Summer crits have spice from visiting riders
THE second summer criterium race of the Byron Bay Cycle Club saw some speedy tactics and hefty manoeuvres from local and visiting riders.
Held in sunny weather on December 10, a number of riders from other clubs took part in the event and added a great deal of interest to the cut and thrust of the races.
BBC spokesman Ritchie Duncan said the sunshine seemed to bring many riders out of hiding with solid numbers lining up for C and D grade although numbers were down a little A and B.
"The number of riders from different clubs did add that extra spice to the race,” he said.
"It would be great to see them at future events.”
While the cyclists enjoyed catching up before the event, once the starters pistol sounds, it's every rider for themselves as they hurl themselves around the track at the Byron Bay Industrial Estate.
"A and B (Grades) were combined due to the smaller numbers but it did not slow the pace,” he said.
"Matt Bickel broke away from the main group on the second lap and stayed out in front slowly extending his lead for the whole race catching and lapping the field on his final lap, a solid effort.”
Duncan said Bickel's riding left the rest of the combined A and B Grades to fight it out for the minor placings.
"David Erbacer narrowly outpaced Connor Gibney in the final sprint and Connor was also the fastest/best Junior,” he said.
"C Grade followed similar pattern to A/B after the first few laps a 45kms/hr Jason Denson broke away with a couple of other riders but soon found himself alone. He made the most of the opportunity and put his head down and stay away from the bunch for the rest of the race taking first and the mid-race sprint.”
Again, the bunch was left to sprint it out for the minor placings with Matt Perkins in second, out-pacing Damian Chappelle for third and Matt Long in fourth.
Ritchie said Rachel Pearson rode well and was awarded the best female rider.
The criterium attracted a robust field for D Grade, he said.
"They rode well keeping pace with C Grade at times and unlike the other grades, they stayed together until the final sprint,” Duncan said.
"Andrew Downey (Ballina Bicycle Club) showed some solid pace to take the mid-race sprint but fading afterwards, (while) Graeme Way in first rode a clever race leaving the field behind in the sprint to the line followed by Ben Hogan in second and Paul Barton in third.”
Duncan said Hogan rode a solid race.
"Ben was riding in his first criterium as a junior and did well to secure second,” he said.
"It was great to Denise Bennett back racing and making life hard for the men.”
Finally, Duncan said as always they appreciated the assistance form volunteers who officiated.
"A big thank-you to the volunteers that controlled the corners and to Steve Slee assisted by Rachel Sipple did solid job as commissaire,” he said.
"Paul Efanow put together another great event as Race Director and our races do not happen without them.”
Results December 10, 2017
1st Matt Bickel (Balmoral Cycling Club)
2nd David Erbacer (Grafton Cycling Club)
3rd Connor Gibney (Byron Cycling Club)
1st Jason Denson (Murwillumbah Cycling Club)
2nd Matt Perkins (Murwillumbah Cycling Club)
3rd Damian Chappelle (Byron Bay Cycle Club)
Prime Jason Denson
Best Female Rider Rachel Pearson (Byron Bay Cycling Club)
1st Graham Way (Byron Bay Cycling Club)
2nd Ben Hogan (Ballina Cycling Club)
3rd Paul Barton (North West Sydney Cycling Club)
Prime Andrew Downey (Ballina Cycling Club)
The new calendar will be sorted soon and be available on the club's website.