Nathan Hardaker started his criterium race at the front and finished at the front.
Nathan Hardaker started his criterium race at the front and finished at the front.

Juniors and seniors riders on top

MEMBERS of the Coffs Harbour Cycle Club travelled to Inverell and Armidale for round 6 and 7 of the McDonald’s Northern Region Criterium Series.

It was an early start on Saturday to get to Inverell for the start of racing at 2.00pm.

Our youngest representative was Troy Hardaker. Troy raced well on both days trying his best. Being in the Under 15s and not 13 years old makes racing hard. Troy put in 100 per cent effort on both days and always had a smile on his face. He loves his racing and loves watching all the other grades.

Alex Beedie and Alan Miller lined up in D grade in very warm conditions.

Alan went into the race with a one point advantage over Alex for the series. It was apparent after the first prime that Alex was very determined to take the series lead and the cash on the day, Alex achieved this by winning both primes and the race.

Alan was unable to take any points from the race.

Nathan Hardaker, Grant Howard and Greg Warburton were next up in C grade. Nathan was the leader in the series. Nathan rode a very intelligent race as the peloton was dominated by Inverell riders.

He was always at the front of the race to cover any break-always and sprint for the primes and the win. Nathan was able to win one of the primes and the race which gave him a commanding lead in the series.

Grant also rode very well and he was able to get second in a very close sprint finish. Unfortunately Greg Warburton had an off day and he was off the pace on the day.

In B grade Vanessa McDonald, Adrien Thompson, David Munro, Jim Doolan, Numa and Liam Warburton greeted the starter’s gun. Adrien, David and Jim were up the front of the race trying to control the race however there was a shark (A grader) in the race that absolutely dominated the race.

Everyone finished with the peloton which was a great result for Coffs Harbour. Numa and Liam rode very well given they are in restricted gears. Vanessa was happy to finish with the peloton as she was the only woman in the race.

Nathan Chiswell, Reece Edwards, Chris Jahnz and Dan Alcock lined up for A grade. Chris and Reece tried a number of times early in the race to get away. Chris paid for this and had to pull out of the race as it was very hot.

After a while Nathan was in a breakaway with two other riders. Team tactics played out, this left Dan and Reece back in the pack covering any attempts to bridge up to the leaders. Nathan came second, while Reece finished in fourth.

Once racing finished it was across to Armidale for a good sleep and carb up for the Armidale crit on Sunday morning. All riders backed up again, while Aaron O’Grady made the trip over on Sunday morning. Alex again dominated D grade to take a prime and the win, Alex Miller finished third.

The results saw Alex take first and Alan second in the McDonalds Northern Region Criterium Series. Allan can now look forward to racing events without racing against Alex as Alex will now move up to higher grades.

It is very difficult for juniors to compete against seniors as they race on restricted gears. This means an under 17s biggest gear is 46 x 15 while a senior is using a 52 x 11. The restricted gears protect the juniors from over stressing their knees and backs and also teaches them to spin efficiently.

Nathan Hardaker again showed his sprinting prowess by taking a prime and the win in C grade. Grant Howard was again in the results on the day.

Nathan took out the C grade McDonalds Northern Region Criterium Series while Grant came second.

Nathan is showing great potential as a sprinter and track rider. He also backed up later in the day for a one mile running race which he took second in his age group!

Both Nathan and Alex now look forward to the Battle of the Border road stage race in May. It will be over four stages, with a time trail, two road stages and a criterium. The boys will need to increase their road kilometres in training as one road stage is 82 klms over an undulating course.

In B grade a breakaway formed after 20 minutes of the 40 minute race, No Coffs Harbour rider was about to get into the breakaway. The Coffs riders tried to bridge up however the four escapees were very strong and stayed away. Everyone finished with the peloton and were somewhat happy with their day.

One male rider came up to Vanessa after the race to apologise for trying to cut her off in the race as he was determined not to be beaten by a women. Nice.

In A grade there was $1000 up for the winning team. So the boys from Rainbow Cycles planned their race strategy around taking out the teams event and also keeping Dan Alcock’s lead in the McDonald’s Series.

Chris Jahnz and Aaron O’Grady put the pressure on the peloton early to soften them up for Dan, Nathan and Reece later on. It was successful as the three of them formed a breakaway with two other riders. Unfortunately Reece crashed and was unable to rejoin the race, both Reece and the bike are fine.

Dan Alcock took second while Nathan Chiswell came fourth. This helped the bank balance as the Rainbow Cycle team sponsored by McDonald’s and NAB won the teams event and Dan took out the McDonald’s Northern Region Criterium Series.

Thanks to the cycle club members for travelling over the weekend to support these events and thanks to McDonald’s for sponsoring the series.

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