City riders in small but talented pool

TAMWORTH Cycling Club might well be one of the smaller sporting clubs in the city but it might also be the silent achiever, according to its club president.

Ray Griffin rode in Sunday morning’s Tamworth Cycling Club combined A and B Grade criterium at Goddard’s Lane, finishing somewhere around fifth to young star Sam Spokes.

The club president is also the publicity officer and as ever the financial adviser was upbeat about just how well the club is going and how many good cyclists it has produced over the years.

He didn’t have to look far as he got up from the roadside kerb at Goddard’s Lane and wiped some of the hard earned sweat from his greying temples.

“It was a tough day in that wind,” he added with a satisfied grin.

“Another good day though. We’ve got some great kids coming through.

“The two Saunders girls, Tori and Jess, were winning medals again at Bowral last night. Young Sam’s going back to Belgium soon to race for Quick Step. We had a few away today too. Mitch (Carrington) is away and Tori and Jess too. But we are good right across the ages. Young Sam, Kierin (Lewis) and Lewis (Chapman) filled the placings today and Michael Swain is getting good k’s in his legs too. Jack Pianta is going well too. He’s  only been riding 18 months and shows a lot of promise.

“Then there’s a bloke like Dave Menzies. He’s 56 or 57 and just won the Australian Veterans Criterium Championship in Launceston. He won his 55-59 age group down there. We might be small in numbers but have a good standard of racing 

members.”

Dave Menzies has been running the Manilla Caravan park for the past eight years and has also been racing with the Dubbo-based Orana Vets for the few years.

He was delighted to find the national vet titles were in Launceston on November 9/10/11.

“I was born there,” Menzies told The Leader.

“I knew a lot of the blokes racing there. I raced against them as junior pro. It’s great to be back down there and win a national title there.”

Dave rode the combined A and B Grade criterium at Goddard’s Lane on Sunday and enjoys those regular races.

So too does Scott Thompson.

He is lucky to be alive after suffering bad burns in a bomb explosion at work earlier this year.

He’s used cycling as a means of returning to fitness to overcome the injuries.

“I had burns to five per cent of my body,” Thompson said.

“I had 20 trips down and back to see the doctors in five months. I’m still not 100 per cent.”

But he’s on track, literally.

“Riding has got to help,” he laughed of a sport he competed in two decades ago.

“I haven’t ridden for 15 years,” he said.

“It’s been hard to get going again. Wayne Toomey told me it would take 12 months to get back. It has been tough too finding the time with kids.”

He’s hoping February might be a general date when his training rides and racing starts to pay off with more forceful rides although he has already won an A Grade criterium.

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