A strong South Westerly breeze added a degree of difficulty to an already challenging course this time around but the cool temps experienced through the week were nowhere to be seen, 15C at 6:00am. And while a bank of clouds threatened to spoil the day, beautiful Winter sunshine bathed the course from start to finish.
Bruce Syme did the Math and put a 3 minute gap between B and A Grades, but despite some moaning this seemed to be not quite enough of a margin with Matt Slee (BBCC) and Andrew Crawley (ManlyCC) making most of that back in the first lap. As the race went on and the A Graders caught up, the field started to split apart, but there were some solid rides put together by Craig Morley (GCCC), Wes Thompson and Ritchie Duncan (BBCC). Matt Slee went on to win in blistering time of 1:16:39 (41.09 kph avg.). Craig cemented his place in A Grade with a strong 2nd – 1:17:58, executing a clever move on the final lap to break clear of Andrew Crawley, 3rd – 1:18:57. (7 laps – 52.5km)
The C Grade field was strong with a few new faces coming down from Murwillumbah to come see what all the fuss was about, and they brought some good form with them. The group stayed together for the early stages but the pace soon got too hot for some and cracks started to appear. Joe Mevisson (MCC) broke clear and what was left of the group did their best to hold the gap. Joe eventually rode on to win in a time of 58:20 (38.6 kph avg.) A 3-way tussle for the minor placing ensued with Dion Harris (MCC) pipping Paul Efanow (BBCC) for 2nd & 3rd respectively (1:00:14) with Matt Bone (BBCC) being edged out for 4th (1:00:20).
The Combined D/E Grade Handicaps were significantly closer and all the riders had to ride to the limit of their ability to stay in contention. With the gaps closing lap by lap, the Scratch riders only caught the Limit riders on the last climb out of School Lane. Stuart Bailey (BBCC) managed to find a kick to beat fellow BBCC rider Michael Pattison 53:42/3 (25.1 kph avg.) for 1st Place with Andrew Oakes (BBC) 54:42 rounding out the podium.
A big thank you to all our Volunteers and Officials, the Staff at the Macadamia Castle and Workforce International for the kind sponsorship of our Traffic Control Signage.