Comeback rider's still got it

PETER Selkrig was a guest rider when the Tamworth Cycling Club  (TCC) raced at Goddard Lane on Sunday.

The 51-year-old had accepted an invitation from former TCC president Ray Griffin to race in Tamworth, at both Saturday’s inaugural Keepit Real mountain bike race at Lake Keepit and then in Sunday’s TCC criterium races at Goddard Lane.

Selkrig is no stranger to mountain bikes.

The son of former jockey Ray Selkrig is a former junior world championship representative who returned to riding after a 25-year break to finish second in the gruelling World Mountain Bike Solo Championships at Mt Stromlo in Canberra last October.

Then he went to Cairns to take part in the unique Crocodile Trophy.

“That was over nine days,” Selkrig  said on  Sunday morning after the A Grade criterium race at Goddard Lane.

“900kms with 15,000m of climbing. That was six weeks ago.”

Riders from all over the world competed and  Selkrig finished 15th overall, finishing as high as fifth and sixth in a couple of the stages and winning his Over 40 age division by more than three hours.

Starting in Cairns, they finished at Cooktown.

That made Saturday’s Keepit Real 100 something of a ride in the park for Selkrig, who first met Griffin when they were young riders riding for the St George club in Sydney in the early ’80s.

Sam Spokes won the inaugural 50km race but Selkrig was second.

He gave his younger opponent 30 years and only finished about a minute behind him.

 Griffin was completing his first mountain bike race.

The Team Baiocchi Griffin JT Fossey Cycling founder was delighted with his sixth overall and third in his veterans’ division.

“It was a big weekend for Team Baiocchi Griffin JT Fossey Cycling,”  Griffin said.

“It began with a fantastic second place in the Cycling NSW President’s Cup at Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney for Jeremy Bartlett. 

“The handicap race, held over 1750m, was raced at a hectic pace with the out-markers only being caught with around two laps to go.

“Jeremy Bartlett managed to follow the right wheels as a big group of riders came together with three laps remaining and then was perfectly positioned one out and three back as the bell rang for a lap to go.”

 Bartlett said “it was a really quick race”.

“I knew I just needed to stay on the wheel of the rider in front of me and hold my position and I would be in with a chance,”  Bartlett said.

“In races like this, the pressure really comes from all angles – outside, inside, in front, behind – and you just have to be strong and hold your position until it’s time to let loose for the last lap or so.

“I love this type of racing – fast and crowded on the track – it suits me really well.”

Saturday morning’s Keepit Real mountain bike race then became a success for the team with their invited guest Selkrig finishing second to  Spokes and winning the vets’ division.

 Griffin was delighted with his own effort.

“It was brilliant – really tough riding and a really fast first 10 kilometres. 

“I had to stop twice with bike issues but managed to catch all but one of the riders who passed me. 

“I loved it – I’m a convert to off-road genre now.” 

On to Saturday afternoon and  Bartlett picked up a silver medal in the NSW Country Track Championships held at Wollongong. 

Bartlett’s medal was in the 1000m individual time trial however the remainder of the championship events were cancelled due to rain.

“It’s a great way for us to end our first five months as a team,”  Griffin said.

“Our tally since launching in July includes three gold medals at the NSW Masters Road Championships; two silver medals at the Australian Masters Road Championships, Jeremy’s silver in the Country track titles; and podiums for Peter (Selkrig) and I at the Keepit Real mountain bike race. 

“In addition, Mick Sherwood carried the team’s colours across the line in the Grafton to Inverell on what was not such a good day for us overall.

“As well, we were placed prominently in races at Mudgee and Cootamundra and we’ve got a lot to move forward with in 2014.” 

One of the team’s first major events in 2014 will be the Tamworth Dawn To Dusk in February when  Griffin partners  Selkrig in the 12-hour race at Tamworth Bicycle Park.

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