A short Bleat this week;
- From the desk of the President
- Race Reports
Please send me your contributions at: TheBleat@actvets.cc
From the desk of the President
Good Evening Vets,
Well we have completed our first week with no competitive cycling events and I’m sure most of you found it as tough as I did. Hopefully it won’t be too long before the government position allows for a return to group gatherings and racing!
The weather forecast for the week isn’t spectacular so I imagine I will mostly spend time on the indoor trainer in an attempt to maintain fitness both physically and mentally.
If you visit the Clubs Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ACTVets/) you’ll see a couple of Strava related challenges being posted by members (thank you). So check them out and give some of them a go – it might help give some focus to the training during this time.
TRACK RACING SEASON 2019-20
The 2019-20 Track Racing Season concluded on Wednesday 18 March. A presentation event was planned for 25 March. However, regrettably, this event was cancelled when the club decided to suspend racing as a response to Covid-19.
The 2019-20 track season was the most disrupted season experienced to date. The combination of bushfires, rain and Covid-19 had a major impact on the number of race sessions and attendance levels. However, there were 31 riders who participated in one or more track session. Since the transfer of our track program to the Bundadome venue in 2014, a total of 70 riders from the club have participated in Track racing.
Understandably, this season’s attendance was down on last year, with 10 – 15 riders being the norm. The A grade attendance trailed off markedly towards the end of the season. However, a hard core of B grade regulars kept the track discipline alive by returning each week for another dose of high adrenaline racing. Judging by the expressions of appreciation from riders, the enjoyment level from racing was as high as ever.
There were 14 track sessions with around 50 races over the season. The season provided a variety of race formats including scratch races, handicaps, pursuits, match races, points races, sprints and time trials. All races contributed to an overall Track Championship. This year there was a close championship points tussle between Tony Beasley and Ross Scutts, with the outcome being uncertain until the final race session. Tony missed out on some points in the latter half of the season due to injury and Ross was ahead prior to the last race session. However, Ross could not make the final track session (a rarity) and Tony managed to accumulate just enough points to overtake Ross in the point score and take out the gold medal for this championship. Congratulations to Tony. He is a very deserving winner having been a regular over many years and always an enthusiastic and high achieving competitor.
The silver and bronze medals for the track championship were won by Ross Scutts and John Paul De Sousa respectively. Both riders are active club members, track stalwarts and very deserving medal winners. Ross is the most consistent competitor at track. He rarely misses an event and is always in great form. John Paul had his best track season with excellent form and results in all of the major track events.
The track season was almost injury free. James Newhouse had a fall when his front tyre rolled off its rim. Fortunately, this occurred at low speed and low on the banking, so that James escaped with minor bruising and abrasions. In the last seven years, we have only had three minor accidents at track. Despite the speed, close quarters racing and lack of brakes, track racing is consistently the safest race discipline offered by the club. The standard of riding was high and most of the regular riders improved considerably over the season. It was difficult to select the most improved rider because most of B grade improved their performance markedly over the season, particularly riders such as James Newhouse, Warwick Wilson and Phil Coulton. However, the award for most improved rider went to John Paul De Sousa from A grade. John Paul had a great season with consistently improving form and podium results in the Track Championship, Omnium Championship and Christmas Wheel Race.
The track season included a Wheel Race just prior to Christmas, with the trophy taken by James Newhouse. Towards the end of the season, we ran a four-event Omnium Championship. The results for this event are decided by “the algorithm” which attempts to equalise the chances of all track participants, regardless of grading. The algorithm seems to have acquired near mystical status over the years. I am pleased to report that it finally came through for its author, with Graeme O’Neill taking out this year’s championship by a single point over John Paul De Sousa and Phil Coulton. As “the algorithm” now enjoys omnipotent status, no appeals will be accepted!
This summary would not be complete without acknowledging and thanking all the parties who contributed to the track season. This includes the club committee who book the venue, support the track racing discipline and publish results, the first aiders from Sports Medicine, all those who assisted in myriad ways over the season and, finally, the riders who invariably displayed the best competitive spirit and camaraderie.
I hope all the club member will stay safe in these challenging times. I look forward to a less disrupted track season for 20-21 and hope that some of our former regulars will rekindle their passion for track racing.
Track Season Results
Track Christmas Wheel Race Results (1st – 5th):
James Newhouse, John Paul De Sousa, Ross Scutts, Phil Coulton, Steve Hirsler.
Final Omnium Championship Points:
Graeme O’Neill (14), John Paul De Sousa (13), Phil Coulton (13), James Newhouse (11), Steve Hirsler (8), Ken Birch (8), Ben Davis (7), Rowan McMurray (7), Ross Scutts (6), Warwick Wilson (5), Ian Drayton (5) Dougal Torrance (4), Hamish Anderson (3).
Final Track Championship Points:
Tony Beasley (197), Ross Scutts (192), John Paul De Sousa (173), James Newhouse (170), Ken Birch (156), Phil Coulton (147), Dougal Torrance (140), Hamish Anderson (139), Martin Graham (137), Warwick Wilson (136), Graeme O’Neill (107).
Most Improved Rider:
John Paul De Sousa
Riders in bold text above should contact Graeme O’Neill on 0408 267 734 to make arrangements for collection of their medals and trophies.