SCOTT Thompson returned to criterium racing in winning form at Goddard’s Lane in Tamworth on Sunday morning.
It was something of a day for comeback riders too, with Phil Kelleher second to Thompson in the Tamworth Cycling Club A Grade criterium.
Raced over 25mins and two laps, the A Grade criterium was a competitive race between the six starters, Thompson prevailing from Kelleher with veteran Alan Spokes third as Jeremy Bartlett, John Saunders and Jack Pianta followed the placegetters across the line.
“Scott is lucky to be racing,” Spokes said.
“He was involved in that explosion at Fielders and received pretty bad burns.
“He’s had multiple skin grafts and done extremely well just to be riding.
“It’s good to see him back.
“He was a good junior rider who came up through the juniors here.
“His brother Craig rode and their dad was a big help building the velodrome.
“He was a grader driver.
“It’s good to see him riding again and also Phil.
“He hasn’t ridden for about 10 years.
‘That was his first ride back.
“He’s been getting fitter and fitter though.”
While A Grade had six riders, B Grade, a 20 minute plus two laps race, had about 15 starters with former kick boxing star Brendan Hallford the winner from young gun Jessie Saunders and Graham Lewis.
Meanwhile, some 216 riders took to the various tracks in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Walcha Teams Challenge on Sunday.
The mountain bike event was another major success, race organiser Barry Walton said.
“We were really pleased with that,” he said of the 216 riders.
“They all started at 7am and the last ones were in by 10 to one. It was pleasing that amount of riders were able to finish that early.”
The Walcha Teams Challenge was a mountain bike race with three varying distances – a 100km Extreme Challenge, a 70km General race and a popular 30km Community Challenge.
Maitland trio Stuart Lord, Pat Lane and Scott Steward won the Extreme Challenge (more on that in tomorrow’s Leader), the second year Steward and Lane had won.