Weather can't slow down cyclists
CONDITIONS were hot and most riders finished their race with water bidons empty and throats dry after the first race of the 2010 Grafton Cycle Club summer calendar.
There were 10 in the 40km A-grade race with a good pace right from the start.
Laps rolled by in 14 minutes and 10km and there was no shortage of riders willing to have a dip and see who was up to it.
Those notable in the many attacks were Dion Wilkes, Jye Reardon, with Garry Reardon, Mark Rotunno, Eddie Mclane and Erron Hennessy all making sure it was a good pace.
Each lap saw the hill climbed at more than 40km/h.
With just more than a kilometre to go Dion launched a huge attack and all riders worked hard to reel him in.
They did so with about 600 metres to go and while the front riders were looking at each other seeing who would lead the sprint out, Jye Reardon sprang a surprise attack, got away but he started to die with 20 metres to go - in his words ‘I thought I was on a treadmill’.
Despite the slowly of the peddling speed he had a clear win from Erron Hennessy and Eddie McLane in a time of 55min 56sec for the four laps.
B-grade also had 10 riders in a very strong turnout.
Peter Grainger and Bruce Phelps made everyone else work hard to keep the bunch together.
They dropped Norm Gray on the first of their three laps while Greg Coombes and Lockie Oberg were two other riders well to the fore.
The Yamba ‘ambush’ was also working hard with Terry O’Brien and Richard Harris shedding plenty of perspiration.
The finish saw Peter Grainger well in front of Bruce Phelps though there were some mutterings that Bruce may have been ’protecting’ his grading.
Riders don’t do that do they? Their time for the three laps was 44min 00sec.
The C and D-grade fields were away together though the lone D-grader, Dave Brown, had a merry ride for 20km sitting on the back - maybe also protecting his grading.
The field of seven C-grade riders were content to do their turns, reluctant to launch any attacks and sort it out in the sprint which they did with lower river rider.
Tim Noble and Lou Rotunno taking the first two places and the recovering Stuart McPherson there for third.
Andrew Weatherstone led the sprint out and was well away but could not sustain his dash in the somewhat uphill finish.
Time was just less than 32 minutes for the two laps.
Thanks to officials Graeme Way and Warren Amos, the latter of whom kept a close eye of the riders in all fields and issued a general reminder post race, of the requirement to stick to the left.
Next weekend’s race returns to Coutts for the first of this year’s prize events.