Saturday 7 & 8 May 2016
An absolutely beautiful day greeted 75 riders at race central. No wind and the sun was shining meant that the races were going to be held in perfect conditions.
The test of time was first up, rider against the clock. 4km’s over a mostly downhill course. Some very impressive times were posted with Roger Northcote in B grade proving that sprinters can equally match the specialist Time Trialers by posting the 2nd fastest time of the day overall, well done Roger! Across all grades the time results were very tightly clustered together with time spreads of only 20 seconds across 18 riders the norm.
After a lunch break, the riders then tackled stage 2. Stage 2 was a 50km out and back course along the traditional route towards Breadalbane (or bree-dal-bane as I was corrected by a local). With sprint primes offering riders the opportunity to claw back valuable seconds, riders had to not only watch for those ahead of them in the overall standings but others who were nipping at their heels.
Some very close racing over the 50km’s resulted in the top 4 in B grade being within 4 seconds of each other, top 15 within 20 seconds in C grade and the top 3 in D grade within 5 seconds.
Wow! What a change 24 hours makes. The heavens opened up and decided to stay open for most of the day for some much needed rain for the Gunning district. You’d think with the combination of rain and Mother’s Day, many riders would take the easy option and not race. However the ACT Vets riders demonstrated that a little bit of moisture was not going to get in their way to race stage 3. The added bonus was a good wash for the bikes, always look at the positives people! With A, B, C & D racing over the longer 100km’s there was only eagerness on the line.
10kms into the A grade race, Matt McAuliffe attacked and proceeded to demonstrate a masterclass of solo riding for 90kms. He won A grade by a country mile (a country mile out Gunning way is over 10 mins). Sean Ifland and Marc Vroomans chased hard for 2nd and 3rd overall respectively.
B grade was a lot more tactical with the prime sprints being hotly contested. Christophe Barberet held out all attacks over the weekend to take home the gold with Paul Welsh and Owain Tilley rounding out 2nd & 3rd.
C grade started the day very close, but Al Bontjer showed his years of experience in recording a fine win over Steve Schwenke and Warwick Wilson. Credit to John Paul De Sousa who was sitting in 2nd place overall on the last lap but suffered a puncture out near Breadalbane. Any ordinary rider would seek the warmth and dryness of the trail car for a ride home, but not John Paul who battled the elements all the way back to the finish line so as not to get a “DNF” next to his name.
D grade A compressed field but all riders were in with a chance at the start. Mark Stevenson showed too much power in the end and extended his lead throughout the day to take home the gold. John Ignatius and Darren Garnon took 2nd and 3rd.
E, F & G grades took on the same course yesterday with a single lap 50km out and back race.
E grade eyed each other off at the start line as the win was up for grabs amongst several riders. Throughout the day the lead see-sawed and even after they had crossed the finish line it was still anybody’s until the sprint primes results were delivered. James Curren who is in great form took a very narrow win over David Gunther and Alex Sommariva. Only 10 secs separated the first 3 over the entire weekend.
F Grade was a duo effort with Mary Lovett and Ian Morton already in agreement on how to race the day before the start. They surely didn’t want to ride 50kms in the rain solo? Mary kept on her winning attitude by taking out a 10min overall margin win for the weekend with Ian Morton always pushing away in 2nd place.
G grade experienced the wrath of Paul Robey on a mission to go up to F Grade. I heard he has been putting in some solid km’s of training and it showed with Paul powering over 50kms to record a margin of over 5 mins for the weekend from Polly Templeton and Bernie Crowe in 3rd.
View the results from Stage 2.
- A Grade: Matt McAuliffe (1st), Sean Ifland (2nd), Marc Vroomans (3rd)
- B Grade: Owain Tilley (3rd), Christophe Barberet (1st), Paul Welsh (2nd)
- C Grade: Stephen Schwenke (2nd), Allan Bontjer (1st), Warwick Wilson (3rd)
- D Grade: Darren Garnon (3rd), Mark Stevenson (1st), John Ignatius (2nd)
- E Grade: James Curran (1st), David Gunther (2nd), Alex Sommariva (3rd)
- F Grade: Mary Lovett (1st), Ian Morton (2nd)
- G Grade: Paul Robey (1st), Polly Templeton (2nd), Bernard Crowe (3rd)
View the complete 2016 Gunning 2 day – Overall results
The entire weekend was capped off by a fabulously catered lunch at the Gunning showground by the Anne Darbyshire & ladies crew who gave up a good part of their time on Mother’s day to feed a hungry horde of post race riders.
The Gunning 2 day event is the ACT Vets biggest event on their calendar and as such there is a hive of activity in organizing this event with special credit to the following people:
- Phil Coulton- For securing the road approvals from Goulburn police. This is not an easy feat with a mountain of paperwork to be submitted
- Graham Hendrie for the van duties and ensuring that all times were entered so that the riders could see their times as soon as was practicable on the web.
- Paul & Ben Robey- for towing the portaloo to and from Gunning.
Alex O’Shea for two days of superb help on timings and race number spotting at the finish line
- Kisti McVay for ensuring everything was paid for.
- Tom Roberts the sports med who was only required twice over the weekend for minor medical issues.
And of course all of the marshals that volunteered their precious time to help out. Without your help, these events would not be possible.
- Craig Kentwell- Time trial time keeper
- Graham Hendrie- Time trial time keeper
- Doug Widdup- Breadalbane turn
- Alex O’Shea- Everywhere helper
- Richard Bourne- Finish Chute
- Mike Hayes- Lead Car
- Damian Copeland- Trail car
- Christopher Short- Sprint prime
- Ian Mcvay-Sprint prime
- Bruce Jones- Sprint prime
- Graham Hendrie- Time keeper
- Alex O’Shea- Everywhere Helper
- Mike Hayes- Trail Car
- Ashley Sked- Lead Car
- Kevin Hennessy- Breadalbane turn
- David McGuinness- Sprint prime
- Ian McVay- Sprint prime
- David Witteveen- Sprint prime
- Terry Merrigan- Finish line
And finally a race is only as good as the riders who compete. Whether you came first, last or somewhere in between you all demonstrated that the spirit of the club is very strong. You made my first race referee event a thoroughly enjoyable one. Sunday’s weather was not ideal but you all took to it like a duck to water (literally speaking). At the end of the day you can sit back and relax to count down the days until next year’s race.
Gunning Race Director