HEARTS POUNDING: At the Byron Bay Cycling Club's final race of the summer season, the C-Grade riders fly around the course, all hoping for podium glory.
HEARTS POUNDING: At the Byron Bay Cycling Club's final race of the summer season, the C-Grade riders fly around the course, all hoping for podium glory. Supplied

Team races see cyclists pedal up for podium

AS AUTUMN rolls on, competitive cyclists have been taking advantage of good racing conditions throughout the Northern Rivers to chase their dreams of podium glory.

On Saturday the Ballina Masters Cycling Club held their monthly Two Rider Race at their usual venue by the Richmond River.

This popular event sees teams of two riders literally drawn from a hat, their handicaps added together, then halved to give them a time to beat.

The pairing closest to or beating the disseminated time are declared the winners.

The draw placed the riders into the following teams: Richard Brown and Andrew Downey - TTB (Time To Beat) 37:00, Gavin Rose and Bruce Quinn - TTB 36:30, Paul O'Kelly and Brendan Lowrey - TTB 36:00 and Garry Whitfield and David Cowdrey - TTB 36:00.

Each team was set off at one minute intervals, and a key rule is they are not allowed to draft another team should they catch up.

As all riders made a big effort along the whole course, the outcome was still uncertain as they crossed the line, which meant placings came down to corrected times.

Results - Ballina Master Cycling Club Two Rider Race

First, Paul & Brendan - 36:52, 0:52;

Second, Andrew & Richard - 37:58, +0:58;

Third, Garry & David - 37:14, +1:14; and

Fourth, Gavin & Bruce - 38:49, +2:19

A club spokesman said two of BMCC members made it up to the Gold Coast on Sunday for a race with Gold Coast Masters Cycling Club.

"Bob Charlton and Harry White competed,” he said.

"Bob had a good ride although couldn't quite get onto the podium, while Harry had a great ride back from injury and place third in C Grade.”

Byron Bay Cycling Club held their final event of the Summer Series

On Sunday the Byron Bay Cycling Club saw some speedy results at their last race of the season.

BBCC spokesman Ritchie Duncan said the final race was all important for determining the series point score with Nick Ruane and Damian Chapelle separated by only one point and they were both racing B Grade. "With only one A Grade rider present, Matt Slee, A and B were combined to add some extra spice to the mix,” he said.

The riders in A/B Grade were slow to wind up from the start and Duncan got a jump on the field and spent a couple of laps doing his own thing until the rest of bunch caught up.

There were some strong surges and mini breaks until Slee decided he had seen enough and rode away from bunch strongly and remained unchallenged.

Danny Mena showing his strength despite rumours that he may have over-hydrated the night before taking the prime.

Nick Ruane rode a clever race minimising his time on the front of the bunch to conserve energy for the final sprint where Chapelle could show his strength, but the showdown never happened after the latter suffer a flat mid-race.

The sprint was a close affair with Mena taking first, Ruane in second and Duncan was third.

C Grade was a competitive paced affair with mini attacks as the riders tested each other. Paul Efanow rode strongly to take out the prime, while Gianluca Morini who has been improving each race finished third in a strong sprint. Neil Scott secured second and Peter Fairfull who made his way up from Grafton hit the sprint hard to take first place.

Ritchie said at the conclusion of the racing all enjoyed a barbecue with bacon and egg sandwich to replenish the reserves followed by the presentations.

"A big thank to all the riders both visitors and local members for riding safely and a big pat on the back for the volunteers who ran the corners and ran the barbecue,” he said.

"And special thanks to Jeff, Steve and Bob who were co-commissaires, they were great”.

A Grade result

1st Matt Slee (BBCC)

B Grade result

1st Danny Mena (Murwillumbah Cycling Club)

2nd Nick Ruane (BBCC)

3rd Ritchie Duncan (BBCC)

Prime Danny Mena (MCC)

C Grade results

1st Peter Fairfull (Grafton Cycling Club)

2nd Neil Scott (BBCC)

3rd Gianluca Morini (BBCC)

Prime Paul Efanow (BBCC)

Summer Series 2016/17 Overall

1st Nick Ruane

2nd Damian Chapelle

3rd John Langler

A Grade - Matt Slee

B Grade - Ritchie Duncan/Nick Smith

C Grade - Neal Scott

D Grade - David Scully

Best female - Chloe Butt

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