The weekend’s windy weather created challenging conditions for not only the Tamworth Cycle Club contingent contesting the Grafton to Inverell but also those that rolled up for the local race around Moore Creek.
While the temperature had warmed up a little come race time for the local race, the wicked westerly winds were still in full song.
Minister in charge of pain Kev Bartlett split the riders up into five groups.
The go group were brothers in crime Peter and Mal Nash assisted by Al Partlin and Conor Noonan. Four minutes later were Terry Balla, Mal Ellicot, David Fitzimmons. Mia Cottrell-Dormer and first timer Amy Clift.
Next out of the blocks were Joe Kelly, Dave Smith, Sim Church, Jeremy Deasey and Zane Tapp, another three minutes behind. Micheal Foster was ably assisted by Luke O'Connor three minutes later with Luke Deasey and Daniel Nash a further two minutes behind.
It was definitely a day for the early groups who were assisted by a gale force wind on the trip out to the scout camp. But things quickly turned into a tough slog on the way home when the tailwind turned into an ‘I'll blow you off your bike’ head wind.
The team of Church, Smith, Kelly and Tapp had worked together to catch the second group on the return trip just after turning onto Davidson's Lane.
They split a little on the climb out of Moore Creek and the remainder set about trying to reel in the lead group of the Nash brothers and Al Partlin.
It was all to no avail though as they were a clear 500m ahead of the bunch.
Mal Nash took the podium from brother Peter with Partlin rolling through for a well deserved third.
Fraser Ashford, Mick Sherwood, Mark Jeffrey, Robert Wright and Matthew Sadleir meanwhile tackled what is regarded as Australia’s toughest one day race.
That was never more the case than on Saturday with three degree temperatures and 35-50km/hr winds.
Ashford and Sherwood both started in Division Two.
After only deciding to enter the race about two weeks before, Ashford looked strong and consistent all day, and secured a satisfying tenth place. Sherwood, however, was forced to abandon the race with a leg injury before the climb.
Racing in Division Three, Jeffrey, Wright and Sadleir all completed the race.
Jeffrey and Wright took the ‘go hard or go home’ approach and laid down the challenge after the first sprint, working to make a break, which they were able to sustain for 20km before being reeled back in.
Jeffrey made a second attempt after the range, but was chased down by the bunch by the time they reached Glen Innes.
In the end, Sadleir’s conservative approach paid off as he finished in the second bunch in 15th. Jeffrey came in 44th and Wright 55th of 135 starters.