West Head Round 1 Club Champs Wrap Up

While the skies were grey, it was a sea of blue for Round 1 of the MWCC Club Championships for 2012. While some riders decided to hit the snooze button after seeing the front that was coming our way via Weatherzone, other riders took the chance to collect some early points and perhaps even a podium with the numbers down a little on previous months. With the clouds looking fairly brutal and a splattering of rain overnight, the number of riders from other clubs was a little lower than normal, most likely not wanting to risk the trip only to find out there was no race on. However at the earlier start time of 7:20am we saw the A Grade field roll out.

The A Grade bunch was a combined bunch and therefore we had two separate races occurring within the one race – one for overall line honours and the second one for the MWCC points. An earlier break of three including Nick Yallouris of NKC Lexus and James Swadling of NSCC looked promising and many thought with no Manly riders in the break, that there would be no willingness to bring it back – however three laps of the West Head course can be brutal on the legs and the larger bunch, was able to reel them back in – partly due to some attacks and surges courtesy of Jake Kauffman (Drapac) and Andy Crawley (GPM Wilson) who were both working for the MWCC bragging rights. In the end it was a bunch kick for the line and Mick Curran almost looked like Peter Sagan, he had plenty of time to sit up and look around as he took the sprint ahead of Nick Yallouris and Jake Kauffman. Mick’s proud father was on the sidelines and once he managed to defrost himself, he was proud to acknowledge the good work of his son.

With Alex Gardner of KMD last years Masters Champion not toeing the line, Ross Chaffer and Jordan Reizes become the nominated men for the KMD team, Ross finished just behind Jake and now leads the Masters category and he is also in good enough form to continue to pick up some points in the remaining rounds, however he remains optimistic about his chances of getting over Jake in the time trial – Kauffman will be going for the overall NSW title. Cam Dinnie was the third Manly rider across the line and the silent assassin may be well poised because of his strong TT skills, but how will he go in the crit? Jarrod Crosby rounded out the points for A Grade.

A Grade
1. Mick Curran
2. Nick Yallouris
3. Jake Kauffman

First 5 Manly Riders:
1. Jake Kauffman
2. Ross Chaffer
3. Cam Dinnie
4. Jarrod Crosby
5? Unclaimed

B Grade saw two separate fields racing, in the non Manly race the riders saw plenty of attacks and plenty of opportunities to put in some hurt, Ben Larson of NSCC was regularly at the front driving the pain train as he looks to make the step up to A in coming months, while he didn’t have the legs for the final sprint he certainly had the engine to dislodge a few riders. With a completely open field, riders weren’t waiting for the last few hundred metres to make their mark. The serious surges started with a few kilometres remaining as some of the heads of state made their way to the front. With about 4 kilometres remaining Gerard Lia-Smith of NSCC launched himself off the front and managed to build up a few hundred metres gap as they came passed the car park for the final time, however like many riders before him, going too far above threshold burns many a rider as they hit the final two bergs before the uphill sprint finish. Gerard was swallowed up by about 6 riders as they came into the final few hundred metres. In the end Chris James was to triumph over a fast finishing and rapidly improving Darren Byres of Randwick Botany. Apologies to Darren for not having a camera on hand to capture his glory of standing on the podium, however as the drizzle started many riders wanted to make a quick exit. Darren has been learning and improving every month and he wanted to ensure that he could have some evidence of his glory when he crosses back over the bridge into Randwick Botany territory. Hopefully the envelope and vouchers will be evidence enough of his second place.

In the Manly B Grade, riders were much more attentive and playing their cards close to their chest. With so many potential winners in the bunch, no rider wanted to burn their legs too early by doing too much work but at the same time, no rider was going to be allowed to simply ride off the front and solo to victory. As a result the full field stayed together for both laps and once they came over the last berg at the turn around there were still 10 riders looking at each other and wondering who was going to lead out the field. Chris Miller the B Grade dark horse, noted that this was the first time in a race that he had come over the last climb and rather than having a shredded field behind him, he was now surrounded by ten other riders who were doing it as comfortably as he was. The group then slowly made its way towards the finish, with riders eye balling each other like a sprint race in the velodrome, with no one wanting to make the first move. As a result there was a bit of braking and a few lines being deviated from which caused a few riders to make the call – that riders need to hold their line and ensure that they take the Safe T View Mirror with them next time. Then with about 200 to go all of the riders put it into the 11 and started the mad dash for home, in the end it was inevitable that pre race favourite Billy Sykes would surge out of the bunch and take the glory, followed a few bike lengths behind by Chris Miller who edged out junior Henry Baird. In fourth was Gabriel Denoury and rounding out the points was Trevor Smith. Surprisingly pre race Junior favourite Danny ‘Black Caviar’ Scheiner was not in the fast finishing bunch, instead he trailed in 30 seconds down, a few weeks off the bike with a niggling knee injury meant that Danny picked up the Andy Schleck Award. Danny is hoping that he can find his form in the coming rounds as he now trails Henry Baird in the Juniors category.

B – All the rest
1. Chris James
2. Darren Byres
3. Gerard Lia-Smith

Manly B Grade
1. Billy Sykes
2. Chris Miller
3. Henry Baird
4. Gabrielle Denoury
5. Trevor Smith

The C Grade Barbarians race saw plenty of riders test their legs with a few first timers, including Bonnie Lee of Sydney Cycling, I think this was his first trip out to West Head and he will certainly be returning after he took a convincing victory ahead of Stephen Short and Rory Simingon. Don’t really know what happened in that race, all I know is that they did two laps of the course and those were our winners. In the C Grade race we had a few riders who had some good form but really no one really stood out as favourite; Greg Reynolds and Jonathan Herb probably came in as short priced favourites and this reflected in their finishing places of first and third respectively. However this grade also contained the two stand out performances of the day – Mr President Jim Buda was like Kieran Perkins in Atlanta – shown no form all year, got dropped from the C Grade bunch last month but when the potential of a club championship jersey was on the line – he stepped it up another level and not only finished with the bunch but sprinted in for second place! I can’t remember the last time Jim Buda was on a podium, but if his racing skills are anything like his ability to win a club election – he has certainly shortened his odds from his pre race 75-1. Jim will take his points and head over to Heffron Park next Sunday with certainly the most experience on that course compared to the other place getters.

