Griffith riders once again braved the windy but scenic rolling hill of Cootamundra on the weekend in the Coota Annual Classic and the NSW Open Club Championships.
On Saturday Peter Stockwell was the first to go in limit with two other riders, the handy bunch of three were caught around 40 km into the ride by Bunch 9. At the 50 km marker a combined bunch of 7 and 8 including Griffith's Steven Bertoldo.
Bertoldo's bunch set a good tempo, and everyone was staying together until confusion at an intersection caused the bunch to split.
Malcolm Blake and Nigel Dunstone were the next Griffith riders to go in Bunch 4, the pair had a cruisy ride until Bunch 3 caught the group. The pace quickly escalated with a bunch of 24 riders and Blake and Dunstone did what they could, but both lost contact on one of the last big climbs.
Meanwhile, Stockwell fought hard working with a few riders after the split managed to come in 41st out of 108 riders and the first Griffith rider over the finish line.
History was also made at the Cootamundra Annual Classic Handicap with the 63rd edition seeing its first female winner. Simone Grounds (Dubbo CC) out-kicked Anna Booth and Graeme Pedon (Dubbo CC) to claim victory on the steep uphill finish.
The top three had started in Bunch 7 with a 29-minute handicap over Scratch, which finished splintered all over the hills of the Riverina under the pressure of fastest time Jay Vine (Canberra Cycling Club).
On Sunday saw the inaugural NSW Open Club Road Race Championships in Cootamundra. Riders will be racing for club glory across 5 men's and 2 women's divisions.
First to go for Griffith was Blake in Division 2, Blake competed in the long course event (77 km) but succumbed to the roads of Cootamundra with a blown tyre.
Dunstone left 10 minutes later in division 3. The group had 18 riders with some experienced speedsters. There was a split in the group with a breakaway of three, and Dunstone quickly responded to join the group. He managed to stay with the breakaway and finish in 4th position earning 16 points.
Craig Tilston and Mitch Harrison were next to go in Division 4, they had a group of 17 riders. They competed in the short course event (57 km). Craig and Mitch worked well in the bunch, Tilston not being able to help himself found himself out the front for 40 of the 57 km race. Tilston and Harrison put on little attacks throughout, but the headwind on the way home was the winner. With 300 metres to the end Tolland's Paul Millynn speed through to claim 1st. Tilston coming in 7th and earning 11 points and Harrison 13th and 5 points.
Division five saw Grant Elwin, Kingsley and Jennifer Massey and Dick Hore compete in the last event.
They made their way down the speedy downhill at the start, it was clear that everyone had different ideas on how they wanted to ride their race. Elwin raced down the hill to the first right-hander and sat out the front with Kingsley Massey. After the first hill Elwin took off down the other side in a solo breakaway, but no one was interested in following. The group reeled him in, but Elwin had different ideas and took off again, as he approached the second right-hander, he found himself going in to hard and went straight through the intersection and off the road.
As the group made their way for the finish line the wind was strong enough to cause the expected havoc, Hore was the first GCC rider to go with four others. With 10km to go Dayna Davidson from Southern Cross CC made a dash and Kingsley Massey was hot on her wheels, but he was no match for the younger Davidson as she sped off to claim 1st and Kingsley 2nd and 22 points, Jennifer Massey 5th and 19 points, Elwin 7th and 17 points.
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