Grafton Cycle Club

Saturday racing 

Last Saturday saw the return to club road racing for Grafton Cycle Club’s 2018 winter season. Twelve riders set out on one lap of the Trenayr circuit. Two groups were started, a proposed three and half minutes apart, chasing Grant Roder as solo rider off go.

The B Grade consisting of Dion Poy, Tim Keogh, Shaun Marsh, Nigel Blake with fit looking Justin Kreis doing the longer turns on the front. The large scratch group of Garret Salter, Erron Hennesy, Garry Reardon, Jye Reardon, Howard Avery and Rod Stanton were keen to get going with the starter also eager to see them off perhaps a little too eager some may say.

The groups were working well, maintaining impressive pace and ensuring everyone was looked after and rolling through. Both groups were closing in on Roder who rounded the last turn still with a reasonable gap and the uphill finish in sight. The chase groups came together at the turn but with the ensuing confusion things went arwry and we will be having a refresher on the marshal’s signals prior to next race. It was Commissaire Harding who had the final say with everyone accepting first place being awarded to Howard Avery, second Shaun Marsh and third Grant Roder.

Shaun Marsh off to Nationals 

After a very long absence, Grafton Cycle Club will again be represented at National levels by one of our juniors. Fifteen year old Shaun Marsh will be competing in the Junior National Road series at Port Macquarie over the long weekend. The event will be two days of junior cycling action on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Shaun will be competing in an 8km individual time trial and a 20 minute + 2 laps criterium race on Saturday and the 33km road race on Sunday for a chance of a medal or even the “Tour Jersey” awarded to the overall winner in each age group, both boys and girls.

Night chook

At the Thursday night chook race, nine riders with varying levels of layering and lighting contested the often hilarious handicap race over 3 laps of the 2.2km anti-clockwise red loop.

Under dark, dusty, moonless conditions and following some contentious talk about the merits of Ebay lights versus the old favourites and the surprising number of trees that appear mid track in the dark, Ken Shepherd had us underway just before six. Five minutes separated the first and last riders with last week’s winner Shaun on scratch along with Grant Hodgins. The handicapper seems to be improving with age as all riders finished fairly close together, with the majority of passing happening on the final ride up bandicoots. The handicap task possibly made easier without our usual e-bike category this week.

First over the line was James Austen followed by Marc Brown, Russell Rankin, Grant Hodgins, Michelle Newstead, Nigel Blake, Andy Ware, Shaun Marsh and Warren Steptoe. Fastest time was Hodgins.

At the insistence of Austin, an elaborate prize giving ceremony was spontaneously conducted around the fire and a cool beverage was raised in salute to all intrepid racers.

Racing will be on again at Bom Bom this Thursday night and at the Crit track this long weekend for all licenced riders. Check out the facebook pages for updates.

Nigel Blake