Within the C Grade race we also had the battle royale for the womens race. This came as a bit of a shock to first timer Michelle McAdam who had signed up for her first race in D Grade, only to find out at the roll out, that she was actually going to race C Grade and do two laps, unfortunately the wall was to be her undoing. Another rider Lynne Clarke was ready to take her place in D Grade and while she has completed a few races in D Grade, she was now thrust into the colosseum of C Grade, it looked like it was going to be another tough day out for her. With Trudy Vander Straaten not yet recovered from her ankle injury, the pre race favourite was on the sidelines and Cat Haines and Rebecca Snell looked like that would be playing paper, scissors, rock to see who would take the victory. After the first lap, the field was strung out and Lynne Clarke looked like at any moment she would be doing a fair bit of the ride back by herself – as they hit the wall for the final time Lynne found herself becoming very lonely and as they reached the far turn around point she was off the back by a small distance. Lynne dug deep and buried herself to regain contact with the bunch and she managed to hold them as the inevitable attacks and surges started with a few kilometres to go. In the end Cat Haines powered off and picked up the overall victory for the womens race, surprisingly Rebecca Snell had cracked off the back – obviously the legs were still a little tired from the Tour De Cure and Lynne Clarke had seized the chance and moved up the bunch and into second place and at the same time moved herself into contention for the title.

C Grade – Rest of the World
1. Bonnie Lee
2. Stephen Short
3. Rory Simingon

C Grade Manly
1. Greg Reynolds
2. Jim Buda
3. Jonathan Herb
4. Michael Faretta
5. Gavin Peacock

Womens Point Score
1. Cat Haines
2. Lynne Clarke
3. Rebecca Snell
4. Michelle McAdam

The final group to roll out was D Grade, which was raced as a single full field over the single lap. Duke Millington from Central Coast again snuck himself into D Grade and this was only picked up once he came to collect his second place, while he may not have received his first razor yet – Duke needs to man up and take on the challenge of the two laps in C Grade, he will most likely be able to ride with his dad Justin after he gets blown out the back of A Grade – but Justin wins the Jens Voigt Hardman award for completing the three laps a fair bit of it on his Pat Malone. D Grade contains a number of riders who are either new to the sport, or have been in the sport for a number of years but no longer want to race at the higher level. One rider who is new to the sport is Ed Shilland who picked up a second place in his last race and came into the race wanting to go one better. The group as always stayed together for most of the race, with a few riders finding the pace a little tough and deciding to take the scenic route home. It wasn’t until the last two bergs that a selection was made within the group. Ed Shilland showed that he is the man to beat for the jersey, when he got up by a few bike lengths ahead of Duke Millington and rounding out the podium was James Briggs. Mitch Dixon continued his return from a long term injury by being the third rider home for MWCC and I think we can expect Mitch to continue to rise up the group now that he can recommence training. Anton Van Der Vegt and Craig Wotherspoon rounded out the placings for Manly and they will continue in their battle with both of these riders being former podium getters in previous months.

D Grade – Combined
1. Edward Shilland
2. Duke Millington
3. James Briggs

First 5 Manly D Graders over the line
1. Ed Shilland
2.James Briggs
3. Mitch Dixon
4. Anton Van Der Vegt
5. Craig Wotherspoon

The next round of the Manly Club Championships will take place this Sunday at the SUVelo crits – Sunday June 17, Heffron Park Maroubra. Sign on from 7am, $10 entry fee. 7.30am Womens B Grade, Mens C and D. 8.30am Womens A Grade, Mens A and B. Details of their event can be found over at www.suvelo.com.au

The next West Head Race will be starting at the Akuna Bay Marina, with A Grade rolling out from 7:20am. The race will then race up to the West Head road before completing the usual number of laps and finishing at the usual location at the Elvina Walking Track Car park. Riders will not be descending down to Akuna Bay during the race. Please make any adjustments you need to your travel and put the word out about the new start location. This will add about 4km to your racing distances and also a fair bit of extra climbing, so it should certainly add a new dimension to our road races. That race is on the 8th of July.

Our next cyclo cross race is on the 23 June at the JJ Melbourne Memorial Reserve at Terrey Hills (next to the equestrian centre). This course will be forming part of the National Series in September. Prior to the cyclo cross we also run a offroad crit – so essentially a crit races for mountain bikes on an offroad course. The cyclo cross is separated into two divisions – one for those with cyclo cross bikes and a division for those on any other type of bike. Entry for these races is $10.

Sorry no photos at this stage. We promise that Darren Byres isn’t lying and he did indeed get second.


  1. Darren Byers

    Huge thank you to the entire MWCC bunch for putting on a great race every month. You all do an excellent job and its much appreciated.
    Geoff Hilbourne and i will be eagerly awaiting the next one.
    Nice to throw a proper hill into the mix for a change… 🙂

  2. Will

    5th Place in A was Andy Crawley

    Masters Rankings – (Must be racing on a Masters licence)
    Top 2
    1. Ross Chaffer
    2. Jordan Reizes

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