopping Block crew, given +1:00 minute over Scratch-markers Dion Wilkes, Eddie McLane, Erron Hennessey Matt White and Adam Sydenham.
In the end the two new riders held off the onslaught from the rear of the field. Zac Mackenzie continues the tradition of first up wins with running mate Lockie O’Reilley getting second.
Handicapping tweaks made for a pretty close finish and Dion Wilkes got up for third.
Nine riders were in front of their previous best, Michael Harding’s improvement by over a minute to and will no doubt attract the raised eyebrow of the handicapper.
Andrew Weatherstone was strongest of his bunch and recorded an impressive 2.41-minute improvement over his previous best. Ros Donohue made a welcome return to the racing fold and rode well.
Adam Sydenham, promoted to scratch also put in a great showing, recorded his best time yet and is now just a point behind Brady for the yellow jersey.
The series now has four riders all in the 60s: Brady 69, Adam 68, Erron 63 and Lockie Oberg 61 and sits poised for an interesting conclusion.
Congratulations to all the local and club riders who set off for Inverell last weekend.
The conditions were good but 228km is a long way, especially on that road. Almost everyone made it to Inverell on two wheels. Special mention to Craig Mackenzie.
He’d be the last to acknowledge it, but a super effort for a guy recovering from back surgery.
Apparently the bus trip home was quite an event in itself and was just about the highlight of the whole event.
Same time next year guys?