Whyalla Cycling Club organised with Port Pirie's cycling group leader Brenton Hoare to conduct an inaugural road cycling event which was held on Saturday, August 24.
This 'Come and Try' road cycling racing event attracted riders from Gawler, Port Adelaide, Kilkenny, Norwood, Adelaide, Whyalla and South Coast cycling clubs. A turnout of 34 riders in their various coloured jerseys and bikes with family and friend spectators brought a fun atmosphere for a country road race.
It started from Crystal Brook township and headed eastward along three roadways of about equal distance covering 62.4 kms finishing back in Crystal Brook.
A rider's brief given at the start for good safe riding in very windy conditions was given by president of Whyalla Cycling Club (WCC) Ashley Evans. With the sun shining the riders geared up to start in their handicapped groups. Thanks to the work of handicapper Paul Jacobs who did an awesome job considering he didn't know the abilities of many riders and made educated guesses.
The fastest riders 'scratch' group leave 33 minutes after the first riders start, this was our elite Whyalla riders Lucas Hoffman and Daniel Siwek. The closest group ahead of them by two minutes included David Gomer, Malcolm Clasohm and James Kelly all of Norwood CC, Craig Beddome Adelaide and Dylan Kaulins WCC commonly referred to as the 'chopping block' group.
From this (NCC) group David finished 15th, Malcolm 18th and riding out on his own but he enjoyed the outing was James in 31st.
The first group included 'Fritz' Graeme Fargher 'Steady Eddie', Bob Monoghan both WCC, Bronte McLaughlin (Port Pirie), Robert Haaren (Gawler). Unfortunate for Bronte the hectic start and pace pushed him to his limit early in first leg and he didn't take any chances and returned home.
Bob raced a steady race finishing 22nd with buddy Adrian Wilson 23rd and Fritz was most grateful to finish 30th and Robert made a gruelling effort to bring up the rear guard.
The five minute group included John Malycha, John Rutgers both of (PP) and Andrew Frost (Kilkenny). Andrew set a blistering pace going on the hunt for the group ahead and trying to stay with front group finishing 13th just behind John Rutgers 12th with John Malycha finished 27th a good effort considering the horrid wind.
The 12 minute group of seven included John Dennis 'the green machine', Brenton Hoare and Peter Northcott (PP) and Whyalla riders Shaun Hannan, Derek Siwek, Gregg Utting and Will Symons. Will's race finished with a flat tyre and John, Peter and Brenton worked together throughout the race to finish 19th, 20th and 21st.
Shaun and Gregg kept in contact and finished 25th and 26th over the finish line. Derek doing was doing if tough on his own especially with head wind on the second leg and may have said a few curse words but come home relieved in 29th.
The 16 minute six rider group, Emma Mardon, Phill Smith, Danny Ronan, Adrian Wilson all (WCC) and Craig Lienert (PACC) and Daniel Hoffrichter (Adel) worked as a smaller group with Craig L breaking away early to end up finishing seventh overall. Emma, Phill and Danny were over the line ninth, 10th and 11th with Daniel H 14th a good race by all.
The U15 riders Jamie Anderson and Will Mathwin both from South Coast CC and Jack Wisbey WCC started 17 minutes after the first group.
Jack was let down with a flat tyre in the first leg but was able to join the group again for the last leg to keep his spirit alive. These young riders battled the winds and finished with Jamie 28th and Will 24th place, a brilliant effort by these lads.
Off at 19 minutes Tony Connole and Josh Maksimovic both (PP) they worked together in first leg but Josh had other ideas and powered away passing 20 riders to get to the lead by the third leg only to be overtaken by two elite riders not far from the finish achieving a third place, your local knowledge was a bonus, well done. Tony was a keen contender finishing eighth place a mighty effort.
U17 riders Cooper Jacobs (WCC) and Willis 'Lightning' Lienert (PACC), started at 25 minutes. On the first leg 'Lightning Willis' set a cracking pace leaving Cooper squinting to see him disappearing in the distance. He was on a mission with head down and on the hunt passing various groups and then came up close and personal with the scratch elite riders and Dylan Kaulins on the last leg.
With only six riders in front of him and maintaining his lightning pace he bid his dad Craig goodbye on the way past to finish fourth most outstanding cyclist on the day. Cooper raced well over the course having his ups and downs finishing 16th.
Bringing it home in style was first Lucas Hoffman and second Daniel Siwek who both said it was a 'hard ride' especially the head wind on second leg they reached 65kms in patches maybe downhill, third Josh Maksimovic and fourth 'Lightning' Willis Lienert at 15 years, fifth Dylan Kaulins and sixth Craig Beddome.
Ashley Evans thanked all riders for their sportsmanship and good safe riding, although a tough windy ride he heard many saying it was the "best ride for a long time". He thanked the road marshals and after the race there was fruit, water and cupcakes kindly supplied by Ann Fargher and thanked sign on duties Glenda Hodgkinson.
Next week reminder Club Road Race Championship on Stoney Point road start near the railway line at 10am all welcome to support riders in their final competition for the season.