The Griffith Cycle Club has had a busy period of racing away and with a number of successes.
In early April five riders made the trip down to Cobram for the inaugural Raymand Jarrat handicap and Stage 3 of the Tour de Riverina.
Malcolm Blake the current club champion was on chopping block at 2 minutes, Craig Tilston after his successful ride at Stock Fair was in bunch 3 at 4 minutes, Steve Bertoldo was in bunch four at 9 minutes whilst Dick Hore and Peter Stockwell were in second limit at 14 minutes. Whilst the back markers performed admirably there was no stopping the huge second limit group who averaged 38 kph to hold off the chasing bunches.
Griffith CC’s two riders in this bunch were instrumental in driving pace and it was no surprise that they were in the mix in the final strait with Dick Hore recording a credible 9th place and Peter Stockwell rendering a great sprint to take an excellent 4th place.
In mid-April a strong contingent of 16 club members made the trip to Bathurst to complete in the Blaney to Bathurst Grand Fondo. This event was also granted the status of the Australian Grand Fondo Championship as well as qualifier for the 2018 World Grand Fondo Championship in Varese, Italy.
Whilst a number of the club’s rider participated in this event for enjoyment of the 110km journey and the social side there were a few who made a maximum effort. Three members qualified for the worlds by making the top 25% of their age group.
In cracking form Peter Stockwell, in the Masters 7 division, finished the gruelling course in 3 hours and 8 minutes, to finish 22nd qualifier. Not to be out done Dick Hore had a superb ride in Masters 8, and finished 10th in a time of 3 hours and 15 minutes. In the woman’s Masters 7, Jenni Massey recovered fantastically well from a bungled start where the organiser’s set off part of the woman’s bunch earlier than the scheduled started time.
The bunch was slowed down to let the 30 odd woman, including Jenni Massey, to get back on the bunch. Jenni was unable to defend her Blaney to Bathurst title, but rode magnificently, to qualify and pick up the silver medal. No doubt the earlier effort to get back on the bunch cost her up the 6km climb of Rockley Mount where she lost contact with the eventual category winner.
The first weekend in May saw the running of the Cootamundra Haycarters Handicap and NSW State race over 70km. Griffith CC had four members competing, Malcolm Blake (Bunch 3), Craig Tilston (Bunch 4), Steve Bertoldo (Bunch 6) and Grant Elwin (Bunch 8 ).
Scratch were due for a win this year and they were not in a charitable mood as they swept through the field, making drafting in their wake near impossible in the narrow roads. Steve Bertoldo had an excellent race and in a mini break was caught by scratch in the last few kilometres. However, the ride of the day from a Griffith CC view was that of Grant Elwin, where the unlucky limit group were caught by scratch with 1 km to go. Elwin hung on the back of scratch to record his best racing result thus far, with a well-deserved 19th place.
This Sunday, 20th May , sees Griffith Cycle Club host Stage 6 of the Tour de Riverina with the Dean Carter Memorial. There should be 15 to 20 Griffith Cycle club Members taking on riders, from Albury, Wagga, Cootamundra and Cobram.