Blue Skies, Mild temps and Light Breezes saw 30 riders take the field for the April edition of the Macadamia Castle race at Knockrow on Sunday Morning.
With only small fields in A & B Grades, they were sent off together but but had their own races respectively, although Matt Slee (BBCC) and Liam Batuzzi (MCC), were in a Class of their own, opening a 51 second advantage over the rest of the field in the first lap! The A Grade finish saw Matt Slee take the Top step – 1:26:44 (36.3 kph avg.), with Liam Batuzzi (MCC) securing a strong 2nd Place – 1:27:18 and Connor Gibney (BBCC) rounding out the Podium – 1:34:02.
In B Grade, Ritchie Duncan (BBCC) proved that hardwork pays off by holding off the fast finishing Craig Morley (GCCC) to claim 1st place – 1:34:25 (33.3 kph) & 1:34:26 respectively. Ian Mathews (BBCC) showing true determination, to finish 3rd – 1:41:49.
C Grade (37.5km) had a strong contingent of 11 riders and the pace was on from the outset. The group stayed together for the 1st of 5 laps but the cracks soon started to appear. Matt Long (MCC) got a break on the group on the 3rd lap and managed to keep clear till the finish – 1:09:03 (32.5 kph). Matt Bone (BBCC) edged out Dave Crosby (Day Licence) in a tight sprint for 2nd – 1:10:00.
D & E Grades (22.5km) were combined and were set off in stages according to a Handicap, the first time running this type of event. E Grade was sent off first with the first part of D Grade 2 minutes behind them and the chase bunch a further 1 minute back. The gaps closed down on the second lap for most of the field with a few struggling to maintain contact, and a bit of sacrifice and sportsmanship going on to keep other in touch as well. Stuart Bailey took out 1st place with a strong ride – 46:52 (28.8 kph), with Marco Goldberg (BBCC) putting in a solid ride – 47:53, and U15W National Champion (XCO) trying her hand at road racing on her Birthday, Hayley Oakes 3rd – 49:23. Afterwards saying she “was disappointed with the lack of jumps, but it’s nice to come home with a clean bike”. All riders in the combined grades relished the format and were keen to see it continue.
Thanks to all our Volunteers and Marshals, Kerry, Peter, Alan, Bruce and Don. Thanks also to Garry Creighton (Chief Commissaire) and Michael Hanley (on course Photos).
Ballina Bicycle Club Racing at the Macadamia Castle, 8 April 2018 in perfect conditions.