Peter Budd contests Wagga's Tolland Open

The weekend saw Griffith’s Happy Wheels BiciSport rider Peter Budd travel to Wagga to contest his first open event of the year.

The 90km long Tolland Open handicap event saw 150 riders on the start line including Budd’s Happy Wheels team mate Conor Tarlington from Sydney.

Once racing got underway it was as hot as the weather with a king of the mountain sprint for every group on the first of five laps of the course. Riders charged up and over the line on the McDonald’s Mountain and it quickly set the tone for the race.

Budd was racing out of group 4 that started with a 11:30 minute handicap. They were chasing group 8 or the limit group who enjoyed a 25:00 minute headstart.

Conor was racing out of group 2 known as the chopping block group with 25 other seriously fast riders.

Group 3 was the one charging through the field however and Budd was soon in trouble at the top of McDonald Mountain as they sped over the climb.

The 25 strong rider scratch group had been blown to pieces and Budd was able to sit on the back of 8 scratch riders as they scorched the bitumen in their charge to get to the front.

Flying up McDonald’s Mountain on the back of scratch was again more than Budd’s legs could handle so it was trundle back to the start line to wait for the finish.

Only a handful of scratch riders had made it across to the leaders and a big group of around 25 riders hit out for the line.

Ex-Wagga junior Chris Powell (group 3) was too hot in the sprint for the scratchies who took second and third. Tolland rider Brodie Pearce was the best out of Budd’s group 4 finishing a brilliant 4th place.

In all it was a tough day for both Budd and Tarlington but flying the Happy Wheels BiciSport colours was a day to remember and one the legs took great benefit from.

Sunday saw Budd join fellow Griffith BiciSport riders Frank Signor and Melissa Budd for a mini-camp at the Murray River town of Jingellic.

Their training camp saw them ride to Tumbarumba and return for a journey that had 1900 metres of climbing. Certainly different to the regular ride to Leeton and back.

Both Signor and Melissa Budd showed the tremendous improvement that both riders have enjoyed since joining their new club.

Both riders have been putting in some good quality training and it is now showing in their riding and particularly in their climbing form.

Their next race is the Stock Fair Interclub event that is round 2 of the Tour de Riverina interclub series in two weeks time.