WITHIN THE PELOTON: Berty Bellringa beats around the bush
UNFORTUNATELY the weather turned sour this week, leaving not much racing action in the Clarence Valley after a few big weekends of late.
So I have relied on those chasing the glory elsewhere - namely Bryan Crispin and our own Berty Bellringa who took to the tarmac and trails respectfully.
Seeking a final race hit out prior to next weekend's Tamworth Handicap, Crispin made the journey to Coffs Harbour to see how his form holds in foreign territory.
Two teams were formed featuring a combination of A and B graders. The first half of the lap was declared 'neutral' as all racers rode around with the junior riders in an effort to help, and assist in learning and understanding 'race craft'.
Once the flag was dropped and racing began, it wasn't long before an attack was made by one of Crispin's opponents, leaving he and his new teammates to chase.
The breakaway rider was caught at the start of the second lap and a group of five rode well together until two laps to go. At this time another two riders from Crispin's team bridged across, one of these being Coffs local Tim Searle.
At this point Coffs rider Greg Swan, who was nominated as team captain of Crispin's group, launched an attack. Searle and his bridging companion dropped off having expended too much gas to bridge the gap initially. But Swan's attack would prove the winning move and he held on to take the win.
The battle was on for second place. An opposing rider led out, Crispin sat on his wheel and attempted to come around him in the sprint but despite his efforts finished third.
Crispin indicated he was happy with his performance but more delighted with his form leading into the Handicap.
Berty Bellringa took to the trails of Nambucca Heads, competing in the Jacks Ridge XXX. It was also a memorial race for the inaugural Brian Cockbain Perpetual Trophy.
Bellringa had planned to compete in the 100km event, taking to the sand hills to train. But unfortunately succumbing to the horrific man flu, Bellringa's training appeared to be nothing. Determined Bellringa would enter the 50km event instead.
Bellringa provided the following race recap:
"I felt awesome today, everything went to plan with drinking and food intake.
"I had a bit of trouble with the bike towards the end of the second lap and lost a few minutes trying to sort it out. I was determined to make up for the time lost and probably hooked in a little too hard. By the time I caught up to the front runners there was only two of them left.
"Once we started the last lap I began to cramp. I couldn't shake the other two riders as I was just spent.
"As we rode up the last climb the three of us made a gentleman's agreement that we would cross together and let the judges sort out our position. True to our words, we crossed together.
"I went into today's race with the goal of completing the 50km in three hours. I ended up finishing in 2 hours 26 minutes, so I'm really happy with that time.
"The track was good, it was a tad muddy in places but it rolled nicely."